You pose some interesting questions. We see quite a few very similar to your first question. Can I list it myself and only pay the buyer agent fee?
"I gather from your question that you do not see any value in the role the listing agent plays, is that right? You figure you can "save the commission" and have the buyer's agent work "both sides" of the transaction, right?
When you "sell by owner", truthfully ALL homes are sold by owners. However, most homes are sold with "representation". If you had to go to court, would you defend yourself, or hire an attorney?
So you would expect the buyer to represent both the buyer's and your interests equally, is that right? If you were in court, could one attorney represent two clients?
I am guessing that you are going to buy a home after your sell yours, is that right? Are you planning to use a Realtor? Probably, because they work for "free". Are you going to look for a property being sold without representation, or do you think you will be a listed home (since over 90% of homes sold are listed in the MLS)?
My suggestion is to interview three good Realtors and determine if you believe they are "worth" the cost of commission. You'd be paying half of it already, right. So the remaining half...let's say 4%...IMHO if you do not believe the Realtor is worth it, then you have a dilemma.
My experience has been in almost every transaction I save my client's MORE than the value of my commission through my skills, including negotiating, staging, marketing, etc.
Lastly, I am selling three properties, should I get my license? Why. So you can "save the commission"?
I would suggest you sit down with a couple of brokers and ask them. In our company we can sell one listing a year without paying our share to the broker. Of course, we also need to refer our listings to another agent in our office, because our errors and ommissions insurance doesn't cover listings we well ourselves (that we have an ownership interest).
That also implies that the value you place on "getting my license" is sort of like getting a driver's license, right? Are you serious? I don't know Illinois, I'll share about California:
My Errors and Ommissions Insurance is $1,000 annually
MLS Dues are $660 annually
Licensing training would be $450
I pay my broker 30% of each sale.
In a typical week I:
- See 200 homes (2-3 hours a day)
- Train 4 hours
- Talk with over 150 homeowners
- Spend 7 hours looking a properties in the MLS online.
- Invest 5 hours on continuing education
If you were a Keller Williams agent, you'd also have a mentor for your first three transactions and pay the mentor 30% for getting you through them.
Unless you are serious about real estate sales as a career, don't bother with your license. If you could find a broker that would let you hang your license and do all four transactions for free...what protection would that broker be? The broker's job is to keep you out of legal entanglements.