Is your home-selling agent a superhero? As a property owner or investor, are you prepared to hand over the job of selling your home to someone who may list it for less than it’s worth, or skimp on the time spent marketing your listing—or both? I asked myself that question—and others—as I read a recent blog by Jason Calacanis about a realtor-listed home that sold for 15 percent over the asking price.

My first question: was the home really underpriced or was it in a hot market or popular neighborhood with lots of eager buyers clamoring to make offers? My second question: if the home was underpriced, was the agent innocently off on their calculations? Or, consider a third scenario: could the agent have deliberately underpriced the listing to attract buyers, spur a quick sale and come off as a hero?

Home selling agent or FSBO: which fetch higher fees?

It’s no wonder that separate study results by Stanford University and Northwestern University Universities found that FSBO (For Sale By Owner) homes fetch higher sales prices. Whether homes are turning around fast or the market is sluggish, one thing both buyers and sellers agree on is, there has to be a better way than the traditional MLS (Multipls Listing Service) market system.

Online real estate databases and marketing data today take the complications and guesswork out of the property selling process. Today, real estate portals have replaced the real estate agent’s proprietary MLS. Zillow founder Rich Barton expressed it best in a quote: “The Web is the national MLS already. It’s happened. You’re arguing over yesterday’s news.”

Home-selling agent vs no-fee FSBO

Which would you prefer?

  • Having your agent sell your property, which may or may not have been accurately priced, plus a hefty commission, or
  • The satisfaction of selling your accurately priced home on your own FSBO-style, with no payments to agents with questionable expertise and motives?

Home selling agent a super hero?

Home-selling isn’t heart surgery and real estate agents aren’t super heroes. They may want you to think they can perform miracles. Don’t believe it.

Keep the superman cape for yourself and save yourself the pain of cutting the 6 percent agent commission from your equity. Instead, hire a real estate attorney for a couple hundred bucks—you’ll feel better having a professional look over the legal paperwork, and save thousands of dollars using as your self-directed guide.