Price facts about selling by owner & docks that don't wash away

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 GREC# 169695

I've been a little haunted recently about NOT commenting on a post.  A local seller, who listed his home on the water after some recent flash flooding and his boathouse washing away from the shore off his dock.  There's a lot I want to say, but instead I've just biting the inside of my house and feeling an ulcer brewing in my gut.

After reading his sad post about not being able to afford to rebuild his boathouse after it washed away and the comment thread that followed I feel the need to address a couple of things. One.... boathouses.  Two.... the comment that suggested he should have sold without an agent and "saved" money.


First: the the love God and all that is holy do NOT let an unlicensed person build your boathouse.  I'm also NOT talking about a business license that any yahoo can go pay $35 to get, I mean a state issued contractors license, that comes with tests and experience AND continuing education. There are builders who build boathouses on top of existing docks.  Not the best idea.  There are builders who use a post that goes from below grade under water to roof. This is the best idea.  And chances are real estate agents and brokers in the area have lists.  Yes, these guys are good lists.  And perhaps also... lists.... whatever you do, don't hire this guy because his boathouses washed away with a little water. (we always have two lists)


Second:  the last "data" is a bit aged, but it's the last data, it's an annual thing and I'm curious where it will be in a few months when it rolls around again, but for now the January NAR article is still the "latest" data on the topic.  The median for sale by owner sales price was 217,000.  The median listed with an agent sales price was $295,000.  The difference is MORE than taking off commission.  Because while all commission are negotiable and there is no set fee, I have never heard of any firm or agent that charges more than 25% in commission and the difference in median prices is literally more than 25%.


Not only do you generally get more money when listing with an agent to sell your home, but you also have professional advice when it comes to pricing and help when it comes to the long laundry list of things that can go wrong when you are selling  your home.  For example I recently had someone tell them they "had" to reduce their sales price $15,000 because it didn't appraise for the sales price.  Actually they didn't.  They didn't even attempt to negotiate the amount with the buyer because they thought they "had" to reduced to the appraisal value. MY client who recently had an appraisal come in $5,000 under only took $1,500. less than her original contract price.  Everything can be a negotiation.


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Tammy Lankford, Broker/Owner


Broker License # 169695  Lane Realty License # H-11420

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Comments (14)

Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Hi Tammy- so good to see you back here!!!  And I do feel sorry for people who think they are "getting a deal" when they hire someone who is charging a lot less than others. Chances are there is a reason for that. 

And I've known people who pride themselves in not using an agent and I have to bite my tongue. 

Oct 16, 2021 03:23 PM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


I am often saddened when people do that.  It is like shooting themselves in the foot.  It was a pleasure to read your post. A

Oct 16, 2021 03:29 PM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Pasadena And Southern California 818.516.4393

Hello Tammy - biting ones tongue can ocassionally provide good training for social media interaction.   Or when in conversation with those who have already made up their mind.  

Oct 16, 2021 03:34 PM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good evening Tammy Lankford, 

So good to see a post from you! Yes you are right on all counts....there is no changing some peoples thought process and they will just have to deal with the consequences of poor decisions.

Oct 16, 2021 04:51 PM
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Hi Tammy - glad to see your post.  You know the expression penny wise but pound foolish.  That could not be more true with these two examples.

Oct 17, 2021 03:33 AM
Brian England
Ambrose Realty Management LLC - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

When people don't hire professionals it is more difficult to feel sorry for them when things don't go the way that they should.

Oct 17, 2021 05:21 AM
Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Building any structure should be done by a skilled and licensed contractor who knows what they are doing! And as you point out, selling a home with a skilled professional can net a seller more money and produce less headaches. Those are both the same thing, really - use a professional!

Oct 17, 2021 06:43 AM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

Kathy Streib it has been a while.  I am busy and of course spend as much time with my grands as possible. But I do miss it and am making an effort to try and be back in the rain a little more.

Ron and Alexandra Seigel I certainly think this is "lesson learned", but pretty sad.  And another boat "hit" his boathouse, but a floating boat shouldn't have been able to take out an entire boathouse.  Insurance does not cover it because it was flooding and he has no flood insurance.



Oct 17, 2021 10:42 AM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

Michael Jacobs I am sure there are many who have made up their minds, but hopefully some out there who will read this post and be willing to be educated enough to ask "who is a good dock builder" which I can provide a list.


Dorie Dillard Austin TX  I really do feel sad for them.  A poor decision has cost them so much. 

Oct 17, 2021 10:45 AM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

Grant Schneider my grandmother used to say that to me.

Brian England sadly I do know this person puts themselves out there as "licensed" when it's just a county business license.  Of course they also once told a client they were an electrician .... also nope.

Kat Palmiotti yes and a trustworthy one at that. Reviews and asking around for references is a huge part of any due diligence. 

Oct 17, 2021 10:49 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much for sharing your experience and your advice.

I hope you are having a productive autumn.

Dec 16, 2021 12:53 PM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Tammy, thanks for stopping by and commenting, and hope all is well in your world.   Hope you post again soon.  

Jan 24, 2022 08:01 AM
Lynnea Miller
Bend Premier Real Estate - Bend, OR
Premier Real Estate Service in Central Oregon

Hi Tammy-

You are so right on both points.  ALWAYS higher a licensed contractor to obtain professional work.  The contractor has liability insurance, a bond and the state agency to ensure the work is done correctly.  And absolutely, ALWAYS higher a real estate agent to represent you in your home sale.  You typically net more without the issues of doing it yourself.  

Jan 27, 2022 03:19 PM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

Some sellers are capable of handling the task of selling their own house without an agent. Those people are far fewer than those who try sell their own home only with saving money in mind. Most of those people net less than if they had listed the house with a licensed agent or they get frustrated, give up and list with a licensed agent when their efforts as a seller fail.

Feb 12, 2022 01:30 PM