It's not often, but every once in a while I get drawn into a "philosophical" discussion with someone who feels they can sell their home their self. And they are certain that "everyone" should. "Why should I pay a real estate agent to do it when I know I can do it myself?"
This person may be right. Sure, anyone can sell a house. If all the conditions are right... a buyer comes along and the seller doesn't get in his own way... a sale happens!
Sometimes I wonder if I was never in the real estate business if I would feel the same way. Point is, some people are capable and some people aren't. There's room for all of us in this arena. Believe me, I have brokered some real estate transactions over the past 30 years where the seller was VERY capable of doing it themselves. Why didn't they? Because they were smart enough to see the value of having an agent when they needed to pay attention to what they were good and well-versed in. They did not want to have to be available every time someone just wanted to take a look at their home. They did not want to place themselves or their family in a position to be in the house when total strangers came to visit. They also recognized that they may be a little too close to the property... a little too emotional.
They also realized that we are trained to understand buying signals.... or even the "red flags" that will help us to eliminate the lookers from the buyers. They also know that we are connected to all the other professionals that are utilized in this process. They also know that we are familiar with the contracts and the documents that are required. They also know that we will help them to understand what appeals to buyers and the approaches that most often entice a purchaser to make an offer. They also know that once they engage the services of a real estate professional they won't be solicited by other agents looking to market their home for them. I've heard some Do-It-Yourselfers proclaim that they can better answer questions about their house. The very same people don't know a French drain from a dry well; or understand the difference between a boiler and a furnace, much less that their chimney may need to have two flues... or maybe not.
And buyers are skittish about coming to the house. They aren't certain about how much of what they hear that they can believe from the seller. They know that a real estate agent is bound to rules regulations and ethics and further are under the scrutiny of their state.
And buyers are more inclined to tell us Realtors what they really think. When the Do-It-Yourselfer asks the buyer what they think, the buyer almost always says, "Oh you have a real nice home here. We were really impressed. We need to think about it." then they get in their car and say to each other, "Oh my gosh! Did you see that wallpaper? And the smell in the basement! Is that guy kidding?!!! And how about that price? Easily the highest priced house we've seen so far!" Stuff the seller will never hear. And while we're on that scenario: Most sellers are reluctant to follow up, much less even get a number or email to do so. And ask them if they understand the concept of verify and overcome objections. See, after someone looks at our listings we work very hard to find out what the objections may have been...and that can be used to advise our seller clients.
I'm all for saving money. And that is the main reason most feel compelled to sell without the services of a broker. However, there is a boatload of stats out there that show that the majority of for sale by owners sell for less than real estate brokered deals.
You can cut your own hair and you can take out our own decayed tooth if you want to. The results AND the process may be something less than you planned for.