You could go to Canadian Tire and get a “For Sale” sign. You could call one of several “do-it-yourself home-selling services” where part of their advice is to advertise in the newspaper (DO you have any idea how expensive a puny ad is?). Or you could save yourself a lot of money, time, resources, emotional disquietude and risk and hire a professional realtor to help.
Five reasons to use a realtor to sell your home
First of all, let’s talk about the money. As a private seller, you will have to pay for everything: your newspaper advertising, feature sheets, signs, fees for your lawyer, stager, documents from the city… Also, buyers know you’re saving the commission, and buyers are pretty well informed. Expect tough negotiations to take a chunk of the commission you thought you saved, back out of your pocket.
In our current market, homes listed with realtors and advertised on MLS are selling in about 35 days. Private sales tend to be much, much longer. Promoting your home is like a full time job. You’ll have to try to stay on the front page of Kijiji. You’re going to have to advertise in the Waterloo Region Record, take your own pictures, write your own copy. You’re going to have to find your own buyers because buyers aren’t looking for you. You might not be surprised to know that the majority of private sellers end up working with a realtor.
Besides being copywriter, photographer, internet wiz-kid, negotiator, presenter, stager, cleaner, painter, host, answering service, advertiser…you’ll have to be able to find a good lawyer, an inspector, a banker or mortgage broker, tradesmen, experts in other fields…and then there is the ever-changing and complicated process where real estate law governs nearly every phase of selling your house. One small mistake and the entire deal you’ve worked so hard to get can fall through or worse, a lawsuit can ensue.
Not so easy
It’s emotionally tough to sell your home. I’m not talking about all the memories of graduation parties and Christmases past, dinner with the family, movie night, that sort of thing. I’m talking about potential buyers saying they’ll be coming through with an offer tomorrow and then they never call again or they come in with a low-ball and insulting offer and tell you everything that’s wrong with your house. I’m talking about buyers arriving at your door unannounced or saying that they will be there at 5:30 and then not showing up till 7:30 or at all. You’ll be getting lots of phone calls too from realtors. Some of the phone calls you get won’t go so well. Your neighbors will come to your open house and comment on your decorating choices, and what about the people you don’t know? Are they potential buyers or are they “casing the joint”? Certainly you won’t want to have your children home alone after school if you have a “For Sale by Owner” sign on your front lawn.
Do you have the emotional stability to put yourself and your family through a long and unpredictable home selling process? Wouldn’t it be better to get the job done safely and quickly with expert advice and knowledge?
Knowing what I know, I’d hire a realtor.