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Should You Sell Your Home Privately or Seek Professional Help?

Insights and information from a Canadian real estate broker in Mississauga.
  • <strong>For sale by owner</strong>
    TORONTO, ON, March 18, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Most home sellers face a common dilemma. Should they cut costs and sell home privately? Should they settle for part-time salespeople? Or should they simply invest in a full time professional real estate broker?

There are several arguments for and against this dilemma but common sense makes one thing clear. When you put in half the effort, you seldom get 100% success.

Amit Kalia, a full time professional real estate broker in Mississauga, Canada, believes this to be true. He says when you sell privately yourself with little knowledge about the real estate market you may end up losing more than you gain. Not just in terms of finances but also peace of mind.

What such home sellers are least prepared for is the volume of legwork and legal work required. What's worse is that there is no guarantee of sales success at the end of it all.

At the outset, it may seem like a good idea to do it your way. Few know the strengths of your home better than you do or can proudly present it the way you can. You also save on hefty commission fee that goes with investing in a full time broker.

But the question is do you also have the expertise to relentlessly show and market your home to discerning buyers, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week?

To save on commission fee, it is easy to fall into the trap of relying on friends, part-time salespeople or employ private for sale companies who are eager to put your home on the market for a small fee that includes posting on Realtor's public MLS Listing Service.

But in the long run, this may give you more concerns than you know.

Amit Kalia stresses that before you take a decision, take time to answer these 3 key questions:

1) Are you prepared to gamble away your life's savings by taking matters in your own hands; thrusting it on salespeople who are not fully committed; or relying on your own inexperience?

2) Do you have the tools to drive buyers to your doorstep from all over the world at all odd hours?

3) Are you aware of all legal issues that surround real estate trade?

"In today's world, buyers are not just local but international as well. In such a situation, selling privately makes sense only in certain cases. Unless you've sold property before, selling your home or condo can take up too much time, effort and your patience with it, with little result at the end of it all," he says. Before you put your home out in the market, as yourself these questions:

- Are you aware of the correct value of their home in the current market?
- Are you comfortable taking strangers around your property?
- Can you screen prospective buyers from the less serious ones?
- Do you have the time or patience to answer countless questions from diverse buyers, or have the expertise to handle sales queries and criticism the way trained professional Realtors can?
- Are you well versed with home listings and marketing, both of which are mandatory in today's world?
- Is it enough to plant a sign post outside the gate saying "For Sale" to bring in serious buyers for your home in today's savvy world?

It requires thorough marketing knowledge and sophisticated tools to attract intelligent local and global buyers, most of who shop on the internet from different time zones today.

Amit says "You need smart marketing skills to drive in prospective buyers to your virtual door first, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, before they knock on your actual door in Mississauga".

I would suggest selling privately only when you have ample time and adequate experience on your hands.

Most sales by owner companies (or FSBOs as they are called - For Sale By Owners) finish off the task of public MLS website listing simply through a mere posting. Under an FSBO model, the bulk of selling techniques rests on the shoulders of the home sellers themselves. Are you prepared to shoulder such a huge responsibility? Do you have the time or expertise to carry it through?

When things get tough, sellers hunt for co-operative buyer agents (usually salespeople representing the buyer) and offer them commission fee that amount to roughly 2.5% of the selling price or $12,500 on a $500,000 home. So a private home seller mostly ends up saving the listing end of commission, i.e. about 2.5% (negotiable). If you look at the National Association of Realtors (NAR) statistics, does that make sense? Most salespeople often discount their commission when they double end or help their seller buy his/her next home, so savings do fold in. Then why sell privately?

By venturing out solo, it is not just the question of saving on commission fee. It is also a matter of handling complicated legal issues. Realtors are bound by a strict code of ethics and are governed by the REBBA (Real Estate Business and Brokers Act). Realtors also carry mandatory insurance programs to protect consumers from losing their deposit amount, in case the brokerage runs into a financial crisis.

Real estate is a serious business that involves your life's savings and a huge amount of time for sales preparation, home listing, home staging, legalities and execution.

Selling privately is not easy considering the amount of work required."

To compound Amit's views, have a look at the checklist that he uses when selling properties in Mississauga, Canada.

Many rely on a part time salesperson, friend or a relative in business to help them sell property. Does that pay off better?

Amit replies, "let me ask you this. Are you seriously considering selling your home or you are looking to extend a favour to your friend or relative?

If you employ a part time salesperson, remember that there is always the danger of them disappearing soon after home listing and not being there just when you need them to follow up. About your friend or relative, are they full time professionals? Is he/she knowledgeable about your area?

Many of them won't know the importance of posting professional quality photos. Others won't have the expertise of preparing your home for sale. Yet others may not have adequate knowledge of accurate home pricing, home listing, or worst, won't answer your phone calls when you want them to, simply because they are preoccupied with other jobs elsewhere.

With a full time professional broker, the most important decision you will be making is to who to call. Once they take over, you just sit back and leave the rest to their expertise."

Somehow, doesn't that make you take a huge load off your chest and heave a sigh of relief?

Editor's Note: This press release is compiled by Joyeeta Dutta Ray, ca.linkedin.com/in/joyeetaray/ with information provided by Amit Kalia, a real estate broker in Mississauga and his blog www.condopundit.com


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Amit Kalia, Broker
RE/MAX Legacy Realty Inc., Brokerage

Mississauga, ON
Canada
Voice: 905-339-5111
E-Mail: Email Us Here
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