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.