Dear TZ - My uncle told me I can save the commission if I sell on my own.

Real Estate Agent with Remax First Realty II 0790808

Dear TZ,

I have a home in Union County that's probably worth $400,000. If I use a REALTOR (R), I have to pay 6% commission, right? That's $24,000! I'm going to try to sell it on my own first. What's the harm, right?

- FSBO Freddy

 File:Fsbo tablet.jpg

Dear Freddy,

First let me congratulate you on reaching out to ask this question.  As a Real Estate Professional it's my job to stay up to date on what's happening in the market, keeping track of all the different processes that take place during a real estate transaction, and as a licensed REALTOR(R) in the state of New Jersey I am required to take 12 hours of continuing education every 2 years just to maintain my license to sell Real Estate.  But to better answer your question, commissions in NJ are negotiable, but there are actually benefits to the seller to list at full commission or even higher in some cases.  

Let me ask you a few questions Freddy...  If you were being sued for $400,000 would you represent yourself in court?  No, you'd hire a lawyer.  Suppose that you needed an operation, would operate on yourself?  No, you'd get the best surgeon that money could buy.  Let's say that the IRS is doing a full audit on you...  Wouldn't you hire a Certified Public Accountant to represent you?  

So if you'd hire the best professionals to protect you in court, the operating room or against the IRS, why would you try to represent yourself in selling your home, the most valuable asset you have.  You'll be happier that you hired a professional to represent you in getting your home sold.  

According to USA Today, there is data that shows that homes sold by REALTOR(R)'s sell for 21.49% higher than those sold as For Sale By Owners.  So paying that 6% commission could actually make you another 15.49% in your pocket.

Click here to see the USA Today Article.

Good luck!

- TZ

Posted by




~ Wayne & Jean 

Union County, NJ - a great place to live and work!

If you're looking to buy or sell a property in Union County, call us at 908-917-4189 or email


facebook  Pinterest  LinkedIn  Read Our Blog!

All opinions, information and data provided is deemed reliable but is subject to errors and omissions. Not intended to solicit other Brokers' clients. We cooperate with them fully. 

Bruce Bachtel
Bachtel Realty Group - Greenville, SC
Greenville SC Real Estate

Very well said! People often think they can save a few bucks by representing themselves and really get taken advantage of in the transaction. Thank you for the info!

Mar 23, 2012 09:17 PM
Raymond E. Camp
Ontario, NY

Another point also that would save them money is most buyers would automatically knock off 6% or more before they start negotiating

Mar 23, 2012 09:30 PM
Brian Sharkey
SharkeyRE LLC - Singer Island, FL

Some one is going to pay someone a commission on every sale even FSBO's.  If agents and/or brokers is not worth at the very least what we charge we would all not be here. Sharkey

Mar 23, 2012 09:31 PM
Lucy E. Thompson
Keller Williams Realty Premier Properties - Summit, NJ

Great points, well put.

Mar 23, 2012 09:43 PM
Phil Leng
Retired - Kirkland, WA
Phil Leng - Retired

Wayne and Jean,

That is a good post.

I think I will "suggest" it.


Mar 23, 2012 10:28 PM
Ron Cooks
The Real Estate Marketplace - Killeen, TX
Texas Real Estate, Ft Hood/Killeen Homes for Sale

TZ, great response.  Please know I'll be paraphrasing this response the next time I approach a FSBO.

Great Job!!!

Mar 24, 2012 02:20 AM
Emily Medvec
eXp Realty LLC - Santa Fe, NM
Broker | Realtor | Serving Santa Fe & Northern NM

Suggested! Your response was generous in the information provided especially the links and logic. The more we can educate to anyone considering a "for sale by owner" home sale, the more informed the general public will be on just what we do everyday. After all, we do not get paid until a property sells yet it costs money and time to sell a home.

Mar 24, 2012 07:46 AM