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Are do-it-yourself services, hourly rates right for you?

September 26, 2004|T.J. Sullivan

Brian Gill of SavvyHomeBuyer, which refers consumers nationwide to agents who offer rebates, said buyers and sellers now have the tools to educate themselves before they even consult an agent, a situation that results in less work for the agent.

"We believe in the value of the agent, but ... if they're doing half the work now, our point is that they can do that for less compensation and work with more clients," he said.

Deciding which form of compensation and service works best is a matter of identifying personal preferences, said George Devine, a Bay Area broker and co-author of the book "How to Buy a House in California."

"A lot depends on whether or not they are a do-it-yourself personality," said Devine, who is also an adjunct professor at the School of Business and Management at the University of San Francisco.

"If you're selling your own home, you're doing a lot of work. And if you really earn a lot of money doing something else, you'll probably keep doing that. If you're a top surgeon, you're not going to leave the operating table to keep the house open."

-- T.J. Sullivan

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