What real use are real estate agents if we can sell our home ourselves?


What real use are real estate agents if we can sell our home ourselves?

In: Economics

It’s a lot of work.

That’s the skinny. You gotta advertise it. You gotta do paperwork. Make sure it’s to code.
Hit deadlines. It goes on and on.

If you are willing to do the work yourself, more power to ya

How do you market it? Can you access sites like Rightmove, Zoopla etc? Do you have the time to produce a brochure and show people around everyday? Negotiate the price without it being awkward? If you can answer yes, then you don’t need an estate agent

>What real use are real estate agents if we can sell our home ourselves?

You can also build your own house, do your own dental work, devise your own defense strategy in court or cut your own lumber.

Would you be able to do it speedily? Proficiently? Safely?

Would you even *want* to do it?

If not, luckily there are professionals to do the job for you.

What use are chefs when we can cook for ourselves? 🙂

Selling a home is a process, which means depending on the law where you live, there might be serious consequences for missing out a step in that process. You absolutely can do it yourself but then you are liable for any mistakes in the process. And the fact you do this very infrequently means you’re more likely to make a mistake.

An estate agent should be doing the process frequently enough that they do it efficiently. And if they make a mistake they are accountable (and probably have professional liability insurance to cover the cost of the mistake).

So in the same way a professional chef probably will turn out a better meal than you or I would (and is covered by insurance if they do give you food poisoning) a professional estate agent should provide an easier process for you selling your house than you would do on your own.

In both cases, expect to pay for this.

I was thinking the same thing until i realized they have to show tons of homes & if you decide not to buy from them that’s hours that they put into the job that’s unpaid.

The biggest reason is the property chain – and this is why people love ‘cash’ buyers or first time buyers.

So A is selling to B, but B is selling to C and C is selling to D – This is a pretty simple chain of 3 sales. This all has to be negotiated, contracted and synchronised with all the relevant parties to occur on a single day.

D has to have loan approval from their bank and their deposit lodged, C has to have their currently bank’s approval to sell as well as approval for their new bond to purchase B’s property, B similarly needs bond approval both sides and A needs only his selling bond approval. So you are dealing with paying off and closing down 3 existing mortgages and opening up 3 new mortgages so that’s a total of 9 contracts (including the sale contracts) that are each worth a significant amount of money. If buyer C is delayed because a compliance certificate was held up this delays the entire chain. If buyer B pulls out the entire chain is broken.

So can you imagine where you have a chain of 10 houses and each person decides that they want to sell without using estate agents. The breadwinners are all working fulltime normal working hours and none of them have previous experience selling a house… now add in that each person is married and is buying in joint names.

They have more exposure/potential buyers, than you would on your own

They also try to sell the house actively to the potential costumers and help you with various paper works and such

Aome people do sell their houses without one though. Saves a pretty penny in many cases

What’s the value of a good salesperson? A realtor charges about 6% of the value of your home. When you use a realtor, you are betting that they will find and convince a buyer to pay at least 6% more than what you could get on your own. I don’t have that kind of market knowledge or sales skill, so I think that’s a safe bet.

Another historical factor, in the US, is that the National Association of Realtors controls the Multiple Listing Service, which for decades was the only national database of home sales. If you wanted buyers from outside your neighborhood to see your house, or see what similar homes sold for, MLS was your only option, which meant you had no choice but to use a realtor. This has changed recently thanks to sites like Zillow, but the MLS is still a very valuable tool that’s worth paying a realtor for.


I don’t believe they are that useful. Buying home involves big money, so industries have been created off of injecting them selves into the transaction and taking single digit percentage of the cost. Which adds up when your talking $100k + deals. There’s agents on both sides, home inspector, underwriter, lender, title insurance, lawyers, and appraiser. Out of all of those people, the agent is the least qualified to do anything with the purchase or sale of a home. They will say, “how will you market your home then”. With all the home selling sites now. It’s as simple as posting it on zillow or some other site. Every time we bought a house we searched these sites and then sent them to our realtor. She rarely had anything above and beyond what these sites offered.

That being said, I believe there are some smart people that know the game and can help get you the best deal out of the transaction, but most of them probably are not worth 10k on a single deal.

But then again, if you don’t want to apply any effort then pay them to do it.

I’m in the US. I use them to buy but never used one to sell (I’ve sold 4 in the last 12 years). It’s easy to do your own comp analysis, and there are ways to pay a flat fee for an MLS listing. Last house I sold I did Facebook advertising. It’s never taken me more than a month to sell a house, even in a slow market. Fastest was one day (although negotiations took 3 more). If you can do it yourself, why lose that extra %?

Mostly depends on how well or how much you like negotiating. I have also used a great agent who was able to get creative with moving money around when the buyer suddenly got cold feet. The process itself isn’t terribly complicated, but in certain situations it helps.

I’ve also used an agent who was a complete waste of money, so just like any service, mileage will vary.

I’ve bought multiple houses WITHOUT using a realtor, and in all cases I got huge decreases in cost. Used a real estate lawyer, paid by the hour, to check over the paperwork. Organized and executed the inspections myself.

It’s not that hard at all. Real estate agents are vastly overpaid for basic home sale transactions, IMO.

Hence why companies like Redfin are doing extremely well nowadays.

In my recent personal experience, on the buying side though, my agent was invaluable in helping us understand the market, where to position ourselves during the offer, which things to concede during the offer that look good/are worthwhile to the seller but don’t impact us much. She was incredibly helpful for understanding the whole process.

I imagine on the selling side it’s a similar situation, how to position the listing, advise on quick cheap fixes to make it sell for more.

Also remember you will do this a few times in your life, they do it daily, find yourself a good agent and leverage them and their experience.

Real estate agents used to be important back before the internet. When they listed a home for sale it went in a book and cataloged. It was quite the process. But now with the internet it has made it easier for buyers and sellers to see what the market is doing. Until recently, at least in my area, realtors were the only ones with access to sale prices. So the homeowner couldn’t see what a house sold for to judge what they could get for their house, they only had the neighborhood gossip. The real estate board fought tooth and nail to keep that information secret but the government forced them to provide that information to the public. A good realtor now a days has photographers, YouTube, and social media marketing to reach as many people as possible to see your home and home stagers to make your home look top notch.You can totally sell your own home privately if you’d like but some of the top agents have a large swath of influence online and more people can see your home increasing the likelyhood that you’ll get a better offer on your property. As for the contract (agreement of purchase and sale) and negotiations, the realtor always pushes what you want. It takes the stress of negotiation directly with a buyer off your plate. So they do add value to selling your home. Now in my area commissions are 4-5% of the sale price. I just sold my house, used a realtor and had to pay 56k after tax for their services. In my opinion they get paid way too much. My house sold in 5 days. And we told her what to do.

Source: was a realtor for 10+ years.

Buying a home in another town? They provide a clear and valuable advantage. Especially if they get to know you and your family’s needs, preferences, hobbies, etc.

They can steer you towards the parts of town that are best suited for you and away from areas you may not enjoy. Personally, our agent understood the future city and commercial projects. She got us into an area that has grown into such a great part of town with new parks, restaurants, shops, etc.

We’d never had that “local” insider knowledge without her.

You CAN sell the house yourself, but the REA is like a marketplace.

Kind of like trying to sell a lamp yourself vs putting it on eBay. You put your photos up (like a viewing), you’ll reach a wider audience and put in a middle person that takes some stresses out of the money handling (for a cut)

It’s a convenience thing really. People pay for not doing the legwork themselves.

Networking and advertising to sell a house is a lot of time and effort. Many people who make a living selling homes (flippers, renovators, investors whatever) need to sell a home within a time frame or the margin isn’t early as high. If they really try to roll up their sleeves and sell it themselves, it can tack on weeks or months.

Plus with all the paperwork and prep (things like furniture arrangement) they’re actually doing a lot of work. Plus their knowledge about lease agreements is super valuable, and can get you a higher selling price or rent, since they’re probably more experienced than the person selling the home.

I guess it was designed to prevent fraud like you selling your house to yourself in order to wash money

I guess it was designed to prevent fraud like you selling your house to yourself in order to wash money