Vail Daily column: Do I save money by skipping Realtor? |

Vail Daily column: Do I save money by skipping Realtor?

Joan Harned
Ask a Realtor
Joan HarnedAsk a Realtor

Dear Joan,

My brother and I ended up selling ​our​ homes at almost the same time this year. He​ ​had a very different experience when he went through the​ sale. My experience was awful and we fought and​ we​ ended up giving up a bunch of money​ to the buyer. ​Since I​ sold my ho​me​ myself​ and ​my brother​ used a real estate agent,​ he keeps telling me that I would have made more money in the end if I would have had an agent. I told him I still saved a bundle​, but​ we continue to argue. I know it will be hard for you, but since ​I saved the whole commission​,​ and the money we gave up at inspection was about 2 percent of the sales price, I saved much more than I gave up, so I am right. Right?

Dear For Sale by Owner,

As​ you suspected, I do not agree. First of all, I am guessing you sold your home for a lower price than a professional Realtor could have gotten you. Buyers of homes for sale by owner figure there is no commission, so their offers are almost always lower. You may have advertised your home for less than market value, simply to attract ​any buyers. Plus, properties​ marketed by professionals and ​listed in the MLS ​usually get many more showings and offers than for sale by owners, as more than 80 percent of buyers use a realtor to look for property.

​When there is a lot of ​activity​ on a listed home, it helps support a higher price and brings in more offers​ due​ to th​at​ feeling of more competition​ among the buyers​. I would also venture to say that a knowledgeable, experienced Realtor could have negotiated on our behave​, and saved you a lot on the inspection resolution.

I am not sure if you hired an attorney to help with the paperwork, but that is certainly recommended — even more strongly if you do not have a licensed agent with the experience to help you through the many legal pitfalls when selling your home.

Besides these ​financial​ reasons that ​demonstrate that home​s​ listed with ​skilled​​ Realtors sell more quickly and for more money, I think you should consider your health and stress levels​ to be additional benefits of using a professional Realtor.​ I ​always ​believe ​in ​​hiring the best professionals​ when I am out of my area of skills and expertise​. I have never tried to fill my own tooth, make my own eyeglasses​ or do my own plumbing. When it comes to my money, I hire top professionals to help with my taxes and legal issues. Sorry, I am with your brother on this.

Joan Harned is an owner and broker for Keller Williams Mountain Properties and heads up Team Black Bear, her own real estate team. Harned has been selling real estate in Eagle County for 27 years, is a past chairman of the Vail Board of Realtors, past Realtor of the Year, past director on the Great Outdoors Colorado Board and a member of the Luxury and Land Institutes. Contact Harned with your real estate questions at, 970-337-7777 and

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