Sometimes sellers will be tempted to sell their home on their own, believing that it will save them the cost of the real estate commission. Selling a home is a very complex procedure, involving large sums of money, stringent legal requirements and the real potential for very costly mistakes. It requires a tremendous depth of knowledge and experience, as well as a substantial amount of time to follow up on every detail promptly and properly.

Just as most of us lack the knowledge to do a major repair on the family car, most sellers lack the depth of knowledge, experience and amount of time needed to sell a home on their own. A REALTOR® not only has the qualifications and expertise, but also is committed to spending the time it takes to get the best deal possible.

Your REALTOR® has these qualifications and experience and is committed to spending the time it takes to help you sell your home successfully so you can focus on the things you do best and enjoy the most.

If you are thinking about selling your home alone, ask yourself these questions:

* Will you really “save” the real estate commission?
Most buyers expect a bargain when buying “privately”. They assume that you will sell for a discount because “you will not be paying the real estate commission.”

* Do you have the time?
Without a REALTOR®’S support, you are the one who will have to write and pay for the ads to market your property, remain available day or night for calls from prospects, run open houses on the weekend, show your property on short notice, screen potential buyers, fill out all the paper work and do the dozens of other things required to sell a home.

* How will you reach potential buyers?
Without a REALTOR®, you will not have access to an extensive network of potential buyers. This network includes the MLS® or Multiple Listing Service®.

* Do you really know the true market value of your home?
Setting the right selling price is critical. It requires extensive knowledge and training, as well as access to a sophisticated market analysis system developed over years of experience. If you set the price too high, prospective buyers will be frightened off; too low, and you could leave thousands of dollars on the negotiating table.

* Are you ready to “screen” every prospect?
Screening prospects is absolutely necessary to weed out the “lookers” from serious buyers. Do you have the skills and experience to ask the right questions over the phone before you let a prospect visit? How are you going to find out whether they are really beneficially qualified to purchase in your home’s price range?

* How are you at selling and negotiating?
Understanding a buyer’s needs, providing just enough, but not too much information about your house, and completing the sale successfully through firm, impartial negotiation are all required.

* Do you have what it takes?
The emotional investment you have in your home may prevent you from dealing objectively with comments from prospective buyers. Hearing every comment a prospective buyer makes about your home could make you defensive and possibly interfere with the sale. You will encounter buyers you don’t like personally but must still consider as prospects.

* Are you up to date on real estate law?
Selling your home is a complex contractual and legal procedure. You will have to prepare your own legal documents or translate the language in an offer presented from a buyer.
Most Canadians who sell their homes do so with the assistance of a REALTOR®. Of the few who do try it themselves, many change their minds and end up dealing with a REALTOR® because the process is too complex, too time consuming, and too dangerous without the help of a professional.