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Daniel Alfandre
  • Flipper/Rehabber
  • Maryland
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Do you sell your spec homes yourself or hire a realtor to do it?

Daniel Alfandre
  • Flipper/Rehabber
  • Maryland
Posted Jan 6 2024, 18:20

Recently got my builder's license and building my first spec home.  Wondering if I should try to sell it myself or hire a realtor to do it.

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Samuel Coronado
Pro Member
  • Investor
  • Huntsville, AL
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Samuel Coronado
Pro Member
  • Investor
  • Huntsville, AL
Replied Jan 8 2024, 14:17

Flat fee listing on MLS with a 3% buyer commission if you're not at the scale to get a dedicated agent who works full time for you.

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Robert Ellis
Pro Member
  • Developer
  • Columbus, OH
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Robert Ellis
Pro Member
  • Developer
  • Columbus, OH
Replied Jan 8 2024, 22:28

licensed builder and agent we do it 

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Leilah Davis
  • New Orleans, LA
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Leilah Davis
  • New Orleans, LA
Replied Jan 16 2024, 12:07

I'm a licensed agent, like many others on this site, who only got my license to save on real estate investment transaction. My husband and I are spec home builders and I list all of our properties myself on the MLS. It costs a little over $2k a year to maintain my RE license and I've saved WAYYY more than that on land purchases and by doing all the listings myself. I'm with eXp and they give you 3 free "personal deals" per year, meaning you can keep 100% of the commission (instead of 70%) on whichever transactions you choose.

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Milton Chamberlain
Pro Member
  • Real Estate Agent
  • Kansas City, MO
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Milton Chamberlain
Pro Member
  • Real Estate Agent
  • Kansas City, MO
Replied Jan 16 2024, 12:58

Not sure what your price point is, but all of our new construction in the KC metro slowed down considerably over the last year. So for my region, it is beneficial for builders to have a realtor to sit in it and keep it open (open houses), as well as give it more eyes through marketing on the MLS.

If your plan is to build many homes, I would get a RE license and list yourself. Otherwise just look for the cheapest flat fee realtor out there so that you can put it on the MLS. If your market is similar to mine, I would suggest staging the home as well. In KC, it is around $2500 to stage a whole home for 60 days.

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Russell Brazil
  • Real Estate Agent
  • Washington, D.C.
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Russell Brazil
  • Real Estate Agent
  • Washington, D.C.
ModeratorReplied Jan 16 2024, 13:35

Havnt seen a spec build in the DC metro that was a FSBO. Im sure there must be some, just havnt seen them. Some of the mid size builders have in house sales departments that usually have a licensed agent or broker. The large builders, sometimes it is in house, sometimes hired out to an agent. Miller and Smith and Toll Brothers as examples have in house brokers. Winchester Homes has in house sales department that are not licensed. Wormald I think usually hires in house sales agents but they are typically licensed with a brokerage.

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Jack Seiden
Pro Member
  • Real Estate Agent
  • Washington DC
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Jack Seiden
Pro Member
  • Real Estate Agent
  • Washington DC
Replied Jan 16 2024, 22:09
Quote from @Daniel Alfandre:

Recently got my builder's license and building my first spec home.  Wondering if I should try to sell it myself or hire a realtor to do it.


 Honestly in our market being in the mls nets top dollar, otoh it costs money to pay an agent, I think it would probably depend on where you are building and price point, I’d try to split the difference and see if, especially it’s a high price point & you are looking to build more in the future if you couldn’t get an agent to list at like 1.5-2% as opposed to the usual 3%

  • Real Estate Agent Virginia (#0225260957), District of Columbia (#Sp40001090), and Maryland (#667710)

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Cassidy Burns
  • Real Estate Agent
  • Washington, DC
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Cassidy Burns
  • Real Estate Agent
  • Washington, DC
Replied Jan 17 2024, 15:43

Relationships, relationships, relationships! List with an agent that also has a great relationship base that will lead to more deals in the future.  Allowing you to concentrate on building and having that realtor / team concentrate on selling your volume of houses you will be building. 

Turn it into a business rather than thinking about 1 single transaction 

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Brian Schroeder
  • Realtor
  • Houston, TX
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Brian Schroeder
  • Realtor
  • Houston, TX
Replied Jan 26 2024, 05:11
Quote from @Leilah Davis:

I'm a licensed agent, like many others on this site, who only got my license to save on real estate investment transaction. My husband and I are spec home builders and I list all of our properties myself on the MLS. It costs a little over $2k a year to maintain my RE license and I've saved WAYYY more than that on land purchases and by doing all the listings myself. I'm with eXp and they give you 3 free "personal deals" per year, meaning you can keep 100% of the commission (instead of 70%) on whichever transactions you choose.


 Is that all of eXp that lets you get 100% commission or just your brokerage?

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Leilah Davis
  • New Orleans, LA
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Leilah Davis
  • New Orleans, LA
Replied Jan 27 2024, 06:53
Quote from @Brian Schroeder:
Quote from @Leilah Davis:

I'm a licensed agent, like many others on this site, who only got my license to save on real estate investment transaction. My husband and I are spec home builders and I list all of our properties myself on the MLS. It costs a little over $2k a year to maintain my RE license and I've saved WAYYY more than that on land purchases and by doing all the listings myself. I'm with eXp and they give you 3 free "personal deals" per year, meaning you can keep 100% of the commission (instead of 70%) on whichever transactions you choose.


 Is that all of eXp that lets you get 100% commission or just your brokerage?


I believe it's all of eXp because my sponsor was the one who told me about it and he's not even in my state. Most brokerages allow you to keep 100% commission on a certain amount of "personal deals" per year, but my previous broker only allowed one. (Of course it was after I told them I was switching to eXp and explained why that they said "wait you can do three a year here too! .... to which I said "well why don't you just reimburse me then for the 30% commission you took on the multiple personal deals I've already done with ya'll in the last few years ... because I was told it was ONE when I signed on. That infuriated me even more.)

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Replied Feb 9 2024, 19:47
Quote from @Leilah Davis:

I'm a licensed agent, like many others on this site, who only got my license to save on real estate investment transaction. My husband and I are spec home builders and I list all of our properties myself on the MLS. It costs a little over $2k a year to maintain my RE license and I've saved WAYYY more than that on land purchases and by doing all the listings myself. I'm with eXp and they give you 3 free "personal deals" per year, meaning you can keep 100% of the commission (instead of 70%) on whichever transactions you choose.

Leilah, how did you all finance your first builds? Thanks!

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Leilah Davis
  • New Orleans, LA
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Leilah Davis
  • New Orleans, LA
Replied Feb 15 2024, 14:57
Quote from @Robert Jackson:
Quote from @Leilah Davis:

I'm a licensed agent, like many others on this site, who only got my license to save on real estate investment transaction. My husband and I are spec home builders and I list all of our properties myself on the MLS. It costs a little over $2k a year to maintain my RE license and I've saved WAYYY more than that on land purchases and by doing all the listings myself. I'm with eXp and they give you 3 free "personal deals" per year, meaning you can keep 100% of the commission (instead of 70%) on whichever transactions you choose.

Leilah, how did you all finance your first builds? Thanks!


We were very fortunate to have been able to fun our first project with cash, and we simply rolled the profits from once job to the next until we were able to do two at once. We never used any lenders. Occasionally we did find ourselves in a tight spot, and had to use my husband's HELOC and 401K, but that was after we had already had success and knew that what we were doing could work.