The low-comission (while superior-level) service includes the complete package:
When selling a home or a condo:
Is an agent needed when selling your home?If you handle the sale yourself, you do not pay any fees to a realtor. But how much money do you loose?
The illusion of saving money
Let's talk about the buyers. The can be divided in two groups:
1. Buyers, who have their own realtor.
In Canada, a home buyer does not pay any fee to a realtor, therefore most of those who buy hire an agent. However, such realtors show only properties that are listed on MLS. If you arrange for your home to be listed on MLS without signing a listing agreement (some realtors this service for a few hundreds of dollars), you still will be required to pay the fee to the buyer's agent (usually 2.5%), otherwise the agents will not be showing your property to their clients.
2. Buyers who decided to act without an agent.
If you are "lucky" and a buyer appears at your doorstep alone, without an agent, they will be expecting a discount from the asking price for the amount of agent's fee - this is the reason why some buyers decide to handle the purchase themselves (there are no other reasons for declining the free service). As a result, you would not be able to save the money you planned to save, but you would need to do all the work of the experienced professional you decided not to hire.
Do you have any idea what should be the asking price for your home so you do not loose money and also sell it within a reasonable timeframe? A realtor will perform a comparative market analysis and suggest a reasonable and an adequate price - the maximum price for which your home could be sold without being stuck on the market.
Reaching your target audience
The sign "For Sale By Owner" will not make your property visible on the market. It's not the question of advertising it to a bigger audience, but a question of targeting precisely those buyers who are particularly interested in a property like yours. Unlike you, the realty brokerages, where agents work, have resources, experience, people and connections which allow them targeting a far bigger pool of potential buyers.
While some sellers are able to negotiate with potential buyers (although many of them only believe that they know to negotiate), the agents have proved their worth and often, they proved to be indispensable in such matters. A buyer could be skillful in negotiating (if this is part of his professional duties), so you would find yourself in an unequal fight. The realtors know how to reach mutually agreeable terms in situations, in which direct negotiations (without an agent) would have resulted in non-beneficial terms for the seller and, possibly, in loosing the deal. It is possible that you know someone who had sold his or her property without an agent and is very proud of this fact. But you do not know all the details - perhaps, he/she was "found" by the buyers and the deal could had been far more profitable had the seller hired an experienced professional to protect his/her interests.
A lot of sellers face situations when they need to deal with multiple offers. Could you handle these or you would simply accept the one offering the highest asking price? Who would be on your side when negotiating with potential buyers - do you have many years of bargaining experience in realty deals (and can you handle a "counter-offer battle")?
Hidden traps and pitfalls
Do you know where to expect a problem and how to protect yourself from scammers? Are you aware which terms and conditions of the contract are worth fighting for (even if the buyer is not a scammer, but just an experienced and picky one - we are still talking about big money)? Do you understand what all those conditions and clauses of the offer mean? Can you find among the standard clauses precisely those that are not in line with your interests and could be changed or removed? Do you know all the nuances of accepting a money deposit? Selling home in Ontario is not an easy thing to do, taking into account all the legal implications. If you do not have actual experience, you can loose a lot of money instead of saving it. Your agent knows how to handle all those issues and his/her brokerage is holding full responsibility for the deal, and for the most extreme situations - their liability is covered by professional insurance.
Realtor will arrange for showings of your home to potential buyers at any time, including working days. If you are selling the home yourself, will you be able to handle the showings at any time? E.g. you are at work right now, and the buyer would like to see the house in one hour.
To summarize: what difference does it make how much you pay your agent if the agent helps you with selling your home for more money, even given the commission. As common wisdom says: "A cheapskate pays twice". Selling your home without an agent - is a classic example of such situation!
Contact me NOW to receive a free market analysis on your home!