There are times when ‘doing it yourself’ is good. Not everyone needs someone to mow their lawn or clean their house, but with huge financial investments such as buying or selling a home, it would seem that the obvious choice would be to use a professional. Realtor.com says it best when they state that
Real estate transactions involve one of the biggest financial investments most people experience in their lifetime. Transactions today usually exceed $100,000. If you had a $100,000 income tax problem, would you attempt to deal with it without the help of a CPA? If you had a $100,000 legal question, would you deal with it without the help of an attorney? Considering the small upside cost and the large downside risk, it would be foolish to consider a deal in real estate without the professional assistance of a Realtor.
It seems that using an agent would be the obvious choice, but there are people out there that would rather do it themselves than worry about having to pay a commission. This may seem like a good idea to some, but the fact is that people who want to do it themselves often have a harder time getting the price they want for their house. Agents are trained professionals that know how to negotiate a closing so everyone walks away from the table satisfied.
For those still skeptical, think of it this way, would you rather give a real estate agent the small percentage of the commission that averages a few hundred to a few thousand dollars and sleep well knowing that all the paperwork is tight and right, or save the commission and risk not only getting less money for your home than what it is worth (potentially losing much more than what you would have paid in a commission) but also not being sure if the paperwork is sound.
It seems like a good idea would to be to at least consult with an agent. When doing so, they may even be able to help you find a happy medium. This is a very flexible industry and most agents want to help.