How The MLS Helps Homeowners Sell For Top Dollar

Performance Property Real Estate Question

Q: My wife and I are selling our home. I don’t want to pay that big realtor commission. What do you think? Warren, Carteret, NJ

A: You are not required to use a realtor when you sell a home–as an owner you can sell your home yourself. As a long time real estate investor, I tried many times to sell property that I have owned myself, especially when I first started in the business over 20 years ago. My experience has been that when I tried to sell a home I owned on my own, the offers I received were much lower than the offer prices I received when I entered into a listing agreement with a licensed realtor (at least 20-25% lower). The reason why you are likely to get a much higher price when you sell your home working with a realtor than you will trying to sell on your own is because realtors use a proprietary system called the multiple listing service (or MLS) which is a local broker marketplace that gets your home in front of a much larger group of qualified buyers than you would have access to trying to sell on your own. Some home buyers will like your home more than other buyers so the wider the audience of qualified buyers you have access to, the higher the price you are likely to get when you sell. It’s also important to recognize exactly what you’re optimizing for when you sell a home—most people are trying to maximize the net amount of money they put in their pocket when they sell a home, not whether they have to pay a realtor commission or not. The mistake I made when I first started as a real estate investor was that I incorrectly assumed that I could get the same highest selling price selling homes on my own than I could working with a realtor. Having bought, sold and managed hundreds of properties over the past 23 years, I now realize from actual experience that I net much more money when I sell a home paying a standard realtor commission than I would net selling some other way. Don’t take my word for it, try to sell your home yourself or on the latest online platform du jour see how it goes–good luck. Thanks for your question, Warren.

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