Should you sell your home with or without a Realtor?


Should you sell your home with or without a Realtor? 

If you're like most people this question always comes to mind when you're thinking of selling your home. Why? Is it because you know more about the real estate process than a Realtor? Or is it that you're a great marketer, a great negotiator, you know all the legal ramifications? Or you just plain want to? No - It's because using the services of a professional Realtor is expensive.  In most cases tens of thousands of dollars. 

There are three important questions you should assess before attempting to sell without a Realtor:

1) Can you sell without the services of a Realtor?
The simple answer is yes. So why use a Realtor? Because selling on your own, with limited resources, is not easy and there’s no guaranteed you will sell.

2) Will you have fewer problems?
Chances are high you will have more problems.

Here is the all-important question:

3) If you do sell without a Realtor, will you net more money? The answer is maybe, but more probably - no. There are a lot of things that need to happen for you to be able to actually net more money. To mention a few, there's spending the minimum on advertising and legal advice; being able to find a qualified buyer who is willing to proceed in making a purchase offering; paying you a price you want.

Let's face it, if everyone was able to sell on their own home and actually net more money, with the least amount of problems, the real estate industry would not exist.

The real estate selling process, as a whole a is detailed expensive time consuming process, even for the transactions that appear easy and almost seamless. Each and every real estate transaction where a Realtor is involved requires timely research for pricing, market strategizing and counselling, marketing, monitoring change in market conditions, specific neighbourhood sales performance, specific property attributes, dealing with human emotions and behaviour, dealing with the stresses of negotiations, the legal aspect of understanding and handling of documents and timing. Timing that is not only sensitive to the market, but to a Buyer's or Seller's perception of the market, at that moment, which can affect the outcome of a transaction.

From the time a buyer or seller starts thinking about a sale until it actually closes in the registry office, involve many professional parties. There are financial lenders, inspectors, appraisers, lawyers, insurance companies, utility companies and movers. Others may include photographers, home stagers and decorators, painters and licensed trades people. Part of a Realtor's role is to help parties understand the entire selling process by providing information and recommendations which lead to the making of good, informed decisions. 

Many Realtor's undergo extensive training in prospecting, communications, negotiations, financing and overall selling. There's mandatory continued education in areas of contracts, ethics and representation. Plus, all Realtors have to adhere to a strict code of ethics and standards of business practice. Realtors are monitored and regulated under legislation from all levels of government. 

If you find a full-time Realtor who works hard to attract buyers and sellers to create a trade in real estate - hire them! Tell your friends as well. As in every industry there are various levels of service and expertise and when you find the best, use them. Have you heard the quote, 'if you think hiring an expert is expensive, try hiring an amateur?' There's a reason this holds true. Another great expression is, ‘a man who represents himself in court has a fool for a lawyer.' Being represented by a professional does make all the difference.

Of course, you cannot fault a seller for wanting to try on their own. Not only because they can potentially say money, but because there’s also a perception created by Realtors that selling a home is easy. What most Realtors never realize is there's a double-edged message in marketing their successes. Realtors want to tell everyone about their selling success, so they advertise, 'Home sold for 99% of asking in just two weeks!' The Realtor believes this type of advertising creates more business as consumers want to deal with successful people, and it does work. However, there are others who see this and believe that selling real estate requires little or no effort and think why pay tens of thousands of dollars for something they can do themselves. 

I would be happy to discuss this topic in greater detail. Simply contact me at

Peter Sardelis
Century 21 Capital Realty Inc. 
(613) 564-0021