Thinking of Selling your Home Privately? Points to Ponder First.
by Bill and Lia McNally
In attempt to save the commission paid to Realtors, some sellers decide to try to sell their homes privately. However, you should be aware of some of the drawbacks before
talking the plunge. We have compiled a list of points to ponder:
It can be a lot of work. The phone calls, making yourself available for showings at all hours, marketing, follow up, paperwork, etc. A realtor's job can be very time consuming. If you have a busy lifestyle you may find yourself too short on time to do a proper job.
Unqualified Prospects. A lot of time in real estate is spent sifting through prospects, separating the serious buyers from the time wasting window shoppers or worse, the few bad seeds out there looking to prey on homeowners. Your Realtor will screen prospects before they ever make it to your home.
The Bargain Hunters. Buyers who are not working with a realtor are often out there looking for a steal. Of course, you want to sell for the same money your neighbor did, but the buyer knows you aren’t paying commission and will insist on a price drop. The money you were hoping to save usually ends up in the buyer's pocket. Quite often you will be short the commission money and you had to do all the work. It just doesn’t make sense.
When you sell privately you are hiring someone with no experience. Quite likely, you’ve never sold a home before. Given that your home is probably your biggest asset, why risk it? Your realtor has the training and experience needed to make sure you aren’t taken advantage of and to negotiate the best possible deal. Emotions and stress run wild during negotiations and can actually work against you. Your realtor will keep you calm and centered and guide you smoothly through the process.
Things can get tricky, really tricky. What will you do if the person who wants to buy your home has a house to sell? What if the person buying that house also has a home to sell? What is the best and safest way to go about it? Your experienced realtor works with these complicated situations on a constant basis and can protect you from a variety of potentially costly mistakes.
Marketing Costs: Selling a home is expensive and without the benefit of MLS you will be missing out on the vast majority of qualified home buyers and realtors who scan MLS daily. If you end up needing a realtor in then end (which is most often the case) you will have spent that money in addition to the commission you were trying to avoid.
The market is constantly changing. You realtor is up-to-date with what’s going on to make sure you don’t sell your house for too little or price it so high that it sits there becoming just another stale listing.
Written by Bill and Lia McNally, real estate sales representatives. They are top producers at their Halton Hills brokerage, Johnson Associates. If you're thinking of selling or buying, call them first at (905) 877-5165. You'll be glad you did!