Get an Agent or Sell Yourself?

Many people try to sell their own house. Here's what you need to know if you go that route.
By: Tammy Stoner

Given the hunk of the money pie sliced off for your real estate agent's commission (usually 5 percent to 6 percent of the final sale price of the house), many people consider going it alone. If you feel confident selling your house on your own, we strongly recommend having a real estate lawyer go over your paperwork. This is a high-dollar deal, and you don't want to screw it up.

The advantages of working with an agent are numerous. Your agent will list your property in the MLS (Multiple Listing Service), a national database of homes for sale. This means your home will be picked up by thousands of Web sites. You cannot list your own home in the MLS because only licensed Realtors can list homes there. But you can hire a "flat rate" broker who will list your property for a low fee, and then you handle the rest of the deal.

A real estate agent knows how to market, negotiate and sell homes, and often your agent coordinates your entire "selling crew" -- all the wild cards -- from home inspectors to escrow agents. The agent can be your greatest ally.

If you decide to use a Realtor, hire someone referred by a friend. Think seriously before splitting your agent's loyalty by allowing him to "double" -- meaning, allowing him to represent both you (the seller) and someone else (the buyer).

Next Up

Get Estimates Before Hiring Movers

To cut down on moving costs, get estimates from at least three different moving companies before taking the plunge.

Get My Agent on the Phone

Especially for first-time homebuyers, using a seasoned agent is a smart move.

Get Web Savvy to Sell Your Home

Almost 80 percent of home searches start on the internet, so why not finish them there too? In lieu of the traditional method of selling through a real estate agent, some home sellers are turning to the Web to sell their homes.

Get Pre-Approval on Your Mortgage Application

Pre-approved loans are the way to go in today's real estate market.

Get a Bargain on a Stigmatized Property

You can find a bargain in just about every neighborhood these days, but if you’re looking for a deal with a price that’s been “slashed,” try searching for the home where the “slasher” lived.

Get an Inspection Before Selling Your Home

A home inspector's green light could give you the edge in a competitive market

4 Tough Moves Made Easier

Learn ways to simplify an international move, moving with pets and children, and downsizing.

Top 10 Ways to Cut Moving Costs

If you're moving into a new home, your pockets probably feel pretty empty right now. You've just paid a down payment, closing costs and broker fees, so the last thing you want is an expensive move. Lucky for you, we've got tips to help you pack up and ship out on a budget.

For Sale By Owner FSBO Guide

Are you considering selling your home without a real estate agent? Follow these tips to make the process as smooth as possible.

Getting a Mortgage Loan: Pre-Approved, Then Not Approved

When one client is pre-approved for a mortgage, and then not approved during escrow, real estate expert Tara-Nicholle Nelson has a few solutions up her sleeve.

Go Shopping

Refresh your home with stylish products handpicked by HGTV editors.

Watch Live TV

Don't miss your favorite shows. Live stream HGTV now.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.