This is a question that many homeowners face, especially in the age we live in now which is a “do it yourself” age. Many people feel positive about taking this task on. This is before they realize that there are pros and cons to this type of venture. Fortunately, in Canada, there are options for selling a home such as doing it oneself or using a realtor. To make the right decision the home seller needs to have some knowledge about both methods.
Sale By Owner Pros:
To understand the pros of selling by owner it helps to understand the reasons as to why one would want to do this. Some of the common reasons are;
- More control over the asking price.
- Being in charge of who sees the home and when.
- Some home sellers do not have enough equity in the home and cannot afford the realtor commission.
These reasons form the foundation as to the pros of selling a home yourself. Going into more detail about them will help determine if this is the right decision for you.
Control Over the Asking Price
There are times where a home seller does not agree with a realtor as to what the asking price should be for the home. But, at the same time, the house seller has to be realistic about the asking price. Personal reasons cannot play a role in this. A price cannot be put on the attachment one may have to their home. Keeping in mind that potential buyers do not have that same attachment.
The one factor that can cloud a home seller’s judgment is all the time and money they may have put into the home. There are many improvements that are made to a home that does not bring a return on this investment. Most certainly when it comes to the time commitment by the homeowner this will not be considered in the asking price if the house is to be listed at a proper asking price.
In Charge of Viewings
It is nice to be able to decide when one wants to allow people to see their home. This is not a full advantage that one may have when using a realtor. The real estate agent expects the homeowner to co-operate with them when it comes to home showings. This includes giving the opportunity to hold open houses which can be inconvenient for the homeowner.
It is true that if one sells their own home they are not going to have to deal with the real estate commission. But, there are other fees that will be incurred with the private home selling. This can lie with the advertising and marketing requirements which will be necessary to attract attention.
Sale by Owner Cons:
As with anything, there is a downside to selling a house as an owner.
When a realtor is selling the house, the homeowner has very little if any direct contact with potential buyers. This means there are no personal attachments taking place. Small issues like taking a liking to one home viewer over another can have an impact on potential sales.
There are legalities that come with house selling. As a private house seller, it means the homeowner has to take responsibility for these. If they make a mistake they could be held liable.
Many don’t realize just how much time it takes to sell a house. There is market research that has to be done. Then there is marketing and advertising. On top of this is being available for house showings. Then when offers come in they have to be reviewed and taken to the lawyer for changes or approval.
Sale by Realtor Pros:
Those that have both sold a home privately and also have used a realtor in other circumstances are really able to make a comparison of these two methods. Some of the pros are’
- The realtor is well versed in what the housing market is doing.
- They have access to resources that the private seller doesn’t.
- There is no hassles or expenses for advertising and marketing.
- The realtor is responsible for the legalities that come with home selling.
Sale by Realtor Cons:
- The disadvantages of sale by realtor marry up with the pros of selling a house yourself. Which are
- Having to rely on the realtor to determine the asking price.
- Being locked into a contract as to who can sell the house.
- Showings are controlled by the realtor.
What Does MLS Mean?
MLS is an important tool that is actively used by the Canadian Real Estate Industry. It stands for Multiple Listing Service. It is a large database that records all the houses that are being sold by a realtor in Canada. So when a client is looking for a house with specified criteria the query can be made to the database for what is available. It makes sense why most house sellers would want their house to be listed on the MLS.
Can You List Your House on MLS Without a Realtor?
The answer to this question can be somewhat complex. It is easy to understand how important this is when one realizes that 90% of the homes that are successfully sold are done so through MLS listings. It requires a realtor to list a house on MLS. But, that doesn’t mean that you have to hire the realtor to take over the entire sale of your home or take out a contract with them.
What it means is that FSBO (for sale by owner) approach entails seeking out a flat fee provider.
What is Flat Fee MLS Listing?
Basically, it means that you can pick and choose what services you want the realtor to perform. In this case, the private sale homeowner only wants the agent to take on the responsibility of the MLS listing. This is a requirement if the owner wants to list on MS because only realtors are allowed to do this. The flat fee for doing this is the amount that the realtor agrees to accept. So it doesn’t matter how much the home sells for the realtor only gets the flat fee amount. Most find that this works out to about half of what the standard realtor fee would be.
Does Flat Fee MLS Work?
For the most part, the answer is yes. If the question pertains specifically to the MLS listing and not to the entire process of selling the house privately. Having the MLS listing does remove the potential negative aspects that were previously discussed regarding the cons of selling a house privately.