Worked with a realtor 2 times. First one: we were young, inexperienced, and were sold a house that we eventually lost.. we couldn't pay for it.
Second one: We were selling a home and the realtor lied to us repeatedly. Because she was friends with the buyer's agent, they pulled all kinds of stunts. We felt "left out", because her friend would tell one thing to the buyer, and she would tell us something completely different. Closing was stalled on their side over 6 weeks. I had to threaten a lawsuit to close the deal. I called the buyer's bank and they said there was no reason they could see why the closing was held up. I then got the title company involved. I had to close because I had another house to close on and the other seller was getting very frustrated with me. Believe me, I was more frustrated than they were. After closing, I called the state board of commissioners to report what had happened, and all they could say was "You shouldn't have closed the deal then. It's too late." (the good-old-boy syndrome).
Recently my son had a contract on the house he was selling and the realtor kept telling him it was stalled (for over 3 months!) because the buyer changed jobs and had to start the mortgage process over again. After my son finally called the other person's realtor, that realtor told him that the buyer backed out 3 months ago! My son threatened his realtor that he was going to go to the board of commissioners and then his realtor sold his house that weekend. But my son needlessly went through paying payments and winter bills on 2 houses!
I have sold 14 houses by owner. It is the only way to go. You can talk personally with the buyer, and not wonder what the buyer really said. He also doesn't have to wonder what you really said. I even buy houses by owner (or build houses). I like the relationship built between buyer and seller. You can show them things about your house that other people miss. It is just a much better experience.
A friend outside Detroit had real estate agents come and appraise his house. They told him they would sell it for around $85K. I looked at his house and said he should at least put it up for $95K...he had much more to offer than other houses near him. He sold the house that weekend by owner, after a bidding war, and got $112K! ---- Alex