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7 things to consider before selling your own home

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By Eleni Akrivos – mtltimes.ca

I have met with numerous people over the past weeks, who have considered selling their home on their own. One gentleman I spoke with said his west island condo had already sold. When I called him back to follow up about another property, he informed me that unfortunately the buyer changed their mind just before signing at the notary, so the condo did not sell after all. Although the condo was inspected and no apparent issue presented itself, it was a case of buyers’ remorse, where family got involved and influenced the buyer to back out of the deal. Having no one to represent each side, the deal fell through completely.

Selling on your own, to most people means potentially not paying a commission to a real estate broker. To others, the stress and work involved may not be worth the potential savings. Whether you can sell your own home depends on many factors so you need to know what to expect if you choose this option.

Marketing and exposure
You should first consider whether you can spread the word about your home and expose the home to the right buyers. Certainly you can put up a sign and input some internet postings, but be aware that you will be missing out on a lot more:
A real estate agency has an established network of qualified buyers both locally and abroad. Brokers and agencies invest money and staff on marketing, through various outlets including internet campaigns, print marketing, social media and special events. You need to be ready to take on the marketing yourself and budget accordingly.

Real estate market information
If you are not up to speed with the current direction the real estate market is going, you may fail to properly evaluate your home’s correct value. This will result in your home being overlooked and possibly staying on the market longer than needed, which will in turn have a negative effect on the overall final selling price. In contrast, a good broker will have access to the latest software providing an instant Comparative Market Analysis report and an immediate selling range to work with. This is an invaluable tool and resource.

Negotiating
Remember you may be up against savvy investors who know the sales process well. They may suggest terms and conditions that seem reasonable but may not work out in your favor. A realtor will work in your best interest always, and will be aware of the implications of terms and conditions. Can you manage this process until closing?

Legal issues
Contracts and all closing related legalities, may be the most dangerous and costly part of the home sale process, if not handled correctly. Sure you can get the papers and even have someone help you, but we have seen many closings fall through with unexpected outcomes and even lawsuits. What is this worth to you?

Value-added services
Our real estate agency offers numerous value-added services, such as pre-qualifying buyers for financing as well as providing the financing itself. This allows for better control and a reduction in delays for financing. If you are not benefiting from these value added services, you may be waiting much longer than needed for your buyers to secure financing, with extra time delays that often end up in buyers’ remorse.

The FSBO factor
Could you be missing out on qualified buyers by not listing with a broker? We know from statistics that most FSBO properties are sold by brokers, with the For Sale By Owner (FSBO) pay out a commission to the buyers’ broker. Many buyers are apprehensive about buying a FSBO home and are more at ease going through the mainstream.

Time & Money
No doubt that in order to successfully sell you own home it will take time and money! How much time do you have to invest and what is your time worth? Factor in all the time you will put in from managing showings, answering phone calls and visits until closing. And remember the unexpected cost of marketing, higher legal fees (especially if deals fall through), appraisal fees for the bank, will come out of your pocket. In the end, consider that a home sold through an agency is sold at a higher price, and you benefit from saving your time and money by allowing a professional do the job!

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