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Unpacking the Realtor’s Commission: Is it Worth It?

by | Aug 14, 2023 | Real Estate

In short, this Georgia real estate lawyer’s answer is almost always, “Yes,” if you care about having the best experience and result in your transaction. With the rise of online property platforms like Zillow and DIY home-buying/selling guides, many individuals question the necessity of involving a real estate agent when buying or selling. Sellers often ask, “Why pay for their commission?” when it’s possible to advertise your own property online. As real estate attorneys at Bryant & O’Connor Law Firm, we believe that a realtor’s involvement is more than just facilitating a sale—it’s a strategic partnership ensuring the entire process is seamless and beneficial. Here’s why:

  1. An Advocate in Your Corner

The world of real estate is filled with both opportunities and pitfalls. With a dedicated realtor by your side, you have an advocate who understands the nuances, is committed to safeguarding your interests, and ensures that your concerns get the timely attention they deserve. This begins with the listing or searching for the right property, negotiating the contract, handling due diligence matters, and being by your side through closing. Their job does not end just because you’re under contract, as they can be your advocate with the lender and closing attorney, ensuring that the ball continues rolling toward closing.

  1. Expertise in Issue Spotting

While they might not be specialists in every issue related to buying and selling properties, realtors’ extensive experience allows them to detect potential issues early and point their clients in the right direction. This preemptive spotting can save clients substantial costs, time, and unwanted stress. For example, a realtor might recognize an obvious title problem (like the need to probate an estate) and refer their client to an attorney early enough that it won’t substantially delay the transaction. Another example might be an obvious need for a survey, which the real estate attorney might otherwise eventually point out, at which point closing might be delayed. Often when we deal with “for sale by owner” properties, these kinds of issues come up when we do our title examination weeks before closing, but many of these issues might have been spotted and corrected earlier in the process.

  1. Streamlined Collaboration with Legal Experts

While our expertise as Georgia real estate attorneys lies in drafting agreements, spotting and addressing title issues, managing escrow, meeting lender requirements, and ensuring correct disbursement of funds, we are never physically on the property being sold, meaning we can’t see physical issues or landline encroachments. Realtors do go to the property and can recommend property appraisals, inspections, or surveys as is apparently needed. This is where a realtor’s expertise complements ours, leading to a holistic and comprehensive service for clients.

  1. A Vital Network of Professionals

A seasoned realtor maintains a vast network of essential contacts, be it attorneys, lenders, appraisers, surveyors, home inspectors, or other professionals integral to the transaction process. Their connections ensure every phase of your real estate journey has expert oversight.

  1. Decoding Market Dynamics

Realtors’ intimate knowledge of local market dynamics can be pivotal. From advising on the most suitable listing price, understanding the best timing for a purchase, to leveraging prevailing trends, their insights can significantly shape your transaction’s outcome. Of course, some realtors are better than others for this, and that’s why seeking recommendations from locals who have actually dealt with realtors in the area is a good idea.

  1. Reducing Post-Transaction Complications

Omitting the guidance of a realtor can sometimes mean overlooking critical transactional elements, leading to post-sale legal complications. For example, there needs to be a transfer of keys, a plan for switching power and utilities, and accounting for other transitional matters. Good realtors, with their meticulous approach, drastically reduce the potential for oversights leading to future hiccups. A truly professional realtor will even point you in the right direction after their fee is earned.

  1. Value for Time and Effort

Having a realtor invariably streamlines property transactions because good realtors handle many of the details that you probably don’t have the time or desire to handle. In fact, if you aren’t an experienced real estate professional, you might not even know what details are being missed, exposing yourself to surprise problems. They handle communications, paperwork, negotiations, and inspections, saving clients from the overwhelming task of managing these tasks independently. The peace of mind and time saved easily justifies their commission. Of course, like in any profession, some professionals are better fits for you than others. Experience is important, but so is getting a realtor who genuinely cares about you having a good outcome and who will be a go-getter to make that happen.


In the intricate dance of real estate transactions, a realtor isn’t just an additional player earning a fee but an invaluable partner. They ensure a smoother, more informed, and comprehensive journey for clients. At Bryant & O’Connor Law Firm, while we are equipped and willing to handle Georgia closings without realtors, we will admit that there are certain things that realtors handle that is outside of our scope of service. In short, not using a realtor exposes you to extra stress, headache, and risk.

Consider this: the informed decisions you make today can prevent a plethora of challenges tomorrow. Having the right experts in your corner helps you make those informed decisions.

For deeper insights into Georgia real estate transactions and legal intricacies, Bryant & O’Connor Law Firm is here to guide. Empower yourself with the right knowledge. Subscribe to our newsletter and join our community on Facebook and Instagram to stay informed about estate planning, real estate, and personal legal maintenance issues.

This blog post provides general insights and should not replace professional legal or real estate advice. Always consult a qualified professional for any property or legal concerns.