Why Selling A Duplex Before It Hits The MLS Doesn’t Determine Value

duplex on a stack of cashWe all remember the basic principle of economics that the amount of demand for a product like a duplex, determines value.

Following that thought, it would then stand to reason that  when you decide to sell a duplex, you should put it on the MLS to expose it to the maximum number of potential buyers (demand).

But what if you’re getting ready to sell your duplex and a Realtor brings you a qualified buyer before it’s even actively listed for sale? Does that mean since the property had less exposure, it’s not selling for as much as it might have?


If you’re working with an agent who’s experienced in the duplex market, she will help you determine appropriate value for your property. Not only does she have a fiduciary duty to look out for your best interests at all times, but keep in mind, she also works on commission. The more your duplex sells for, the more she gets paid.

I recently took a fellow agent and his extremely qualified buyer to see three Minneapolis duplexes not yet on the market. Two were priced comparably to one another, and the third a full $100,000 higher.

When the buyers wrote an offer on the most expensive duplex of the three, what did my sellers say?

“Well, maybe we could get more if we put it on the MLS.”


However, both the buyers agent and myself have given them our professional opinions on value; his through his clients offer, and me through the market analysis I provided my seller.

And we both agreed, within a reasonable range, that their property would be the fifth most expensive duplex to sell in Minneapolis or St. Paul this year.

A huge offer. In a down market. No tenant interruption. No dragged out selling process.

Sounds like a pretty good deal to me.