true agent holding keys with a small house

The True Cost of Hiring a Real Estate Professional

You’ve likely heard the phrase, “You get what you pay for.” Most often this phrase is used when someone doesn’t pay much if any money for a good or service and they’re left with the realization that their outcome is subpar as well as mounds of regret. 

Think of the example of cutting your partner’s hair. They didn’t pay you for it and may be disappointed that you did a poor job since you likely aren’t a trained hairstylist or barber. Therefore, since they paid zero dollars for the bad haircut, you might offer the quip, “You get what you pay for.” Conversely, paying a professional stylist for his or her expertise, experience, and professional training usually ends with customer satisfaction and a great final result with a salon visit. 

To put this into real estate terms, you don’t want to navigate the process of buying or selling a home and end up with a bad haircut just because you wanted to save a few dollars by not paying a commission to a licensed real estate professional. In this case, a “bad haircut” could actually mean paying more in the long run by trying to go it alone. 

It’s true, the costs associated with buying and selling a home can be significant. However, when you hire a real estate professional you benefit in the following ways: 


For starters, you might think with all of your access to social media, you can easily market your own home. While it’s true, smartphones and Facebook make it easier than ever to take great photos and share a listing or search for a great home for sale, there is nothing you can personally do that can measure up to the resources a licensed real estate pro has at his or her disposal. From a professional network of other real estate agents to available features of the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), working with a professional will open up greater access to you when buying or selling. 


While investing in a real estate professional is highly personal and relational, you want to add a layer of depersonalization to the work involved in shopping for or selling a home. Homes can be emotional. By having an unbiased, distanced perspective of a real estate agent they may be able to help you separate your emotions from facts. They can offer input on staging a home through a buyer’s eyes and they can operate as a professional, “cooler heads prevailing,” mediator when negotiating a sale.  


One of the greatest advantages to using a real estate agent versus trying to save a few dollars in agent commissions, is the access agents have to ensure that all of your paperwork between the buyer, seller, inspections, mortgage lender, and legally closing on the property is in order. The number of documents and order of operations necessary can be daunting to the average consumer. The real estate agent acts as an intermediary between all parties involved to ensure that the property closes and the financial and legal portions of the transaction are handled smoothly. Doing this on your own could perhaps end up costing you further down the road as it relates to property surveys, mortgage deeds, and more. 

Overall Efficacy  

Finally, if considering the marketing, depersonalization, and paperwork isn’t enough to convince you that hiring a real estate professional is the way to go, ponder the overall efficacy of paying for the services you need to complete the purchase or sale of your home. The National Association of Realtors found that homes sold through the Multi-Listing Service sold 20 days faster on average, and 20% of FSBO listings had to renew their listing on the MLS because they didn\’t sell. If you need further convincing, Clever shares 10 For Sale by Owner vs. Realtor Facts and Statistics to Know for 2021 here