Home alone

Dumping your real estate agent and selling your house on your own can save you tens of thousands of dollars. But it might also mean that your house sits on the market for months.

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Tania Pilon had barely started hammering the For Sale By Owner sign into the front lawn when she caught the eye of a driver on his way home from work. One U-turn later, the two were amicably chatting about the man’s son, who was looking to enter the real estate market. Happy with what he saw after a quick tour of the Pilons’ two-bedroom starter home in Regina’s desirable West End, the man went off to report his discovery.

Three hours later, both parties were signing an offer for just $2,000 under the Pilons’ asking price of $265,000—and $50,000 more than the listing price their local realtor had suggested. And because the Pilons handled the transaction on their own, there were no commissions to pay, saving them at least $13,000. “Boy, are we glad we did it ourselves,” Raymond Pilon enthuses.

Truthfully, the Pilons weren’t completely on their own. They used a service called ComFree.com, one of a growing number of companies that allow you to sell your home online, without the help of a real estate agent. These services have been around for years, but they’ve exploded in popularity since 2010. That’s when the Canadian Real Estate Association agreed to open up its Multiple Listing Service (MLS)—where the overwhelming majority of real estate transactions occur—to agents who charge a flat fee rather than insisting on the industry-standard commission. That expanded the reach of For Sale By Owner (FSBO) services, which had previously operated at a huge disadvantage. Take PropertyGuys.com, which has 123 franchises and more than 10,000 active listings: the company saw a 30% increase in business last year despite being in operation for more than a decade.

But is selling your own home really as easy the Pilons’ story suggests? Clearly not. Many people who choose the FSBO route find it a stressful, time-consuming grind. Take Tawnia Vihos, who tried selling her Ottawa home with a FSBO service, but gave up: “It totally pays to have a real estate agent. More exposure and fewer headaches.”

So is the FSBO method right for you? Here are five things you need to understand before deciding whether you’re cut out to sell your home alone.

1: You save big on commissions

Clearly, the biggest incentive for using a FSBO service is the prospect of selling your home without paying commissions to agents. In traditional deals, the home seller signs a contract with a realtor who takes a percentage of the final selling price. (The length of the contact varies, but six months is the usual maximum.) The standard commission is 5%, which is divided equally among your agent, the buyer’s agent, and their respective brokerages. So on the sale of a typical $350,000 home, you’ll pay $17,500 in commissions, of which your agent pockets $4,375.

FSBO companies don’t collect a commission: instead, they charge you a much lower flat fee. For instance, the median cost of using PropertyGuys.com is $1,000, although the price varies depending on how many services a client uses. Where you live is also factor, as prices are adjusted based on the cost of doing business in a given region. In the Greater Toronto Area, median costs are closer to $2,000, while the same services would be $1,400 in Halifax and less in rural areas.

“We allow folks to sell privately and market privately through our website, taking as little or as much service as they need,” says Walter Melanson, PropertyGuys.com’s director of partnerships. Clients can get online listings, lawn signs, instructions for negotiating and closing deals, email alerts, personalized consultations, professional photos, audio tours, and 360-degree virtual tours.

The burning question, of course, is whether an agent can pay for herself by netting you a higher sale price, even after the commissions are deducted. Many agents will claim they can. But while there are no reliable Canadian data, a 2009 study by economics professor Igal Hendel and his colleagues at Northwestern University in Illinois found that FSBO sellers who did not have access to MLS took longer to sell their homes, but did not have to accept lower prices. “After controlling for differences in house and seller characteristics,” the authors concluded, “we find that the MLS delivers no price premium (even before netting commissions).”

Facing this competition, some realtors have changed their business model, and some even offer variations on the FSBO platform. For instance, Great Canadian Realty in Ontario now offers a $995 FSBO-type option where sellers can have their listing created by knowledgeable realtors. For additional fees they will also assist with other aspects of home selling, such as negotiation. Sundaybell.com will set you up anonymously with realtors, so you can interview them by email and negotiate fees up front, before you disclose your personal information. SaveOnCommission.ca, which still operates under the traditional real estate model, charges a seller’s agent fee of 1%, as opposed to the traditional 2.5%.

2: Agents may not work with you

As a home seller, you may love the idea of not paying commissions to real estate agents. But you can appreciate that the agents don’t share your enthusiasm. Andy Forse discovered this when he tried to sell his home in Mahone Bay, N.S., with PropertyGuys.com. “The agents in our town are all happy to work with each other and see each other’s houses. But they tend to shy away from the PropertyGuys or people selling on their own unless they absolutely have to. They’re not overly keen to recommend that house unless the buyer sees it and says, ‘I want to look at that house.’” Kim MacLaurin found the same thing when she helped her parents sell their home using GrapeVine.ca, a FSBO site for residents of Ottawa and eastern Ontario. Agents openly admitted they would not work with FSBOs. “They’d say other realtors don’t show homes that are listed on Grape Vine because they’re not supporting a market that is working against theirs.”

What really annoyed MacLaurin, though, were the agents who called her ad nauseam asking her to drop her FSBO venture and sign with them, and those who would book showings under false pretenses so they could make their pitch in person. She calls it bullying and says she had to grow a thick skin. She learned to stand firm with this response: “No, I’m not taking your call. No, you can’t show the house unless you have a prospective client.”

Dean Paley of Burlington, Ont., tried to work around this by calling up local agents and telling them that, while he had no interest in representation, if they had a buyer he would pay them a fee equivalent to “the same commission that they’d make in a traditional two-agent deal.” Just be careful, Paley adds. If you do strike a deal with a buyer’s agent, set down the ground rules very carefully, and don’t sign any form until your lawyer sees it.

3: You need to set the price

One of the more important services a realtor can offer is setting an appropriate listing price for your home. An experienced agent has a good feel for the local market, as well as access to a database of recent sales in the neighbourhood.

However, critics point out that the interests of real estate agents and sellers are not well aligned here. Take, for example, a seller who lists a home for $300,000 and gets an offer of $290,000. The seller may want to hold off another week for the additional $10,000, but the agent may push hard for the seller to take the $290,000. Why? Because that extra $10,000 only represents a 5% commission of $500, which is then split four ways. In the end, the seller’s agent would have to work an additional week for only $125.

“It’s not that real estate agents are bad,” say Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner, authors of the bestseller Freakonomics, “but they’re human beings and human beings respond to incentives.” When it comes to selling their own homes, it seems agents will hold out: using data from the sales of 100,000 Chicago homes, of which 3,000 were owned by realtors, Levitt and Dubner found that agents kept their own homes on the market an average of 10 days longer and sold for 3% more.

When Kim MacLaurin first listed her parents’ house, the realtor suggested a price of $389,000. Although the home was smaller than most in the neighbourhood, other properties were listed for no less than $450,000, which made MacLaurin feel like the agent was undercutting the market. “We almost felt like the price was scaring people off—that they’d be saying, ‘What’s wrong with it?’ We said minimum $399,000, and that was a difficult point for everyone.” When MacLaurin later listed the house on GrapeVine.ca, she priced it at $450,000 and sold it three months later for $425,000.

To Melanson of PropertyGuys.com, avoiding pricing pressure from realtors is one of the major perks of FSBO sites. “If you want to the ability to verify that your price is accurate, we have services and methods to do that. But we’re never calling you and saying, ‘Drop your price.’”

That said, it can de difficult for FSBO sellers to accurately price their own homes, especially in small towns where there are few recent sales to help gauge the market. James D’Aoust definitely had some doubts about using a FSBO service last year, when he was selling his house in Campbellville, a sleepy tourist town about one hour west of Toronto. “The biggest challenge is trying to determine the fair market value for your home without the assistance of a realtor, because of the access they have to information.”

In 2009, D’Aoust sold another home through an agent, and when it came time to sell his current property, he wanted to try doing it himself. “It didn’t seem like rocket science to me, especially with the tools available today through social media. The tipping point for us was the change in the accessibility to MLS.” But before hiring a FSBO service he met with several realtors to ask how they would go about marketing and selling his house, and to hear their suggestions for the listing price.

Some people may be put off by D’Aoust’s strategy: you might argue that he dealt with the realtors in bad faith by leading them to believe he was a prospective client. But he points out that all of the realtors advertised free market assessments, so he was happy to use that service to his advantage, making no promises that he would hire them to sell his home. Phil Soper, president and CEO of Royal LePage, says if getting a valuation is all a home seller is interested in, agents accept that as a part of doing business. But he adds that people just looking for freebies “probably should be dealing with someone else.”

D’Aoust eventually picked an $800 package from PropertyGuys, who arranged to have a photographer take pictures of the home for a web page on PropertyGuys.com, which was linked to a listing on the MLS. In the end, he sold his home for about 5% higher than the average appraisal offered by the realtors, and without paying any commissions.

Dean Paley didn’t approach any agents for assistance in pricing his home, which he calls “playing fair.” Instead, he simply looked at the MLS listings in his area to get an idea of the comparative value of his home. Because Paley and his wife were in a rush to move (having already purchased another home), they listed a hair under what they thought was fair market value and sold within two weeks.

In Raymond Pilon’s case, a recent bank assessment had told him his house was worth $265,000. ComFree.com also showed him—much like the MLS would, he says—what similar homes in his area were selling for, which turned out to be comparable to the bank assessment price.

4: You do the heavy lifting

If you’re still interested in trying your hand at FSBO, we have another question: are you willing to do most of the heavy lifting that a realtor would normally do on your behalf? “We’ve got to make sure you’re willing to do that,” says Melanson of the PropertyGuys. Rest assured, he adds, FSBO services can provide home sellers with all the information they need to guide them through the process should they be up for it.

Traditional realtors point out that their services go far beyond simply listing your house on the MLS. They argue that the vast majority of home sellers work with an agent for the same reason they wouldn’t defend themselves in court if hundreds of thousands of dollars were involved. “The amount of money at stake is large,” says Soper, of Royal LePage. “So they turn to someone who is involved in buying and selling real estate as a profession, and does it every day.”

Every real estate transaction is unique, Soper says, a point he thinks few people really grasp. “It’s really rare that you have a textbook transaction,” he says. “Almost every sale includes some degree of working through challenges. Buyers ask for a lot things, and it’s challenging for the seller to know whether those are acceptable things.” For instance, although it’s a seller’s responsibility to make sure that the home is livable for closing, you have the right to say no to unreasonable demands for repairs.

Adds Hendel, the economics professor: “You do fear all kinds of things going wrong in the bargaining.” He points out that selling a home is typically the biggest transaction most people will ever experience, and says that a traditional real estate agent can offer value during the process. They have experience negotiating with buyers and making counteroffers, for example. D’Aoust makes his living in sales, so all of this came easy for him: in fact, he enjoyed that aspect of the FSBO process. But he concedes that haggling is probably daunting for the average person. “You do have to be someone who enjoys negotiating and selling,” he says. “That has to be a part of your makeup. Some people seem to be allergic to the negotiating process, so it’s probably not a good fit for them.”

Melanson says PropertyGuys.com can help home sellers with all of the steps in the negotiating process, including how to respond to common questions that buyers ask. They also offer an online tool called the Offer Maker, which allows you to negotiate back and forth with a prospective buyer through the website. Other web tools give sellers a dashboard view of the number of people who have viewed their listing, a running log of questions from potential buyers, and a list of all received offers. Melanson says all this information is key for gauging whether your price is drawing interest, and it provides good insight for the seller considering a price adjustment. If you do change your asking price, an email notification is sent out to bidders who had previously expressed interest in new negotiations should the threshold drop.

Hendel says agents can also look after the necessary nuisances involved in selling a home. “They offer the service of showing the house, which might not be pleasant, especially if one is having an open house. These are the things that they can do better, I’d assume, than the average seller.”

That part was challenging, D’Aoust admits. “You have to be willing to make the time commitment, because it does require flexibility to accommodate prospective buyers. So unless you’re prepared to do that, maybe it’s not right for you.” He and his wife took 15 different people through their home before they finalized an offer. To make it easier on themselves, they tried to group several prospective buyers at set times so they weren’t dropping everything immediately to do a showing.

Scott Moffatt encountered a different issue when he unsuccessfully tried to sell his home last year using GrapeVine.ca. As the owner of his own Ottawa-based communications company, Moffatt frequently travels, which meant his wife was at home alone with their two young daughters to do showings. “It made her very uneasy,” he says. “That was a significant drawback.”

Experienced real estate agents can also offer helpful suggestions about how to properly stage your home so it will sell more quickly, and for a higher price. Some of these strategies—such as removing family photos or getting rid of a carpet that smells like your dog—are hard for sellers to identify on their own and require an outside opinion. D’Aoust, however, said the advice he received during market appraisals with realtors was really just common sense. “It wasn’t anything you wouldn’t have been able to pull off the internet yourself in terms of decluttering and simplifying.”

Kim MacLaurin actually felt some of the advice from her realtor was dubious. When she later sold her house on her own, she chose to ignore the suggestion to spend $400 on renting staging furniture. “Was that necessary? Probably not.”

Dean Paley points out that even if you don’t work with a real estate agent, you still need to hire a lawyer to handle the contracts. Fortunately, he and his wife already knew a reputable lawyer who worked in real estate. “We just contacted him in advance and said, ‘This is what we’re doing. We’re going to send you the forms, and just bill us accordingly.’ And it worked out phenomenally.”

The lawyer made sure they did not sign any contract before passing it through him to approve or suggest changes. He also covered all the important due diligence, including checking the documents prepared by the buyer’s lawyer, ensuring that the Paley’s old mortgage was properly discharged, confirming that all necessary payments had been made, and arranging the signing of the transfer documents.

Note that lawyers who work with FSBO sellers often have to take on some responsibilities that the realtor would have handled, and they will bill you accordingly: Paley says he paid about 15% more. “Not a huge price,” he says, particularly since they had saved money on the sale by avoiding the agent’s commission.

That was D’Aoust’s experience as well. While he estimates that his legal costs were double what he paid during a previous sale through a realtor (where his agent negotiated offers and handled most of the paperwork), he figures the money he saved in commissions and the higher selling price more than made up for that.

5: You’d better have the time

Selling a house through a FSBO service usually takes longer—sometimes much longer. The Northwestern University study found that houses initially listed and sold as FSBOs took, on average, 19.5 days more days to sell. For houses that were first listed as FSBOs but eventually sold on the MLS, the time to sell was almost 69 days longer.

It’s important to note that this study was done between 1998 and 2005, when FSBOs did not have access to MLS. But more recent FSBOs still face problems. The Moffatts’ property was unique: it was by far the largest, most expensive home in Smiths Falls, Ont. When they decided to purchase a newly built home in Ottawa, their agreement actually required them to hire a realtor to hasten the sale of their existing home, since they had already been using a FSBO system for six months without success.

Andy Forse also ran into a roadblock. After signing up with PropertyGuys.com to sell his three-bedroom home in Mahone Bay, he gave up after six months when he didn’t see an offer anywhere close to his asking price of $115,000. He and his wife had valued the property based on the selling prices of similar homes they’d seen on the MLS. But while the home was still on the market, they had to move back to Forse’s hometown of Kemptville, N.S., due to a job change, leaving the house sitting empty.

Meanwhile, they were relegated to staying at Forse’s mother’s home until the property in Mahone Bay sold, because the bank wouldn’t approve a new loan until their existing property sold. Feeling pressure to sell quickly, Forse then signed with an agent and sold within weeks. However, he thinks the agent just got lucky. A next-door neighbour who had previously expressed serious interest in buying the property for his daughter—but didn’t have the necessary funds at the time—came up with the money and bought it through the realtor. “We would have sold it had we waited a little longer,” Forse laments.

The Forses are now in the process of trying to upgrade their current home, but will be going with the services of a real estate agent because time, again, is a big consideration. “We decided we’re just too busy to do it on our own, plus we have two little kids. So we said, ‘Let’s get an agent.’”

35 comments on “Home alone

  1. Selling your home is never easy, however we'd love to see some hard statistics on FSBO vs realtor sold home and if the commission is really justified.

    It's likely that many FSBO sellers look at comparable sales, but also have to consider that those comparables often include realtor commission in the sale price – sometime's its better to price the home more attractively so that both the seller and the buyer benefit from fewer commissions paid out.

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  2. Twenty years ago you had to use a broker to purchase and sell stocks, but advances in technology and information has made it possible for Canadians to do it themselves with support and no longer require that intermediary – the same is now true of buying or selling a home.

    But a few myths remain. We conducted research in fall of 2011 which revealed that an almost identical time investment (overall average was 29.7 hours) is required regardless of whether a home is being sold by the owner or with a realtor. For more myth busting, feel free to check out our blog posting about it: http://blog.comfree.com/2011/09/20/7-real-estate-

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    • Given that most properties on your network languish online for weeks or months, I find your calculation of 30 hours laughable. Given it can take much more than that by realtors. How about some real 3rd party numbers if your going to quote studies?

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  3. Prior to becoming a licensed registrant I too sold my house on my own and went through the entire. process. It took a lot of work and I spent a considerable amount of money on marketing/advertising before finally selling 3 months later at a reduced rate. Many buyers who come by traditionally deduct the 5% commission right away before making an offer. So you are not really "ahead" in the game.

    As a agent I also protect you from any potential lawsuits with my errors and omissions insurance and build the commission $$ into the price of the home so you come out further ahead then if you were to sell it on your own.

    Hal

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    • This is coming from an agent big surprise. Most potential buyers know exactly want they want from mls or other sites, soon more and more people will start to use free sites or sites that don't require a agent and the easy money will soon be gone.

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      • Easy money? My parents tried to sell their home themselves and it was a nightmare. These com free companies aren’t doing any real service. They take your money upfront and put your listing on MLS. When my parent finally decided to go with a Realtor, he worked very hard to market the property, took professional pictures, print advertising, etc.. and didn’t ask for a dime upfront. They get paid when the home actually sells! I think most people don’t realize how much money, work, time and effort a good Realtor puts into selling a home! They watch HGTV and say “that’s easy”. Then there’s the possible legal issues. I Googled it and many FSBO end up in litigation. Plus, everyone who looks at a FSBO tries to bargain for a bigger discount because they know that the sellers are selling it themselves. After they pay taxes most agents are struggling. So the “easy money” comment comes from pure ignorance. Do your homework and speak from experience. Maybe we should all start building homes too right? How hard can it be? Call all of the trades and have them do all the work for you…..A General Contractor? I can do that!

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      • Easy Money? Most real estate professionals I know work harder and for more hours than most 9-5ers I know.
        Secondly, a real estate professional has to pay for all of the over head costs relating to marketing, scheduling, listing platforms, ect – and then pay for their insurance on top of that. Then once they pay taxes and cover the rest of their normal expenses, such as gas, business cards, office expenses ect – Simply put – it is the same as any other business out there. The amount of money coming in is astronomical compared to what they actually end up paying themselves. Everyone just hears 5-6% and does the math without thinking beyond that, and they ignorantly then respond with comments like “Easy money” and “must be nice” ect – Think like a business owner. If the general population knew what their insurance agent, their favorite restaurant, their mechanic, their lawn guy, ect — brought to the top line of their business, and never took into consideration their expenses, they would say the same of them. People need to get back to thinking things though before they draw up hard lined conclusions – we would all be better off :)

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        • heres some simple math for ya,
          Toronto house prices 1990 Average $150,000.00 X 2.5%=$3750.00
          Today its $500,000.00 X2.5% =$12,500.00
          I’m in construction and my wage did not go up X 3 what a joke…

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          • I don’t know where you’re getting your numbers from (I suspect you’re making them up)
            In 1990 the average home price was 105,000 higher (slight difference)
            Construction jobs in 1990 didn’t pay crap (about 45% of today’s wage depending on trade)
            Your “wage” is an after tax, after expence earning. The realtor’s 2.5% doesn’t go into his pocket.
            Licensing fees
            Auto
            Gas
            Taxes
            Advertising
            Insurance
            Office costs
            Technology costs
            Continuing education costs
            Just 8 of the numerous expenses a realtor (and most other small business owners) face that have risen sharply in the time frame you’re talking about, (some like gas are 4 times higher).

            You’re right, it is a joke that realtor’s charge 2.5% still, in reality they haven’t had a raise in over 2 decades!

          • Well in actuality you get a raise every time houses go up in price. So no matter what the average housing prices are, You have still received a huge raise from the 90’s until now. Everyone understands that gas prices, costs etc have gone up in price. However, why should a person selling their home have to cover these costs? Most trades people as in construction will make anywhere from $40-$60/hour as a general contractor. (for good ones). The stats are that a real estate agent will on average spend between 40-50 hours to sell a home. Yes some are less and some are more, sometimes you sell a home quickly and sometimes a house does’t sell. For considerations we will use 50 hours. We will also use a selling price of $500,000 like the comment above with a 2.5% commission…$12,500 at the end of the deal. For 50 hours of work, it is still $250/hour. I would like to see any other profession that needs the schooling and expertise that a realtor needs to make that kind of money. Yes there is all the expenses you stated, but every business has these expenses to survive and they go against your capital earnings, you don’t pass them on to your clients. You can’t charge more because you have these expenses. Let’s say you made $70/hour (a great wage in my opinion) you would have to put in 178 hours to make your $12500. Nothing else really needs to be written.

      • I could not agree more. Given that more and more is bought and sold on the Internet including travel it is only a matter of time before the easy money some agents make will be put in jeopardy. I have sold two homes on my own with ease. The money saved is tax free. Whereas real estate fees are not only too high given the increase in home costs but they are subject to HST. Yes there are good agents. Yes there are honest agents but is it not a vocation with to a degree a dubious reputation?

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  4. That's a great thing to do. But will it be worth it? Will the money be enough to buy a new house?

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  5. This is really good published article. Such a great yet interesting post. Thank you very much for sharing this useful stuff.

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  6. Thanks for sharing nice information with us. i like your post and all you share with us is update and quite informative, i would like to bookmark the page so i can come here again to read you, as you have done a wonderful job.

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  7. Hi, I just wanted to point out that realtors don't avoid FSBO's because they go against our market. They are a very small percentage (at least in our area). I show buyers FSBO listings but I do point out that since my commission is usually paid by the seller, it may come out of their pocket unless we can work something out with the owner. Unless the FSBO's have advertised a commission on their listing this is definitely a hindrance to buyers.

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  8. thanks for sharing this story, i think i heard of it but never realized where it came from

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  9. These services have been around for years, but they’ve exploded in popularity since 2010.

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  10. right at the moment, homes are mostly being sold by licensed agent as they have more knowledge and qualifications to give better advice to buyer/seller in order to aid their decision. Thanks.

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  11. Dog as a pet is very sweet to keep and gives a secure feelings also. Training makes a person more professional about the job. If you are giving training to dogs also the same result will come. Training should be proper and secure too. Some features they already have it in their heads that it is ok for me to allow them pet my two huge 75 pound (each) dogs, assuming they are not going to get bitten. I am going to train my dogs this safety move. I

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  12. The basic real estate system we have is flawed by the fact the all the commission is paid by only one of the two parties receiving a service. The buyer has little to no incentive to not use an agent when purchasing. They can get the agent do all the work for them and they will still pay the same price or less as they would without one. If both the buyer and seller paid some fee based on the services they received, there would be a lot less buyers and sellers wasting the agents time.
    Instead the fees are based on a percentage of the selling price. This has increased the number of agents since they look at the prospect of earning a significant salary by selling just one or two homes a month. The truth is most agents don't make a lot of money and the cost of selling a home is a lot higher than it should be.

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  13. Pingback: Tips for Selling Your Toronto Home | PropertyBlawg

  14. The reality is most people do not like when there appears to be price collusion. From gas prices, to cell phone bills to retail stores – the concept of a free-market and fair competition is what we often value as Canadians. Yet so many Realtors don’t feel that way and attack the fsbo process. There are many great Realtors and there will always be a segment of the market that prefers their service. There also will always be a part of the market that wants to explore their full options – and private sale/fsbo companies are simply an alternative.

    Many just need some help or want some more info about the process. There are some tips here http://breezestreet.com/property-selling-steps or explore your options – which is what it all boils down to – having options.

    Reply

  15. Pingback: FSBO: Selling Without an Agent | ClosingCosts.ca Blog

  16. Seriously, the Competition Bureau needs to step in and question the very demand for a 5% commission on the sale of a property. If a lawyer does a real estate transaction he/she/their firm gets paid a flat fee for the work done for ensuring the legalities of the transaction.
    In a similar situation, why should an agent be paid 5% (2.5%+2.5%) for a single transaction. How does this make sense. On a property valued at $700K the commission is $35K , which is steep considering that fact than an engineer or a lawyer or an accountant or design consultant does not make that kind of a return on investment in time for services rendered.
    This real estate commission fiasco, seems to be a clear cut case of collusion where in the real estate agents lobby tries to force the hand of the seller or a buyer under the guise of professional service.
    I do not argue that there is no merit in the work done by a real estate agent, however my argument is that like any profession, these group of professionals should also be paid a flat fee price per transaction like an accountant or a lawyer would be paid for their services.

    Please bring some sanity into this equation…

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  17. The problem is that there is no third party knowledge base on the actual transaction problem and if the seller simply offers a commission to Buyer’s Agents and has a proper real estate app the seller is fine.
    20% of all sales are now flat fee and FSBO sales, 50% in Quebec Canada, and the only wounded customers screaming for justice in the media are all
    represented by licensed agents and the reason is that most licensed agents are part timers and Real Estate is only for a fast buck from selling a friend or relative’s property.

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  18. My home is worth close to 800,000 now in a desirable neighbourhood, by the time I end of selling it will presumably by worth more (I expect to be here another 5 years or so). It seems impossible not to consider selling FSBO and saving upwards of $30,000 in commissions, even if I save half that it seems worth it even if it take 3 months to sell, (which seems to be pretty much impossible if you have a nice house in a good neighbourhood)

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  19. Using comfree is a waste of time and money unless you live in the city. Plus, they do not put you on your local Mls (I am 1 hr outside of Ottawa and they put me on the Toronto Mls, and I couldn’t find my listing). While on comfree with the extra paid for the Mls listing, I got few hits online and no viewings, calls or offers.

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  20. Hiya very nice site!! Guy .. Excellent .. Amazing .. I’ll bookmark your web site and take the feeds
    also? I’m glad to search out so many useful info here within the
    publish, we need work out extra techniques in this regard, thanks for sharing.
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  21. With more and more sold on the Internet will there be a growing tend of homeowners selling their home on there own? Is selling your home on your own made more complicated by the real estate agents than what it really is. Yes there are good agents and yes some have very good education but selling your own home is not rocket science. Do the agents sometimes make it look more complicated than it really is? Are the agents honest? Do they have inspectors who are in their inside circle? Are there several other unethical practices. Are agents working with mortgage companies and brokers with a referral fee. Do they steer potential buyers away from homes for sale by owner.

    Is the Pope Catholic?

    Personally and in recent years without the use of the Internet or MLS I sold two homes with great ease saving many thousand of dollars and in both cases the buyers were very pleased with the transactions. At the risk of over simplifying it the seller and buyer meet, if they can agree on a price including conditions such as financing and inspection a deposit is made in trust to the sellers lawyer. Both the buyer and seller take the agreement to their respective lawyers. Reasonable sellers and buyers will complete the transaction to their mutual satisfaction.

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  22. In my little corner of the world (British Columbia, Canada) the realtors in town charge 7% on the first $100,000 and 3.5 on the balance over that. I am trying to sell my home myself through Property Guys because I can’t bear to lose up to $13,500 of my hard earned equity to a real estate agent. I already tried a realtor and from my perspective it didn’t look like there was much effort put into making a sale. Also, I’m curious to know if the percentages above are unusually high, or maybe it’s inflated to cover the cost of living today.

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  23. We recently sold our house. One thing that helped us a lot was purchasing good online exposure for our property. We started out with a lawn sign and printed flyers, but a friend encouraged us to just get a homewebo site for our property, which turned out to be way more effective than any of our print materials. Most buyers contacted us through our online form rather than calling us.

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  24. I think it is great that people sell their homes directly. I have always sold my homes directly and the savings are immense. After three properties I have sold, I probably saved over $50,000. Two of them sold over a weekend and one took a little bit longer, but it is still worth it. It would be good to see an article with some more options about how to advertise your home for free. Personally I have used on my last property the following free sites: 1. Kijiji 2. Craigslist 3. Homenova.com – I published this on all three with open house dates. Then I went to Home Depot and bought a few standup signs and taped some info on it. It was the ugliest sign in the world but the neighbor saw it and bought my house. No fees. Anyways good luck to the savy ones out there!

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  25. Another great site to consider is Prelist.org. It’s 100% free to list your home their, and you can buy a specialized lawn sign from them for about $30. Since you don’t have to agree to anything and pay any fees for the service, you can always decide to take your home to a Real Estate agent further down the road.

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