An Agent, DYI, or PropBox

How consumers buy a home in 2024 has changed dramatically in the past twenty years. Because many homeowners own their homes for years and sell or buy infrequently, they are unaware of the changes. 

The internet today is ubiquitous. Most consumers have a smartphone. Many applications are available to help sellers sell and buyers buy homes or find comparable sales. Most real estate companies today have websites that feature internal company listings. Home sellers and buyers have three alternate choices: 

1. Portals like Zillow advertise homes for free; agents post their listings for free and pay to promote themselves. Home sellers without an agent can publish on Zillow for free. Home buyers can search for free with or without an agent.

2. FSBO websites charge home sellers a fee to advertise and connect the sellers with an agent. These websites offer advantages many sellers and buyers choose over working with an agent. Some, like or, charge home sellers an extra fee to advertise on a multiple listing service (MLS) because home sellers and buyers have no direct access to an MLS. These two types of websites and platforms have made buying or selling a home easy for consumers. Buyers or their agents can search these sites for free. Many agents working with buyers do not utilize FSBO sites.   

3. is a new peer-to-peer option that connects home sellers and buyers to view, negotiate, and close the entire home transaction online. It is transparent, fast, safe, accurate, and easy to use, and it features a small, flat success-only advertising fee for a six-month interactive ad paid from seller proceeds, regardless of the home’s value. The buyer can negotiate on three homes for free, after which they pay $100 per home negotiation.  

PropBox is the first product to complete the entire transaction online. The company’s web address is PropBox is not a real estate company but a media advertising company specializing in advertising single-family homes using technology like search engine optimization (SEO) and QR codes to find the best fit for sellers and buyers. PropBox is agent-free, which means it does not advertise homes on multiple listing services. PropBox is a genuine alternative to an agent or for-sale-by-owner for the first time in real estate history.       

Click here to learn more.    

Let’s look at some specific questions sent in by DearMonty readers from across the country. Read more Q&A articles about the “Choosing a Broker” stage of the Home Buying process:

  • Eleven reasons to interview real estate agents when buying a home

    Many home buyers pick an agent because they are relatives, co-workers, referred by a friend, or met at an open house. While they are likely all nice people, none of these connections by themselves is a good reason to pick a real estate agent. There are good real estate agents, but they are not easy…

  • When you engage an incompetent real estate agent

    Reader Question: We used an incompetent real estate agent. We bought a home subject to obtaining a mortgage. Our Realtor drafted the contract with a twenty-day drop-dead date on the inspection and the appraisal. She pointed out we could jeopardize our ten-thousand dollar deposit if we missed these dates. Then she delivered the documents to…

  • Buyer lost a dream home and seller loses equity

      Reader Comment: ​We lost a dream home when we didn’t understand the significance of what you recently wrote that there are “…no standardized rules in the industry” and that “the nature of the real estate transaction and how the sales develop is very fluid.” We had first made a written offer on the house…

  • How to pick the best real estate agent from three finalists

    Reader Question: We want to pick the best real estate agent from three finalists. Each agent chose three different comparables, and there is a thirty percent difference between the best price and lowest price when including all nine comparables. This difference equates to over $60,000. How do we know which estimate is the most accurate comparison…

  • Six essential qualities of a real estate agent

      Reader Question: We will be looking for our first home in the next year. We are novices and want to know the essential qualities of a real estate agent to look for and also how to identify agents with these qualities. Can you help us? Monty’s Answer: When seeking real estate agents, experts agree…

  • Hot market changes agent behavior

    Reader Question: Our work took us to a new city. We chose to wait to buy again until we were familiar with the neighborhoods. We know now where we want to live, but have yet to find an agent who is proactive. We don’t understand why we are not getting their attention, as we are…