We’ve all seen those signs around town and perhaps in our own neighborhood. If you’re thinking about selling your Calgary home in the near future you might be thinking this is a great way to save some money -- but is it really?
While keeping those commission dollars in your pocket instead of a Real Estate Agent's is definitely tempting, not all homeowners are up to the challenge of selling their own home. Even if it’s a straightforward transaction, there is plenty of legal paperwork as well as advertising and marketing challenges to take care of. For most people these three items alone are a deterrent to selling your own home. A home is a financial investment so it makes sense to use a professional REALTOR®.
Access to MLS®
REALTORS® have access to the Multiple Listing Service® also known as the MLS® System, but you don’t. The MLS® System is perhaps the most widely used tool to sell homes and reaches millions of people looking for a home. Selling your own home involves finding your own advertising venues as well as paying for any out of pocket costs you incur. For many, this aspect of selling your own home can be time consuming and frustrating.
Accurate Market Evaluations
Full-time, professional Real Estate Agents in Calgary know local market values, whether they are rising or falling. By attempting to sell alone, you could be vastly underpricing your home. Or maybe it is overpriced so prospective buyers will stay away. Most prospective home buyers shy away from "for sale by owner" newspaper classified ads. They fear the seller is "strange" for not listing with a realty agent. There is a good reason more than 85 percent of home sales are handled by Real Estate Agents. Another consideration is are you prepared to make appointments during the day or during normal business hours.
Real Estate Agents are also adept at negotiating the sale as well as guiding a seller through the entire sale process and what it entails, for instance home inspections or repairs that need to be taken care of before the home goes on the market. While in most cases a Real Estate Agent is not an attorney, they have a general understanding of the legal paperwork involved, most of which involves filling in preprinted contracts and paperwork. And, unless you are a longtime resident of your community, Real Estate Agents can provide detailed information about schools, utilities, zoning, and other concerns that potential buyers might have, especially if they are moving from a different province.
One of the most important and overlooked pitfalls of selling your own home is not knowing whether you have a qualified buyer. In other words, you may receive an offer that you are happy with and proceed with the sale only to find out that the buyer has bad credit and can’t obtain a mortgage or doesn’t have enough cash for a down payment or closing costs. When you hire a Real Estate Agent, you don’t have to worry about wasting time on someone who wouldn’t be able to buy your home anyway.
We, as Calgary Real Estate Agents, are required by law to have all of our ducks in a row before even placing the house on the market. Here’s a few things we’re required to do:
Check the mortgage balance to see if it the seller is even in a position to sell at the current market
Ensure the property has a clear Title
If this a saleable property, determine what work needs to be completed prior to listing
Evaluate a current market price to allow for a quick sale
These are some of the many questions that homeowners have to ask themselves before embarking on this endeavor without a professional. If you’re still determined to sell your own home, go right ahead, but now that you have a better understanding of what’s involved, you might just decide it’s better to hire a REALTOR® and save yourself some headaches along the way.