I have nothing against real estate agents, they definitely have their place in helping to buy and sell houses, but I just have to say how nice and refreshing it has been to sell my house without working through an agent or two. I met a great young family on Monday as they came to look at my house and they chose to make an offer. We were able, without any faxing back and forth and delays of having an agent write up an offer which is delivered to another agent who delivers it to the other party to review and counter, to work out an acceptable agreement whereby my house will no longer be mine in the next few weeks. We have not yet signed the formal contract, but we quickly went through the negotiations without having any go-between and because we are not paying any agent commissions we both had the flexibility to arrive at a contract price that was mutually beneficial.
When I receive a written contract (probably tomorrow) it will not have any significant surprises for me because we have already agreed on the concessions necessary to make this deal work and so I will be able to sign it quickly and move this process along so that I am free to buy my new house and be back to living in my own space. I’ll know what address to give people without wondering if it will still be the right address six weeks from now.
Based on my experience I would suggest that even if you want or need to use a real estate agent to buy or sell a property, if it is at all possible you should get the actual buyer and seller to work directly with each other until a broad agreement is reached, then let the agents handle the minutia for a smooth transaction.