Sure you can sell your own home. The question is why you would. We’re not making excuses, but….
1. You can figure it out.
Real estate training is free. Online educators like Udemy.com make learning sales and marketing easy. Courses are taught by industry experts and non-educators alike. You just register for the classes you want. No obligations, unless you want to pay for additional features like a certificate of completion or chats. And you can study at your own pace.
For Sale by Owner has its own web page dedicated to showing home owners how to market their home. Their top tip: “Make sure the house and yard are clean.” Social media makes selling even easier. You know somebody who knows somebody who knows somebody else. You know how it goes.
2. Think of the money you’ll save.
Ontario realtors don’t have set commissions, but most charge home sellers between five and seven per cent of the sale price. The fee is shared between the buyer’s and seller’s real estate agents. Little known fact: you can negotiate the fee. Just ask.
Flat fee commissions can save you money, but typically only include listing your home on the MLS (multiple listing service) and Realtor.ca website. You may have to stage your own home, take photos, give showings and do all the negotiations yourself.
Those discount brokerages? The 1% fee is to list your home. You may still owe the buyer’s agent their usual 2.5% commission.
Let’s face it, the commission on a $450,000 condo can be a mind-blowing $31,500. You won’t pay any commission if you sell your own home.
3. Price it the way you want.
Selling privately lets you pick the price you want. Naturally, getting a real estate appraiser to figure out the approximate value of your home helps. Your home would have to be pretty spectacular to command more than other “comps” (comparable properties) in your neighbourhood or market.
Be honest with yourself and prospective buyers about any shortcomings — you could be held liable if you withhold information on defects like a leaky roof or asbestos floor tiles.
Real estate agents may low ball your home to sell it. Inventory that sits on the market too long can be harder to sell. You may wind up reducing the price just to satisfy your realtor’s yearning to keep their product moving.
Be wary of buyers who assume you can drop the price because you’re saving big on the commission. Certainly, a competent real estate agent could get you a quicker sale or better price in a down market. But if you have all the time in the world, why not try selling yourself? You can always hire an agent if it doesn’t work out.
4. You control the appointments.
You get to set your own schedule. No more pesky phone calls or texts at inconvenient times. Be realistic about how much time it will take and if you are comfortable opening the door to absolute strangers. Can you drop everything to be there when buyers are ready?
On the cons side, you and only you will be negotiating with buyers or their real estate agents. You’ll have to stay organized and be prepared to ask for help when you need it.
Not Ready Yet? Try a Direct Buyer
Not quite ready to go it alone? An iBuyer can help. Direct buyers like Properly make you a backup offer if your home doesn’t sell in 90 days. Properly’s Ottawa and Toronto offices estimate your home’s value based on what houses like yours are selling for in your market. Taking their offer to a bank gets you a preapproved mortgage. Then Properly connects you to local realtors to find a new home and pays your old mortgage while they prep and list your home. Does it work? We’ll leave the reference checks up to you.
Listing Exclusively to Save Money
Exclusive listing agreements can work if you lack the confidence to sell yourself but want to reduce your commission fees. Your home will be kept off the MLS and only shown to purchasers through your own realtor. Sales take a bit longer, so be prepared.
You’ll Need a Good Lawyer
However you sell your home, you’ll need an Ontario real estate lawyer or notary public to finalize the transaction. Legal advisors review the agreement of purchase and sale and complete the paperwork with your mortgage lender. They search the property title and ensure all the deadlines are met. They can also review offers and prepare counter offers.
Complete the Sale with an Ontario Real Estate Lawyer
Axess Law Ontario real estate lawyers advise you on the agreement of purchase and sale and close your home sale. You can video conference online 7 days a week, day or evening, from anywhere in Ontario. Make a virtual appointment by dialing toll-free to 1-877-552-9377 or 647-479-0118 in Toronto or use our online booking form. Real estate lawyers are ready to meet with you in person at our Toronto, Scarborough, Vaughan, Etobicoke, Ottawa, Mississauga Winston Churchill or Mississauga Heartland law offices.
Click here to learn more about Axess Law’s real estate law services.
Photo by Peggy und Marco Lachmann-Anke|Pixabay.