Today’s real estate agent primarily acts as a middleman, relaying information between the buyer and seller. Real estate agents perform routine tasks to set up the listing, act as a scheduler for buyers to see the house, and handle the paperwork of the sale. Do these duties justify a 3% sales commission (and another 3% to the buyer’s agent), costing you 6% off the top of your listing price?

It depends. Is there anything in this list that a realtor takes care of that you can’t do yourself?

Real Estate Agent’s Primary Duties:

  • Gather information about the market in your area, suggesting a price based on comparable homes sold
  • Take pictures of your home
  • Set up your listing on real estate websites
  • Put up a yard sign, order flyers or brochures to send to other agents or leads
  • Take calls from buyers’ agents or interested buyers
  • Schedule and attend your showing
  • Advertise and attend your open house
  • Deliver buyers’ offers to you and any counteroffers between you and the buyer
  • Fill out the paperwork to complete the sale

The answer is probably “no” for the majority of home sellers. You have access to all of the market data the realtor has – and have more incentive to do a better job.

Take your own pictures with your smartphone, design a custom website, social media ad campaign, brochures, flyers and yard signs using Internet software and ListingDoor’s website. Set up showings and accept or reject offers by speaking directly to the prospective buyer. Fill out the standard paperwork including completing the deal with Internet tools like LegalZoom and DocuSign. All of these things can be done by the seller to sell your own house.

If a real estate agent tries to make it sound like it’s more complicated than that, don’t believe them.