Are their egos really that inflated? This has become one of my favorite Web Sites...
When you represent someone, there are a lot of laws and ethics that have to be followed.
Not any joe schmo can sell his own house. If you sell your own house, your liability for problems with the sale multiply. You can be sued personally for just about anything if you sell it yourself. The other part is most RE agents will not show houses for sale by owner, further reducing your ability to sell your house.
Especially now when the inventory is so high and the average time for houses on the market in many areas is about 6 months. Open houses and advertising can help move the house.
they generate a lot of litigation.
Some, not all.
As someone who handles contested estate matters, I expect Legal Zoom to be a boon in future years.
I don't take personal satisfaction in people screwing things up, it's just personal experience from cleaning up DIY attempts. Of course, there's a selection bias because you don't hear about the ones that go smoothly.
In conclusion, best wishes.
I was just surprised when our neighbor told us how long (and the work involved) in getting a real estate license in NJ. To become a broker, that seems like a large amount of work and time for a job that while I believe is tough, does not incur the risk to customers that say an electrician or contractor is responsible for. It appears one could become a licensed electrician in a little longer time period.
That just struck me as odd.
...the r.e. brokers (or unlicensed versions thereof) are a greater potential danger than a contractor, because of the financial impacts. The mayhem would be economic, not physical...and we already know what bad financial acting can do to the economy.
...and stock traders: an industrious person could probably figure out how to do a minimally adequate job of all these things assuming the barest, simplest case in the world. There are three issues: competency in the face of the range of issues that commonly come up in these fields; what it does to negotiating; and the social-impact difference between people doing things for themselves and third parties doing things for hire.
It's true that any idiot could try to sell their house. Just put an ad online, stick a sign in front of the house. But suppose Joe Schmoe neglects to tell the buyer that the basement floods every time it rains, figuring, what they don't know won't hurt anyone. A few months after closing they are served with a lawsuit.
Joe Schmoe signs off on the contract and then asks the buyer's agent when he'll get his check and if they can stay for 3 more months, since the wife is pregnant. Sorry--the contract says closing in 3 weeks, possession on day of closing. As for documents the seller has to provide at closing, hopefully Joe will figure that out.
In practice, all sorts of complications, usually minor but sometimes major, pop up. For the average joe schmoe, this is new territory; for a licensed broker, and especially one who's experienced, it's not.
So, in the first place, there are technical issues that Joe Schmoe is not equipped for, and that could cause problems getting to closing.
Second, it is generally better to negotiate through an agent than on your own behalf, unless you have some experience doing that. The problem is that home sellers (and buyers) let emotional issues cloud their judgement. What might seem like a personal affront or an insuperable obstacle to doing a deal is something that your broker could see a solution to, because they'd experienced it before. For many people, the mechanics of showing your property can be time-consuming and burdensome. And if you don't offer a competitive level of cooperative commission, you'll probably miss out on a number of buyers who are represented.
Finally, the social impact. If there were no licensing requirements, any Joe Schmoe could print business cards and call himself a real estate broker. Con artists and fraudsters would crowd into the field (go back to around the year 1900 or so and compare the security trading field). The activities of brokers have a wider impact than just your transaction; they might work on a couple of dozen a year. An influx of unlicensed people would just make things harder for consumers. There are already enough cases of licensees being disciplined for not serving their clients the right way. If you removed licensing, most of that discipline-worthy activity would go undeterred, and would almost certainly go up.
winded example laden response but I figured I would cut it to the quick. You can do a lot of things yourself. Roof the house. Cut your hair. Repair your car. Build a deck. Install a furnace. And so on. If you know what your are doing, you should be fine. If you don't know and if it isn't a dangerous situation (failing to hook gas lines to the furnace properly) you will probably still be fine. If you screw it up and the deck collapses, well, you're out a few thou and whatever damages your guests received when the dang thing gave way.
However, for what is most likely the most expensive purchase a person can make in their life, buying or selling a house. It is best to hire a pro. Buying or selling a house is something you do usually only a few times and thus don't develop any real expertise.
Mrs. BT has even helped folks constructing new homes. It costs her client nothing as the contractor pays her a fee.
Is a Realtor worth it? Not all of them, but Mrs. BT is, or so say many of her clients including one who sent a hundred dollar gift card thanking her for all her help and effort...and they bought a house in another town from another Realtor.
I'd be more likely to buy or sell a house on my own than to try to hook somehitng to a gas line. If I buy the wrong house, my wallet takes a hit. If I hook up the gas line incorrectly, my house explodes and my kids die.
I do agree with you that having a good real estate agent is important because they save you a crap load of work and know a bunch of questions to ask that most of us won't think of, but I don't think people who want to do it on their own are going to be convinced that an agent is doing all that much.
to pump your own gas. It comes down to on word. $. For the state and for the professional organization pressuring the state.
Why is gas cheaper in NJ where I live and can't pump than PA which you have to pump yourself?