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Should you sell your home yourself or hire a real estate agent?

Updated: Nov 30, 2019

The good, the bad and the ugly: the realities of selling your home with and without an agent.


Ask any homeowner about the most valuable asset they own, and they would most likely tell you it’s their home. As a homeowner, you have probably spent a few years building up the equity in your home. And once you have decided to put it on the market to sell, you may be tempted to consider both options: selling it yourself or hiring a real estate agent to help.

With the real estate market constantly evolving and fluctuating and the housing prices continuously rising, the commission and other associated costs with selling can quickly add up and be more expensive than anticipated.


So, naturally, it can be very appealing to want to sell your home yourself. But before you do anything, tread carefully. Ask yourself if you’re ready to deal with the realities and challenges associated with selling your home on your own - such as the intricacies of the transaction and the time you will spend negotiating the sale of your home.


These are the realities of selling your home that no one really discusses or considers. Before deciding whether or not to sell your home yourself or use a real estate agent, here is an overview of what it takes to sell your own home compared to working with a reliable and experienced real estate agent.


THE GOOD: BENEFITS OF SELLING YOUR HOME YOURSELF


While there are many benefits to selling your home without the assistance of a real estate agent, the biggest reason why homeowners decide to do it on their own is to save on the associated costs. Here are some most common perceived benefits:

  • You are saving on the commission you would pay to a realtor.

  • You think you will make more money on the sale of your home.

  • You have complete control over the transaction from start to finish.

Here is an example of how selling your home yourself will benefit you. According to the Ontario Securities Commission, in a ‘For Sale By Owner (FSBO)’ situation where real estate agents aren’t involved in the process, you may save on the sales commission by 5% or 6% depending on the sales price. For example, if you have decided to list your home for $300,000, your commission will add up to $15,000 or more.


THE BAD AND THE UGLY: PITFALLS THAT COME WITH SELLING YOUR HOME YOURSELF

Selling your home on your own means just that – you are on your own.



It can be time-consuming and stressful to be dealing with one of the biggest selling transactions of your life. Expect prospective buyers and onlookers to call and request to view your home and poke around your closets, drawers, and cabinets.


It’s often the case that these prospects will low-ball their offer - less than your property’s market value - thinking that you will accept since you’re selling your home on your own and will accept any offer to get the house off the market.


While saving on the commission that you would’ve had to pay with an agent is appealing, listing your home as an FSBO can be expensive and more money than it’s worth.

If you’ve decided to sell your home yourself, these are some of pitfalls and costly expenses you should expect:

  • The risk to overvalue or undervalue your home (only a real estate agent will know the actual selling price of the homes in your area)

  • Not getting an honest second opinion of how your home looks to prospective buyers

  • A lack of selling and negotiation expertise

  • Staging your home for sale

  • Professional photography of the property

  • Pre-listing home inspection

  • Marketing and promotional activities

  • Listing the home on MLS

  • Arranging showings

As an FSOB, think hard if you’re prepared to take on these and other responsibilities of selling your home. If you decide to hire an experienced real estate agent instead, then take the time to find the right agent for your needs.


THE BENEFITS OF WORKING WITH A REAL ESTATE AGENT



The good news of hiring an agent is knowing that you’re not alone in this major transaction. One of the biggest advantages of working with an experienced real estate agent is that you’ll have the support and assistance navigating the complex buying or selling process, as well as the benefit of consumer protection from the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO).

Before deciding whether or not to sell your home yourself, consider these benefits of working with a real estate agent:


Market knowledge and experience: Experienced real estate agents have their finger on the pulse of the real estate industry, which means the buyer and seller will have the latest insights that are so important in the decision-making process.


Accurate listing pricing: Working with agents that know the market can give you the confidence that your property’s listing price has been accurately and fairly determined.


Industry tools: Agents have access to the tools that will help sell your home faster.


Marketing: Real estate agents can market your home to a broad audience of potential buyers with the use of virtual tours, marketing the property through professional photos and posting the listings across social media and other online portals, such as their website, company’s website and MLS. As a homeowner, you cannot market your home on MLS without a real estate agent.


Negotiation: A real estate agent is a professional go-between the buyer’s agent and yourself. It’s easier to have an agent negotiate the sale of your home rather than you having to negotiate with a buyer. In addition, professional and experienced agents are skilled in the art of negotiation and persuasion.


Transaction expertise: Experienced agents provide assistance and guidance with understanding offers that you will receive from potential homebuyers. They will provide expert advice on the counter-offer practices, having your best interests in mind while outlining the terms that will hold buyers’ interest.


Paperwork: Real estate agents help ensure the transaction is done right, error-free and ensuring that the paperwork is filled out correctly to avoid any potential issues.


MAKING THE DECISION TO SELL YOUR HOME YOURSELF OR WITH AN AGENT


When deciding whether or not to sell your home yourself or use a real estate agent, do your due diligence and conduct some thorough research to understand which option fits your needs best.


Talk to a few different agents and other individuals involved in the home selling process; they can help advise you of the challenges you may face and may recommend that having the support of a real estate agent will make the task of selling your home easier.


Pay attention to the human factor in this decision process. You want to be comfortable and at ease with the agent that you work with us. Pick the one that not only has the most experience and skill, but also who you can easily and naturally connect with.


“We often forget how stressful it is to sell our own homes. Emotions, memories, often cloud our judgment, thus affecting what we believe market value is. Only With team’s favorite exercise prior to pricing out our clients home, is to make sure we go out to see the direct competition currently on the market. This is the perspective the buyers would have when viewing the homes. By taking the time to show homes currently listed achieves a whole new level of professionalism and enforces trust and certainty for the seller. This part of our listing presentation is how we show the seller we would be portraying his home to prospective buyers.”


At OnlyWith, we believe that our experienced agents can help you sell your home quickly and lucratively. Every real estate agent on our team has the knowledge and skills necessary that will make selling your home stress-free. Reach out to one of our agents today.

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