When real estate agents decide it’s time to find a new place, they have a unique advantage: they can work for themselves. Luckily for home-seeking real estate agents, there aren’t many stringent laws designed to prevent them from selling their own homes. They are simply required by the National Association of Realtors’ code of ethics to disclose that they own their listings. Most agents choose to list their own homes so that they won’t have to pay commission fees and because they have the expertise to handle it on their own.
According to Freakonomics authors Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, real estate agents who choose to sell their own homes earn 3% more than the actual sale price. Self-listed homes take about 10 more days to sell than the average home but agents are able to sell them at an overpriced listing. In some cases, agents have difficulty setting an objective listing price for their home because “It it’s your home, it’s almost impossible to be objective,” as associate broker Janice Leis points out. While selling one’s own home can be advantageous, some real estate agents still choose to work with a colleague to sell their home. As anyone who has gone through the process before knows, selling a house is an extremely stressful process. This is no different for agents. As Leis explains, “Having someone else to keep you on track and help you maintain perspective is really important, because there are a million little details that can overwhelm anyone.”