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Is a Realtor Really Worth the Cost?

Is a REALTOR® really worth it?  I get this question a lot and of course, as a practitioner myself you’d hope I’d say “yes”.  But I’ve also always known there is data to back this up. A recent blog post does a great job of breaking down the extra value for using a REALTOR® to sell your home.

In Amanda Riggs’ article, “Selling Your Home Solo to Save Money? You’ll Actually Make Less Than You Think,” Riggs takes a deeper look at For-Sale-By-Owners’ home sales. What she finds indicts that going without a REALTOR® isn’t always the best choice.


Clearing Up Misconceptions

When people don’t use REALTOR®, they are hoping to pay less while only putting in a little more work. The reality doesn’t equal up to the ideal. The National Association of Realtors found that 43% of people trying to sell without REALTORS thought they would save money for a little extra work, but 62% had to dedicate a lot of time on marketing. This includes registering with the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) database, putting their home listing on different websites, hosting open houses, and creating ads.

The problem is For-Sale-By-Owners (FSBO) sellers don’t already have a huge, potential list they can use. “Thirty-eight percent of all FSBOs –that’s only three percent of the total home sales in 2017 –were homes sold to people where the buyer knew the seller,” Riggs writes. This means over 60% of FSBO sellers are juggling a lot of responsibility. They have to deal with the marketing on top of everything else that goes into selling a house. Furthermore, they may not have access to resources that will make it easier to sell the property. For instance, REALTOR® tend to have a list of leads, money for ads, supplies for open houses, and more.

Also, REALTOR® are very knowledgeable about their local market and how to negotiate well. Not having that expertise can cause stress and means that the seller can end up losing money if they are up against an excellent buyer’s agent. The number of for-sale homes has decreased, which puts buyers at a disadvantage. According to Zillow’s Consumer Housing Trends Report states “the number of for-sale homes falling year-over-year every month since February 2015,” so this is a great chance to use a REALTOR® to connect you to leads and price your home right.

If someone is doing FSBO for the first time, he/she will have quite the learning curve. These are the 3 biggest problems FSBO sellers faced: getting the right price, selling within the planned length of time, and preparing/fixing up home for sale. A good agent will help guide the client through this.



Having a REALTOR® is worth it. The reality is that doing FSBO will take more work than most people think. You don’t have someone helping you choose the right price, sticking to the timeline, and preparing your home for sale.

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