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Study Finds: Homes Listed With Agent Sells for 17% More

When you’re selling your home, the goal is clearly to get the most you can for it—not just price, but net proceeds in your pocket.

With the market as hot as it is right now, many people think they can save money by selling “off-market” and/or without an agent involved. I totally get why people think that not paying a commission would mean “saving” money, especially now with the market the way it is.

But, a recent study reveals that’s not the case. In fact, homes listed on the MLS with an agent, sell for 17% more than homes sold off market.

Here are more details about the study:

BrightMLS, assembled a team of experts and conducted a study to determine sale price variances of properties listed on the MLS with an agent to comparable properties that sold “off market,” aka not listed on the MLS with an agent, during 2019 and 2020.

They compared 442,829 sales, both on and off market, over a 24 month period.

74% were identified as being listed with an agent, the remaining 26% were identified as sold “off-market.” Public records were used to track these off-market sales.

After 24 months, and after excluding outlier data including new construction sales

and listings, corporate, foreclosure and multi parcel sales, coop listings, and non-standard sale type listings, including REOs, auctions, and sales requiring third-party approval, the team of researches released their findings: homes listed with an agent on the MLS sold for a median sales price of 16.84% more.

What’s also interesting is the average days on market for a home listed with an agent was less than half the number of days a home took to sell off-market during 2019 and 2020.

The findings are clear: Homes listed with an agent sell faster and for more money, even when accounting for paying a commission.

So, why do homes listed with an agent sell for more?

Many reasons, including agents knowing how to prepare a home for sale to attract the most buyers, agents knowing how to price homes correctly, and also because of the increased exposure to potential buyers.

As I always say…more eyeballs equals more dollars. The more people that see a home, whether online or in person, the greater likelihood of a higher sale price.

Now, that 16.98% is a bit of an abstract number, though, so let’s break down what that could look like for you. If your home would sell for $500,000 off the MLS, for example, then listing it with an agent would earn you an extra $84,900 on average. Even when you factor in a 6% commission on that higher price, that’s still $50,000 more in your pocket net.

Think of what a difference that amount of money could make when you go to buy your next home.

So, then, when does selling off market make sense? There are times of the year and certain circumstances that warrant an off-market sale. But, even then, working with an agent could help you get more exposure for your home, even if you don’t want your home on the MLS.

Okay, now let’s think about this study another way—finding a home off market if you are a buyer could save you money, based on this study’s finding, and I LOVE saving my clients money.

I have all sorts of off-market ways to find homes I’d love to share with you if you’re interested. Of course, there are no guarantees of finding something off-market, but it doesn’t hurt for me to at least try!

The truth is that buying and selling a home can be a complicated and stressful process. Deciding whether to sell your home off market or list it on the MLS is just one of the many decisions you’ll need to make along the way. But you don’t have to do it alone.

I’d be happy to talk through the options with you, discuss the pros and cons of each, and help you make the best decision. Each of my clients’ situations are unique so I will work with you to come up with a tailored approach based on your specific situation and goals that works for your preferences.

I’m looking forward to helping you or anyone you know get the very most for your home. Email me at when you are ready to talk more and well before you are ready to move. I like to hear from my clients a good three months or more before they are ready to start packing so we can put a plan together and make it happen with as little stress as possible.


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