Selling (or purchasing) by Owner has always been an option when it comes to Real Estate. As I celebrate my 19th anniversary as a Realtor, I’ve seen many different companies come and go – all with the aim of capturing the ‘by-owner’ market. The purpose of this blog isn’t to discount the option of doing it on your own. In fact, it is to give some advice to those who are considering or choosing this option.

In most circumstances, the focus of selling without the assistance of a Realtor is driven by the idea of saving commissions. Whatever the reason – there are a few things that everyone should think about when selling Real Estate.

The first is to have a good understanding of what you are required – by law – to disclose. Just about everyone focuses on price, but this is actually the easy part. Knowing what you are required to disclose (to avoid possible litigation down the road) and what you don’t need to disclose are equally important. Whether you are selling with a Realtor, or on your own, you are required to disclose any known material latent defects. Canadian Legislation outlines the requirements and there are many examples of what is considered a relevant defect for disclosure and what isn’t. Click here to read further into what you need to disclose.

The second is to deeply understand what you are selling. The obvious might be that you have a 10-year-old bungalow with a number of recent upgrades. What isn’t as obvious is how to appropriately measure the home. What is the legal square footage that you can disclose? It is not what the builder told you, not what is on the blueprint, and not what is on the tax assessment. Miscalculated or improperly measured homes are one of the most common items before the courts. For peace of mind, you can outsource a professional company to provide you with an approved RMS (Residential Measurement Standard) Report. The average cost is around $100.

The third is having the appropriate paperwork should you receive an offer. There are some essential documents and paperwork you will need to have ready for when you receive an offer. Some examples are a current Real Property Report, condominium documents, and disclosures, a water analysis for acreages, etc. Depending on the property, be sure to have the necessary information handy to avoid delays and possibly frustrating the contract.

Lastly – in the interest of keeping this shorter rather than longer, it’s important to know what contract you’ll be using, what conditions you’ll be amiable to, and what will be a fair price.

  • How showings will be arranged?
  • What you will do when a viewer insists on having their own professional representation?
  • What safety measures to implement while a stranger is viewing your home?
  • How you will address COVID-19 concerns and protocols?
  • How to market the home (i.e paying a flat fee to upload to Realtor.ca, social media, etc)?

Nothing here is rocket science but there are a number of critically important things to do and/or think about… and if you do, selling on your own may be the way to go! We love selling Real Estate and don’t want to see anyone unintentionally make a costly mistake. If you, or someone you know, is selling and would prefer to enlist the services of a professional – please send them our way. We look forward to helping them out!


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