Multiple studies over the last 20 years, including by University of Chicago and Stanford, have found that homes that were listed on the local listing service, but not sold by an agent (such as flat fee MLS or HomeLister listings) actually outperformed those sold by agents. These studies have found that owner driven sales of homes on the MLS or local listing service actually sold for anywhere from the same amount to 7% more than similar homes sold by agent driven sales. That is before the commission is even taken into account. For the average homeowner, a 7% increase in home price translates into 35% more cash at closing. If you sell your home for $250,000 and you have 20% equity in your home, here is how those numbers look for you.
Example with a $250,000 Home Sale
With a loan of $200,000, owner has $50,000 in equity (or 20%)
Sale price: $250,000, 6% commission = $15,000
Owner takes home before other closing costs: $50,000-$15,000 = $35,000
Flat fee MLS sold
7% bump in price means home sells for $267,000, commission potentially 0%. The owners equity has increased from $50,000 to $267,000
Owner takes home before other closing costs: $67,000 - $0 = $67,000
Increase in take home cash: 91%
Need more information? Real Estate Recoded did a great job of breaking down the arguments and reviewing one study here.