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Can a realtor sell their home?

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Real estate agent showing house to senior client

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In a way, it makes a lot of sense for a real estate professional to act on their own behalf. They know the local market and the specifics of the industry. Arranging the perfect staging, taking beautiful photos and hosting successful open houses are all a matter of course. But some ethical and legal issues come into play in this situation.

So, can a real estate agent sell their home? Yes, technically. But there are certain considerations to make sure everything runs smoothly, so let’s explore the details.

Professional real estate agents — including brokers or brokers who are also members of the National Association of Realtors — can sell their own home just like any other property. That means it’s available for sale through the usual channels, including adding it to their local MLS or multiple bid service.

“The typical real estate agent would list their property for sale through their brokerage firm and MLS,” said Bennie D. Waller, Ph.D., professor at the University of Alabama’s Alabama Center for Real Estate. “Depending on the relationship between agent and agent, they may be able to list their property at little or no cost, or avoid having to pay their agent a commission for the sale.”

As with any other home sale, the agent must consider the following things:

All real estate agents must abide by the National Association of Realtors Code of Ethics. Article 4 of this code is aimed directly at real estate agents selling their own homes: “In the sale of real estate that they own or have an interest in, real estate agents must disclose their ownership or interest in writing to the buyer or buyer’s agent. “

Even a non-real estate agent should disclose to potential buyers that they own the property. While disclosure laws vary from state to state, it makes sense to come forward to make sure there are no unnecessary entanglements and everything is on track.

“Senior real estate professionals recognize the importance of their reputation and the importance of transparency,” says Waller. “It is important that clients do not feel that what they are offering is competing with a property their agent has listed. It is equally important for brokers/agents to be aware of the time they are dedicating to marketing their personal properties at the expense of their clients.”

As with anything, being a real estate professional listing and selling their own property has both pros and cons.


  • You can save commission: In most home sales, the seller pays the commission for both their own agent and the buyer’s agent. This is usually around 6 percent of the sales price, divided between the two brokers. But when it comes to an agent selling their home, they don’t have to pay that fee – at least not half of it – because they’re acting as their own agent. In other words, they don’t have to pay themselves.
  • You can use your expertise: “As local experts, brokers know the market and are very good at it [already] When selling real estate owned by an agent, think of a client,” says Waller. Regardless, their deep knowledge of their neighborhood helps them find ideal buyers. And they will certainly be able to market the best aspects of their home effectively.


  • Emotions can complicate things: While a real estate agent or agent specializes in putting their clients’ personal feelings aside in order to streamline their home transaction, it may not be as easy when it comes to their own home. For example, if they genuinely love the home or have many fond memories, they may subconsciously feel that it is worth more than similar properties in the area.
  • Your customers may feel neglected: If an agent spends too much time on their own listing, their other clients may feel they are not getting enough attention. Worse, potential clients may be looking for an agent who isn’t tied to finding a buyer for their own home.

bottom line

Can a realtor sell their home? Yes, as long as they meet their ethical obligations and disclose to potential buyers that they own the property. But can they balance all of the emotions and tasks that come with selling their home with the needs of their other clients? That might be a bit more difficult – but it’s certainly not impossible.

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