Important Facts to Consider Before You Try to Sell Your Own Home Occasionally, you can see “For Sale By Owner” or a private for sale franchise network company offering limited services for “private for sale by owners“. Some owners believe that selling their own home will not only save them money, but give them an advantage over the sellers that have their home listed by a reputable Real Estate Agent. Before you decide to take on this very important and legally complicated process, remember that most Real Estate Lawyers don’t recommend selling your own home yourself. Here are a few of the reasons why: You are limiting your exposure to potential buyers. Research indicates that you are likely missing over 70% of the potential buyers which, theoretically, means your home will take seven to ten times longer to sell. The longer a home is on the market the lower the selling price will be. Why? Because most buyers think that if the home has not sold after this length of time, there must be something wrong with the home. The selling/buying process begins AFTER the buyer leaves your home. Most sellers think that all it takes is for someone to see their home, fall in love with the great décor, and the offer automatically will follow. If a real estate agent does not represent the buyer when they are looking for property, they usually leave the home and start to talk themselves out of the buying process. Because of the limited exposure you will very likely end up with a lower selling price. Remember, in order to generate the highest price possible for your home, selling means exposure. You need the maximum exposure possible to generate the highest price possible. Most buyers find it extremely awkward to negotiate or even to talk directly with sellers and therefore avoid For Sale By Owner properties. Lack of negotiating experience and lack of pertinent information often will result in a lower selling price, or worse yet, a bungled contract and possible lawsuits. The majority of qualified buyers are working with experienced Real Estate Agents. Many serious buyers will pass by a For Sale By Owner home merely because they recognize that it is not in the real estate mainstream and this can sometimes make them wary. As most local buyers now retain an experienced Real Estate Agent to represent them under a Buyer-Agency contract, you will probably be negotiating against an experienced professional. Expected savings in Broker’s fees will also be greatly reduced if you offer a selling commission to entice real estate agents to bring potential buyers. If you are planning to use a Lawyer to help you negotiate the offer, your legal fees will be higher. Only Real Estate Agents have access to the up-to-date market information. News reports cannot approach the timeliness or specificity available to agents. Further, real estate agents are involved in home sales much more frequently than the average homeowner. This familiarity leads to a degree of expertise that provides an edge on negotiating and successful selling. You pay the commission to the Real Estate Agent ONLY if they successfully sell your home at the price you are happy with. Accepting an offer is one thing; ensuring a safe and successful closing is quite another. Real estate transactions usually always have problems on closing. At times, expecting the Buyer’s and Seller’s Lawyer’s to fight it out or resolve the problems can sometimes mean the deal is lost. This is the time that is most important to have an experienced Real Estate Agent acting as a mediator for you. Lawyers MUST act only on their client’s instructions and are not paid to negotiate. There is also a pending safety issue – A professional Real Estate Agent tracks who goes through your home and when. A lockbox is installed so that only agents who set up appointments through your agent have access to the entry code. With growing numbers of brutal attacks on Real Estate Agents during showings in Canada and throughout the world (the latest in February 2008 in BC), agents have been warned to take extra precautions when showing property and to always meet with potential buyers in a safe environment (public office) obtaining valuable information prior to showing your home. In other words, your Agent takes the risk for you. Questions to Consider Questions You Should Consider When Thinking of Selling On Own Home Are you aware that homes are bought by comparison? Are you in the position to show a buyer another home? Are you in a position to have first hand knowledge of competitive values? Are you knowledgeable enough to write a contract that is certain to be valid and binding? Are you able to stay at home to answer every call that might come? Are you able to leave your work to help the buyer with his financing, inspections, home insurance, etc., if it is necessary? Are you an expert on the current home loan market? Are you readily able to negotiate price with a buyer? Are you in a position to follow up a would-be purchaser if they show interest? Are you going to make needless outlays to improve your property for selling? Are you able to tell the good guys from the bad guys? Are you able to show your property to a large number of would-be buyers? Are you able to spend your time, your money and your effort to no avail? Are you knowledgeable enough not to accept an insincere offer and then spend weeks or months perhaps to litigation? Are you aware that most buyers seek the services of a reputable Real Estate Agent because they realize the pitfalls of direct negotiations? Also see Reasons Why You Still Need an Agent.