The Real Costs Of Selling Your Duplex Yourself

Sell Your Duplex YourselfBy now, you’ve probably heard it’s been a little bit of a duplex sellers market.

And perhaps you’ve been thinking if duplexes are selling so quickly, maybe you could try selling it yourself.

Many duplex owners would like to “save the commission” charged by Realtors. After all, an average commission may run around 6 percent. On a $200,000 house, that’s $12,000, right?

You may even have heard there are services out there that, for a fee, will help you get your duplex on the multiple listing service (MLS), and help you on an a la carte basis.

This is true. But have you ever totaled all their fees and charges up? Let’s compare an average Realtor’s commission, with the cost of selling it yourself.

Here in the Twin Cities, there’s a service that has a sliding scale for “For Sale By Owner” services. To put your property on the MLS, enter the description, “share” it with top websites (which the MLS shares automatically) and upload six photos to the MLS, this company charges $399.

$12,000 – $399 = $11,601.

Now, if your property is on the MLS, then you are advertising for agents to bring buyers. If an agent does, then their broker expects you to compensate them for helping sell your house. On average, the payout for a buyer’s agent’s commission on the sale of a $200,000 house is $5,400.

$12,000- $399 – $5400 = $6201.

Now let’s imagine you want a few more photos on the MLS, and even 25 color brochures, a yard sign, and some open house signs. For that, the service will charge you $698.

So, $12,000 – $698 – $5400 = $6102.

Better yet, let’s imagine you want a lockbox, signs, twice as many brochures, a professional photo shoot, listing in the open house directory and even a duplex market analysis. How much is that? $2895.

$12,000- $2895 – $5200 = $3905.

So, in exchange for doing all of the leg work yourself to sell your duplex, you save $3905. That’s pretty good, right?

Absolutely, except for two key points.

1. If your duplex doesn’t sell, you paid $2895 for nothing. An agent and all the services he or she provides is absolutely free to you until your property sells. No upfront money to take out of your savings account or add on to your credit card.

2. One of a Realtor’s most important jobs is to negotiate on your behalf. As an experienced agent, I am confident I can negotiate $4000 more for your duplex than you can pocket on your own. And if I don’t, you don’t even have to pay me for it.

According to a National Association of Realtors survey, in 2013, only 9 percent of all houses sold with the owners selling it themselves. These properties typically had a lower median selling price. In fact, it was 13 percent lower.

Have you ever tried to save a little, and it ended up costing you a lot?

This could too.