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8 great reasons to sell your home privately

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1. You have control of the selling process

When most people sell anything other than their home, they sell it themselves. They set an asking price, advertise for buyers, and negotiate the selling price and conditions. It isn’t very difficult. When it comes time to sell their home, many people have been led to believe it is a much different process. But in reality, it isn’t. You need to find a buyer and agree on a price and conditions, the same as selling anything else. And in the case of your home, your most valuable possession, wouldn’t you rather be in control of that process, rather than handing it off to a third party?

2. You don’t have to leave your home every time a buyer wants to come and see it

One of the most frustrating things about using a third party to sell your home is that you have to leave your home every time a buyer wants to come and look at it. Our last experience selling a home through a Real Estate Agent was  when our kids were still young. We would either go for walks in the neighbourhood, or go for drives, stalling for time, waiting for the agents and buyers to leave our house so that we could go back to our home, all the while wondering who was looking at our home, and what they thought about it.

When you sell your home through an Agent, you can expect to be given short notice to get out of your own home so someone can come over to see it. You’ll also be asked to leave for entire afternoons, so an open house can be held without you.

When you sell your home privately, you can schedule open houses and viewings around your schedule, as opposed to the schedule of a third party.

3. You get to meet the people who will be buying your home

One of the nicest things about selling privately is that you actually get to meet the people who will be moving into your home after you move out. It is nice to be able to put faces and names to the people who will take over the space you call home.

The same is true for the buyers. They get to actually meet the owners of the home they are thinking about buying.

4. No one knows your home as well as you do

No one knows your home as well as you do, so why wouldn’t you want to show it to buyers? You know about all the upgrades and improvements you’ve made to your home, and about any areas of concern as well. You would think Real Estate Agents would want the owners of the house to be around when they show a home to prospective clients, in case they had any questions or concerns, but for some reason, they don’t want them anywhere near. Do they really think they know your home better than you do?

5. You are directly involved in the negotiations for the sale of your home

For most people, there is no reason you can’t look after the negotiations for the sale or purchase of a home yourself. You know how much you want or need to get out of the house, or how much you are willing to spend. It is not a complicated or hard process. Thanks to the internet, it’s easy to do your own research to determine a fair asking price for your property, and once you have that, the process is just like selling anything else. A buyer will hopefully make you an offer, and you can either accept it, refuse it, or make a counter offer. And you won’t have a third party pressuring you one way or the other.

6. You can save a lot of money

The average commission when Real Estate Agents are involved in a sale is anywhere from 3 to 7 percent of the selling price of the home, plus GST & PST. A lot of Brokerages in Saskatchewan are using the 6, 4 & 2 commission system right now, which is 6 percent on the first $100,000 of the sale, 4 percent on the second $100,000, and 2 percent on everything else. That means that on a $400,000 home, the commission would be $14,000 plus GST &PST – for a total of $15,400.

In that case, the Commission plus Taxes would end up being 3.85 percent of the total sale price. But if you still owe $300,000 on the house, it would be 15.4 percent of your equity. It’s a lot of money, either way.

When you sell your home privately, the only fees you pay are the advertising you decide to do on your own. That can be as simple as putting a For Sale by Owner sign in the window, or advertising online through websites like www.saskhouses.com – all at a small fraction of the price you would be paying to use a Real Estate Agent. The price of your home shouldn’t be higher just because you are using an Agent to help you sell, nor should it be lower because you are selling it on your own. But by the same token, a private seller might have a little more wiggle room than a seller using an Agent, because no third parties are getting part of the proceeds of the sale.

7. There is a lot less paperwork

When you sell your home privately, you usually only have to complete one form – an offer to purchase form, which is signed by the buyer & the seller, along with a witness, and taken to a lawyer. Often, the form can be signed in the Lawyer’s Office. That’s it – the Lawyer will look after everything else, to make sure the buyer gets the title to the house, and the seller gets the money for the sale of the house. When you sell with an Agent, there are a lot more documents to complete and sign, but most of them deal with your relationship with the Real Estate Agent, not with the sale of your home.

8. It is empowering

Anytime you are able to accomplish something you’ve been led to believe you aren’t capable of doing, it gives you a sense of empowerment. And selling your home yourself will do just that. Over the years, the Real Estate Industry has spent a lot of money on fear-mongering ads aimed at chipping away at the self-confidence of people who might be thinking of selling privately. Their most recent ad warns that if you buy a home privately, there is a good chance you’ll end up with termites, facing a lawsuit, living right next to a busy railroad track, and that your neighbours will be front-yard nudists. Don’t believe it, and don’t be afraid. In reality, if you try selling your home privately, you will likely be amazed by how easy and enjoyable the process was, and by how much extra money you end up with in your pocket.

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