How Does Homelister & a Real Estate Agent Compare

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By Jacob Maslow

If you’ve been considering selling your home independently, you should know how services like Homelister compare to traditional real estate agent services. In this article, we’ll compare the two based on several factors to see which is better overall.

While Homelister allows homeowners to list, market, stage, and sell their homes DIY, real estate agents provide a person-to-person service that has been trusted for years and guarantees that the technicalities of home selling are done the right way. 

Keep reading to learn more about how Homelister and real estate agent services differ. We will look at money-saving differences, personalized services, and much more. Let’s get into it!

Homelister VS a Real Estate Agent – How We’ll Compare Them

To cover all of the bases, we’re comparing Homelister and traditional real estate agents in terms of the following factors. Note that these factors fluctuate depending on where you live within the United States.

  • Customized Services
  • Costs
  • Convenience
  • Legal Processes
  • Profit

Customized Services

To understand how the services compare between Homelister and traditional real estate agents, we need to see which option has more customized services.


Homelister markets itself as a DIY home listing service that offers more personalized options than the traditional route. They feature different listing packages at different levels to suit different budgets.

The idea behind Homelister’s model is that you can personalize the amount of assistance you get – a lot, a little, or somewhere in between. There are specialized options for pro photography, home staging services, marketing, pricing, for-sale signs, and more.

However, one thing to note about the customized services is that they are mainly automated (not necessarily going to be a real person assisting you).

With these things in mind, we give Homelister a score of 8/10 for its customized services since there are many personalized options, but they are automated.

Real Estate Agent

On the other hand, taking the traditional route and hiring an agent will grant you some customized services, but not as many as you get with Homelister. Not all real estate agents will be offering personalized listing/marketing/staging packages, so you may have to search harder to find someone who does.

But that’s not to say you won’t get all the standard services you need. The reality is much to the contrary, as you’re likely to get all of the services you need – legal and otherwise – with an agent. These include professional photography of your home, marketing and advertising online, professional home valuation, and more.

For these reasons, we give traditional real estate agents a score of 7/10 when it comes to customized services. Although they offer comprehensive services, they don’t often come in tiered packages as you get with Homelister.

How They Compare

Homelister is generally the better option for personalized home listing services. Still, a real estate agent will guarantee you get all of the standard services you need to sell your home.


Cost is one of the most important factors to compare, as you want to save as much money as possible when listing your home.


Homelister is a good option for listing your home if you want cost options. There are different levels of services offered for different costs. Still, the company’s website proclaims that its “packages will save you thousands of dollars in traditional real estate fees”.

It’s essential to be aware that while you’ll save money in real estate fees, you may pay more to get an agent to show your home should you take that route.

The reason is that many real estate agents are wary of showing FSBO homes (for sale by owner). If they see that you’re listing your home through Homelister, you might have to offer them a higher commission (at least the market average of 2.5-3.0%) to get their help.

For these reasons, we give Homelister a score of 6/10 for cost because the lowered real estate fees are counterintuitive sometimes.

Real Estate Agent

On the other hand, a traditional real estate agent will guarantee you get all of the professional help you need for a fairly standard price. You don’t have to worry about the costs being super unpredictable – at least not as much as you have to worry with Homelister.

Although the real estate fees may seem daunting when working with an agent, certain security accompanies them. Because of this and the reliability associated with the cost of real estate agents, we give them a score of 8/10 for cost.

How They Compare

Real estate agents and Homelister costs differ in terms of the sliding scale. With agents, you are likely to pay a slightly higher, more standard set of fees. With Homelister, you have options, but you’ll likely pay an agent to show your home to buyers. Agents are relatively better than Homelister in this department.


Convenience is essential when listing a home for sale, mainly because you’re likely going to be busy with moving.


Homelister provides a level of convenience that is enticing at first glance – automated services, live chat assistance, and the ability to do virtually everything online from the comfort of your home.

There is a caveat to this convenience, though. Because you’ll be doing an FSBO listing, agents will likely be very wary to do the work of showing your home to potential buyers. They may see your listing as a “difficult” job and avoid it unless you pay them more. This can make things way less convenient.

Because of these factors, we give Homelister a convenience score of 6/10.

Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent will likely be your most convenient option when we compare the two. Unless you are a real estate agent or have extensive knowledge of the home listing process, you will struggle to tick all of your home listing/selling boxes without the help of a professional.

Therefore, we find that real estate agents are the more convenient option of the two overall, giving them a score of 9/10 for convenience.

How They Compare

We find that traditional agents are the better, more convenient option for people trying to list and sell their homes. They will guarantee that your house gets shown more, gets more traction and gets better offers in the end. They make the process easy for you.

Legal Processes

One aspect of listing a home that is not easy for beginners is the paperwork and legal processes you must go through. Sometimes, people even hire attorneys to help them sort things out.


Homelister is notably an online venture for listing your home and trying to sell it. Because of this, it will be a lot harder for you to get face-to-face time with someone who understands the legal jargon of selling a home and accepting offers, etc.

Because of the setbacks involved with a list-it-yourself website such as Homelister, we give it a lower score of 6/10 for legal processes.

Real Estate Agent

On the other hand, real estate agents will be well-versed in the ins and outs of selling a home and listing it. They will know who to go to for legal necessities, such as home inspections, valuations, and other services.

A real estate agent will also be able to point you in the right direction and explain everything clearly when it comes to signing forms and the legality of selling your home.

We give real estate agents a score of 10/10 when it comes to the legal processes of listing a home.

How They Compare

Traditional real estate agents are your best bet when selling and listing your home. The benefits much outweigh the benefits of using a service like Homelister.


Last, we compare the relative profitability of selling a home through Homelister vs. a real estate agent. Profit is essential, especially if you want to come out of the experience with money to spend on your new home.


Homelister does pretty well in potential profit since they enter your listing into the local MLS. This aspect is necessary if you want the best exposure, buyers, and offers on your home.

It’s good to note, though, that there can be some exceptions to this rule depending on where you live. We give Homelister a score of 8/10 for profitability since they do list on the MLS, but sometimes the process becomes costly and lowers overall profit.

Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent, on the other hand, knows the market better than you do, will list you on the local MLS and all appropriate sites and will know how to gather potential buyers quickly.

Working with a traditional agent is a real advantage if you want to get the most profit out of your old home. Although they may require a higher commission, it will be worth it in the end.

For these reasons, we give real estate agents a score of 10/10 for profitability.

How They Compare

We recommend using a traditional agent if you want to pocket some of the money from your home sale. They will do a better job of getting buyer interest than Homelister will.

The Breakdown

Overall, we want to give you a more simplistic breakdown of the relative benefit of using Homelister vs. a traditional real estate agent. From costs to convenience and other factors, each option has pros and cons.

Homelister Real Estate Agent
Customized Services 8/10

More customized service packages that are primarily automated


They are less likely to offer customized services, but they guarantee comprehensive home listing services.

Costs 6/10

Saves you money in real estate fees but can end up costing more to get an agent to show your home later


Higher fees but more security provided in the overall cost

Convenience 6/10

Homelister appears convenient due to its online services but ends up being inconvenient when it comes to showing your home and getting potential buyers


Real estate agents are more convenient for home sellers because they guarantee you will get interested buyers.

Legal Processes 6/10

Much more challenging to navigate the legal processes of home selling


Agents are well-versed in legal processes and will guide you through them quickly.

Profit 8/10

Homelister lists you on the MLS but doesn’t garner as much exposure as an agent will


Agents will list you on the MLS and get the best exposure and buyer offers for you to profit.

Overall, we find that the score for real estate agents (44) surpasses that of Homelister (34) by a whopping 10 points. The only factor in which Homelister was better than a traditional agent was “customized services,” and not by much.

Overall, you get your money’s worth with a traditional agent, and Homelister cannot match the convenience of their professional expertise.

Final Thoughts

If you’re trying to sell your home quickly and get the best profit, it’s probably worth it to work with a real estate agent.

While the allure of do-it-yourself home listing websites like Homelister promises convenience and other perks, these sites tend to miss the mark because they’re automated. However, you will save considerable money.

Suppose cost isn’t an issue, and you want to maximize the odds of getting the best possible deal. In that case, you’re better off just paying the hefty commission to an agent and having them do the listing, staging, and other professional services for you. Good luck selling your home, and consider our advice when doing so.


How do I pick the best real estate agent?

The best way to find an excellent real estate agent is to get referrals from friends or family who have recently bought or sold a home. You can also check online reviews. Once you have a few agents in mind, interview them to see if they are a good fit for you.

What does a real estate agent do?

A real estate agent helps people buy and sell homes. They work with buyers to find homes that meet their needs and budget and with sellers to market their homes and get the best possible price. A real estate agent also helps with the paperwork involved in buying or selling a home.

Do I need a real estate agent to sell my home?

No, you don’t need a real estate agent to sell your home. However, an agent can help you with the marketing and sale of your home. They can also provide guidance and assistance with the paperwork involved in selling a home.

How much does a real estate agent cost?

Most real estate agents charge a commission of 5-6% of the home’s sale price. If your home sells for $200,000, you will pay the agent $10,000-$12,000. You may be able to negotiate a lower commission with some agents.

What are the benefits of using a real estate agent?

Some benefits of using a real estate agent include:

  • They know the local market and can help you price your home correctly.
  • They can help you market your home to potential buyers.
  • They can assist with the negotiation process.
  • They can help with the paperwork involved in selling a home.

What are the drawbacks of using a real estate agent?

  • Some drawbacks of using a real estate agent include:
  • You will have to pay a commission if your home sells.
  • It may take longer to sell your home if you use an agent.
  • You may have less control over the sale of your home.
  • You may have to make repairs or updates to your home before listing it.

How do I find a real estate agent?

The best way to find a real estate agent is to get referrals from friends or family who have recently bought or sold a home. You can also check online reviews. Once you have a few agents in mind, interview them to see if they are a good fit for you.


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