I must take issue with Crystal Russell's comments in the At Issue column (April 2). There are often good arguments for a party selling their home themselves--but her arguments were weak and even laughable.
She focuses all of her attention on "saving a 6% commission," while easily justifying fees a lawyer would charge for reviewing a for-sale-by-owner transaction. It's important to know that commissions are always negotiable in a real estate transaction (unlike set hourly fees attorneys charge, in 15-minutes intervals, even for a phone call).
I was disappointed in Jon Douglas' rebuttal as well. He neglected to mention two important points. First, the real estate profession has only recently begun strengthening the requirements for real estate licensees. In the past, the ease of getting a license encouraged lots of folks to get in the business who were not necessarily committed to the profession--the notion of folks selling real estate part time absolutely creates an atmosphere of incompetence and even chaos.
Second, he neglected to emphasize the major benefit of employing an agent--for service. The bundle of services available to the consumer is amazing--if the consumer chooses a full-service, reputable, professional real estate company with professional, full-time real estate agents.