I'm sure there are exceptions and there are some wonderful agents out there, BUT, you list your townhouse for $250,000 and it sells in 1 week, and you pay the agent $11,000 out of what's left. Did the agent really work hard for that money if it was listed with mls.com? I've sold my own houses twice now and my cost each time was advertising, up to about $4,000.
Does this world really need real estate agents and car salespeople? Or is it just another big con?
Years ago my husband and I bought a home from people who didn't have an agent-they sold it to us $29K under market value because they didn't have the market knowledge and negotiating skills to get what they should've been asking.
As an agent, I understand that those "quick sales" sometimes feel like easy money to the seller-who is responsible for commissions. However, there are many that aren't "quick sales" and each transaction holds heavy liabilities. It definitely pays to have a knowledgable representative who can make sure that you are protected througout the transaction. Keep in mind, a listing agent splits their commission with the buyer's agent, so they don't get the entire %.
There are times, I suppose, if you feel like you'd rather chance it and decide not to use a listing agent to save money, well-I can understand wanting to not have to pay someone. HOWEVER! As a buyer, it makes no sense not to have an agent-it's a free service and it really pays to have an agent who knows the market and can be a tough negotiator on your behalf.
Also, understand that outside of the research we agents do, and the showing of houses, and of course contract negotiation-there are lots of things after putting a home under contract that we take care of dealing with legalities and your investment. You wouldn't take out your own tooth would you? You need a professional to get the job done right.
A few years ago, my wife & I decided NOT to buy a house. The real estate agent was one factor, as they seemed to desperately want us to buy something but not to care about what we were looking for, our needs, or anything.
They wasted our time on walk throughs of houses that are already pending & other frustrating things.
I do see a lot of real estate offices closing locally now though, perhaps I wasn't the only one who felt their service wasn't up to what I would expect.