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Can A Real Estate Agent Sell Their Own Home?

6-Minute Read
Published on August 30, 2022
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Yes, a licensed real estate agent or broker can sell their own home. But buying and selling real estate takes a lot of time and patience regardless of your level of expertise. The good news is REALTORS® have a few options when it comes to buying and selling their own property.

We’ll dive into those options and provide some insight on how a real estate agent can sell their own home.

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Can A REALTOR® Sell Their Own Home? 

The short and sweet answer is yes, a REALTOR® can sell their own home. The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), the largest real estate organization in America, developed a code of ethics to help guide real estate professionals in the field.

According to that code of ethics, agents who self-list property they own have an ethical duty to disclose their ownership of the property to potential buyers and the public. If an agent advertises their home for sale, it should be noted in the listing description that the homeowner is also the listing agent or broker.

How To Sell Your Own Home As A REALTOR®

If you are a licensed real estate professional and you want to sell your own home, there are few ways to approach the home sale. The following are a few options you can explore when selling your own home as a REALTOR®.

Listing Your Home As A REALTOR® 

A REALTOR® planning to sell their own property should start by speaking with their broker or their firm’s manager to discuss how the sale should proceed. In addition to the code of ethics, a broker may have their own requirements to ensure the transaction is handled properly and all best practices are followed. Brokers and real estate agents should always do their due diligence to ensure their errors and omissions insurance will cover the sale of a self-listed home.

When listing the home on a multiple listing service (MLS), it’s a good idea for the broker or real estate agent to disclose their ownership of the property in both the property description and the agent’s remarks section of the listing. This ensures both the public and other real estate professionals are aware of the listing agents’ ownership in the property.

Selling For Sale By Owner As A REALTOR®

A licensed REALTOR® also has the option to sell their home for sale by owner (FSBO). They will still need to disclose their status as a licensed real estate professional when conducting business with potential buyers. If the licensed professional has a broker, its always good practice to discuss their intentions with their broker before advertising the home for sale.

Because the agent isn’t using their broker’s services when selling a home for sale by owner, they are considered the seller and notthe listing agent.

This is important because, as a seller, the agent doesn’t collect a commission for the sale of the home. Sellers typically pay real estate commissions, so when considering a buyer’s offer, they’ll need to factor in the buyer’s agent commission if the offer is submitted by another REALTOR®. If the buyer doesn’t have a real estate agent, then there are no commissions to pay.

Pros Of Selling Your Own Home As A Real Estate Agent

One of the perks of being a licensed real estate professional is the ability to sell your own home. The following are some of the pros of selling your own home as a real estate agent.

  • Expertise in home selling: A real estate agent who is actively working in the field every day may be just the expert who can get the most value for their own home. An agent listing their own home will understand the importance of disclosing pertinent details. They can intelligently communicate the features and benefits of their home and neighborhood and get the most value for their largest asset.
  • More control in the sale: For some, having control over the process of selling their home gives them peace of mind knowing that all steps are being competed and the transaction is fully compliant with local and state law. A REALTOR® knows that every step of the process can affect the final sale price, so they’re likely to be more laser focused on the details when it’s their own property.
  • Save on commission: Commission is often a percentage of the sale price of a home and depending on the terms negotiated, an agent could save thousands of dollars by listing their own home.

Cons Of Selling Your Own Home As A Real Estate Agent

There are some drawbacks to a real estate agent listing their home for sale. Below are some of the cons of selling your own home as a real estate agent.

  • Can take more time to sell: When selling their own home, the personal attachment to the home and their neighbors could make a self-listed seller a bit picky when it comes to the right buyer. They may be holding out for the perfect family who might fit in well with the neighbors, which is great for the neighbors but tacks on more time on the market and could affect the final sale price.
  • Less time to look for their own new home: Self-listing a home is a lot like selling a client’s home. The agent/homeowner will need to order photography, stage the home, manage home tours, answer calls and emails from leads, and schedule repairs and maintenance if necessary. This may not leave a lot of time for the agent selling their own property to find a new one if they need to.

Reasons To Partner With Another Agent

Just because a real estate agent can self-list a home doesn’t mean they have to. A lot of real estate agents choose to hire another agent for their home sale because they have a fiduciary duty to serve their client, which includes getting the highest possible selling price. Working with a REALTOR® can eliminate some of the emotional aspects of selling a home and shifts the focus to getting the highest market value possible.

The following are a few reasons a REALTOR® might hire another agent to sell their home:

  • They may not have enough time to dedicate to their own listing
  • Their personal attachment to the home may have an affect on their pricing strategy and decision making
  • They may not specialize in residential real estate, so they may not have the set of skills necessary to get the most value for their home

Should A Real Estate Agent Sell Their Own Home?

Deciding how to sell a house is a personal decision every seller has to make, even those who are licensed to practice real estate. Whether they’re a licensed real estate professional or a member of the general public, selling a home is a big deal. When selling property, a real estate agent should take the time to establish their goals and consider all relevant factors when deciding on how to sell their home.

Working With A Seller Who Is Also The Listing Agent

If you’re working with a seller who is also the listing agent, the process won’t be very different from a typical home sale. You will still need to make an official offer on the home. If your offer is accepted, you’ll have the home inspected and negotiate any repairs and maintenance you think are necessary.

This is where having a buyer’s agent can save the day. REALTORS® are savvy negotiators and have intimate knowledge of the home sale process. If you don’t feel your negotiation skills will get you the best deal, we recommend finding a buyer’s agent that can.

The catch, of course, is that using a buyer’s agent means the agent will expect to be paid for their hard work. A FSBO seller – who’s responsible for paying the agent – may not want to part with the cash to pay them, so keep that in mind. Your agent may ask you for compensation in the deal.

FAQs

Does a real estate agent buying their own home get commission?

How an agent gets paid will depend in the agreement they have with their real estate broker or firm as an independent contractor. A licensed real estate agent can be paid a real estate commission like a normal transaction when buying a home or they may negotiate a lower price and wave commissions or negotiate concessions.

Can a real estate agent sell their own house by owner?

Yes. A real estate agent can sell their own home for sale by owner (FSBO). However, they will need to disclose to their ownership to the public and all interested parties.

Can a REALTOR® hire their own real estate agent to sell their home?

Yes, a REALTOR® can hire another real estate agent to sell their home. Selling a home can be a very personal decision and hiring a third party can get rid of some of the emotional aspects of selling their home and often results in a higher sale price.

Does a real estate agent selling their own home make commission?

When selling their own property, a REALTOR® typically won’t collect a commission for the sale of their home. Sellers normally pay real estate agent commissions.

The Bottom Line

Just because a real estate agent can list their home themselves, it doesn’t mean they have to. If you’re a licensed real estate professional and you’re thinking of buying or selling your own property, realistically evaluate your time, skill set and motivation before you hit the ground running.

If you’re ready to start making some big real estate moves, get approved for a mortgage today and see what the market has to offer.

Apply for a mortgage today!

Apply online for expert recommendations with real interest rates and payments.

Start Your Application
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Carla Ayers

Carla is a freelance writer and Realtor® with a background in marketing, communications and property management. She attended Eastern Michigan University where she received a Bachelors in Arts Marketing and a Masters in Integrated Marketing & Communications.