I know you feel that by nixing the agent you will make more money. It has been proven in the metro that most people who try to sell their own home eventually sign on with a realtor after several frustrating months or just take it off the market. For the 17% of homes that are actually sold by the owner, they on average receive 20% less profit (yes, in your pocket after closing costs and realtor commission) than if they had signed on with a realtor. Over 80% of homes sold in the metro have used a realtor.....NUMBERS DON'T LIE.
The one thing you will be completely missing is a proven marketing plan. A great realtor spends close to 1/3 to 1/2 of their commission with out of pocket risk prior to the sale (not the broker commission, both sides get their share 1st, then the listing agent, then the buyers agent) on marketing with no gaurantee of a sale. Vested interest? You Bet! Code of Ethics - Always! The larger companies offer the widest range of marketing options and e-marketing that no one person could even imagine of attaining, reaching 100's of thousands of potential buyers. MARKETING: networking, postcards to good potential buyers, target farming advertising, the MLS listing, realtor tours, public open houses, signage, e-marketing, etc. etc. etc. IS what sells a home. You can't just stick a sign in the yard and pray. Many homes via networking (I don't remember the exact % but was around 8%) within my company are sold prior to listing. You need to reach the widest and largest range of potential buyers and sell at maximum $ the market is willing to pay, in the shortest amount of time.
The market changes daily and the info you may get through public access is somewhat delayed to what is happening that day or week or even months. You need to be able to react to the market changes quickly and know exactly what to do. Other issues too; are you willing to put out the money do all the marketing it takes to sell a home at it's max value in today's market? Are you willing to hold open houses 3 + x's a month, advertise in print and the e-market weekly & successfully enough to make it worth your time & $? Do you really know that the people touring your home are pre-qualified legitimate buyers or just casing the place? (this has happened!) .
Prior to getting my license,realtor commission bothered me too until it was explained to me what it really entails to sell a home time and money-wise. Now being a realtor, I truely understand and have to work for every penny earned in this market and honestly it takes A LOT of work to move a house quickly with a good sale price. The average time to get any offer is 2 - 6 months and many much longer than that, average until actual close date just add 1.5 - 2 months. That's a lot of months and a lot of work for a homeowner who does not have the resources and knowledge that a good realtor does and is willing to do to sell a home. You will come across an unbelievably low commission rate you will invariably get unbelievably low to no service or marketing. Be wary of individuals who charge for helping you. There are laws against this as Cameron stated. You get what you pay for.
Preparing your home for sale is essential, a realtor will advise and even hire in a stage for you according to your needs and the value of the home. Initial pricing of the home is absolute key as to obtaining a successful transaction. Comps should be done on current solds, actives, pendings and expired listing to achieve a fair market value. Appraiser can do this but they are not out there every day trying to sell your home and have access to RECORDED solds, which counties take their time in recording. They also are not working with buyers and know what they look for in a home or are showing these buyers or putting their wallet out their at risk with advertising/marketing as does a realtor. Not putting down their expertise, but they are not licensed realtors who have vested interest in the sale of your home, that's not their job.
There is so much more to selling than what's above. I work in the south metro, but if you have a change of heart and need a realtor, contact me and I will suggest a great realtor for you in your area.