By in Personal Finance, Real Estate | 25 comments


 We’re moving and I’m hiring a realtor. We are not selling our home ourselves like Len Penzo dot com recommends. Even though my family was in the real estate business, I’ve bought and sold investment property and our own home many times, and my neighbor is going to sell his own home, we are using a real estate agent. 

To be completely honest, I considered selling our home myself. All I would have to do is: 

  •  Rent a wide angle lens camera for the photos
  • Set up a website for the home
  • Check out one of those a la carte Realtors and list on MLS for a fee
  • Take out some advertisements
  • Meet with a lawyer to get updated on disclosures and other legal responsibilities
  • Buy a sign
  • Create marketing materials
  • Schedule showings and meet with the potential buyers
  • Hold an open house or two

Of course, I’d have to engage in all of these activities while decluttering, boxing stuff up, cleaning, and making sure there’s nothing out of place 24-7. And did I say cleaning? :) 

Why I’m Hiring a Realtor

Reason 1: Selling a home requires a lot of time, energy, advertising, and effort. The realtor will do it all! (Except cleaning and decluttering) 

Reason 2: Most people discover their home on realtor.com which is sponsored by the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). I’m not even sure how an individual without a realtor can get a home listed on MLS. The realtor will list the home on realtor.com. 

Reason 3: Most buyers have a realtor who will not show for sale by owner homes (FSBOs). The Realtors will show my home because if they sell it they will get paid! 

Reason 4: Sometimes time is worth more than money. I have a job, a blog, a home, and family. Where am I going to find the time to sell a home? I’ve got enough on my plate already and my life is too important to over commit by selling my home myself! 

Reason 5: This is a really difficult real estate market, and a realtor has more experience than I do selling a home in a terrible market! And they can make sure the buyers can get a mortgage.

Stop by and wish me luck in the sale of our home! 

Barbara Friedberg Personal Finance across the blogosphere:

For a quick overview of Investing Strategies, pick up my FREE eBook; 20 Minute Guide to Investing (top right of the page). If you like what you’re reading, sign up for my RSS feed and follow me on twitter so you get the word immediately.   

Would you consider selling a home yourself? Have you ever sold a home without a realtor? How much work was it? Would you do it again? 

image credit: rereresidency


  1. Good luck with selling your home Barb. As much as I hate using Realtors for selling because of their rip me off fees (4-5%), in this tough market you need all the exposure you can get.

    Beating The Index

    March 16, 2011

  2. Totally agree! That is their business and your time has value too. The most important factor is selling the home at the right price in a reasonable amount of time. BTW, I would get referrals to find the broker, but also invite 3 brokers to tell you the value of your home. It creates a little more objectivity in the pricing. Good luck.


    March 16, 2011

  3. I would definitely advice on getting a realtor. There are just too many things you have to keep track of and having a realtor eases your pain.

    Good luck Barb!


    March 16, 2011

  4. A good realtor can make all the difference – just make sure you have a good one! I’m lucky in that my cousin/best friend is an actual broker who owns his own real estate brokerage. He keeps it at cost for me, plus the buyer’s agent fee. From what I have seen and he has told me, there are some really unscrupulous agents out there!

  5. Good luck selling your home! Are you moving to another location or just upgrading/downgrading?


    March 16, 2011

  6. @Krantcents-Actually, interviewed a few and ended up choosing the agent that sold us the home 7 years ago. He had it on the market in 3 days and we’ve already had 2 showings. Thanks for the support!!!!
    @Money-Agreed. Even with a realtor, just keeping the home perfect is a big enough job for us! And of course there are all these little odds and ends that need to be taken care of :)
    @Retire-El Carino got a new job in a new (warmer-yea) local. We are both happy about it!


    March 16, 2011

  7. Barbara Friedberg! Selling your own place really isn’t too bad — especially considering the money you can save. I know it seems daunting at first, but if I can do it, anybody can. Really!

    That being said, I fully understand that some people don’t have enough time to set aside if they have to sell quickly.

    Thanks for the mention! :-)

    All the best,

    Len Penzo dot Com

    Len Penzo

    March 16, 2011

  8. Hi Len, We are relocating this summer and certainly want to avoid 2 house payments. Time is a big factor! We are in the category you mentioned; “some people don’t have enough time to set aside!” THAT’S US :)


    March 17, 2011

  9. I love this, and your logic really resonates with me, even though I’ve been tempted to consider the ole’ ‘For Sale By Owner’ sign. But you’re absolutely right; selling one of your biggest assets is the right time to bring in a professional. Good luck finding just the right buyer!

  10. Last time I used a Realtor they sold my house in 2 weeks. There was no way we would of sold it that fast. If you have no time factor, sure sell it yourself. You will save the commission. But the buyers know that and wants that discounted from the selling price. The other problem is accurately pricing your house to sell. A Realtor may know best. Yet, if you get that figure yourself, your ahead of the game.


    March 17, 2011

  11. Hi Dave, I hope our home sells in 2 weeks :). I agree that FSBO’s encourage buyers to discount the price. You are also correct about pricing the home. With the realtors data, we priced the home lower than we had initially considered.


    March 18, 2011

  12. I understand what you are saying about the whole process being time consuming, but I disagree with some of the reasons you listed.

    -You dont need to setup a website, thats what realtor.com and the MLS system is for. Though some people post a youtube video of their homes up now, which is easy to do, its 10 min process.

    -You dont need to rent any camera, regular ole photos do the trick just fine.

    -You can easily list on the MLS (Realcomp will assist here in Michigan), and the fee is much less than the broker/agent commissions.

    I would definitely recommend meeting with a lawyer, the paperwork can be a bit much these days. I used a realtor for buying my home, which is fine because I didnt pay any commissions, but i would think twice selling my home with one. I figure $10,000 for what would ultimately be maybe 20 hours worth of work just is too much…i dont make $5,000/hr.


    March 18, 2011

  13. Hi Money, Thank you for your comments and the resources. I welcome dissenting viewpoints.

    I’m still satisfied with a realtor as many other agents would not bring a buyer to my home if I listed it myself. Also, it is quite a difficult market here, and we are under a time constraint! I NEED THE HELP!


    March 18, 2011

  14. Hi Barb: We’re on the other end, buying a house, and a lot of people were trying to convince us to buy a house from an FSBO without a realtor. After the first half of this experience (which is supposedly the “fun” part) I still couldn’t imagine not having a great realtor. It’s just nice to have an advocate more than anything. I wish you a speedy sale, easy packing, and a smooth moving experience. :)

    Andi B.

    March 19, 2011

  15. Totally agree Barbara, a good realtor is well worth the cost in any market, but especially this market.

    Roger Wohlner

    March 19, 2011

  16. @Andi,So far, I have so much “else” to do, I cannot see keeping my sanity and relationships AND selling my home myself. Thanks for the good wishes.
    @Roger, I will take all the help and luck I can get during this transition time:)


    March 20, 2011

  17. @Kay Lynn-One more for the the YES camp! With so much to do, we certainly need the help!


    March 22, 2011

  18. A good realtor is worth their weight in gold but there are a lot of mediocre ones that don’t put the time in that they should.

    Good Luck. Selling a home is so stressful and I hope it’s about as uneventful as it can be.

    First Gen American

    April 8, 2011

  19. @Sandy-Three weeks down and counting. Time will tell how the entire ordeal will shake out! I’m attempting to remain calm :)


    April 8, 2011

  20. Great Blog, Fantastic Read! Would read again! I like how you put words together and it creates a very inspirational feel.


    Real Estate Agent in Richmond

    May 4, 2011

  21. Great post and totally agree with you about hiring a realtor. Lots of tools out there too. A friend of mine used a service called sundayell. Supposedly interviewing realtors there is a snap and he got a really good commission rate too. Anyone heard of them?


    October 18, 2011

  22. Tim, Have not heard of the service, but anything making the interview process easier is worth a look!


    October 18, 2011

  23. Real estate is probably one of the largest financial investments each of us will make in our lifetime. Selling or buying property by yourself can be a tedious and strenuous task. Hiring a realtor will surely prove worth it.


    dallas jumbo loan

    December 3, 2011

  24. grea reasons of hiring a realtor.

    john lee

    November 13, 2012

Post a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

WP-SpamFree by Pole Position Marketing