Selling your home without an agent can save you a lot of money, but without a listing agent you don’t have ability to get your house into the multiple listing system, which means you have reduced your visibility online and among agents working for buyers. There may have been a time when a sign on the lawn and a listing in the newspaper may have been enough, but close to 90% of searches for homes begin online.
First Alternative: Online Listings
To profit from this enormous amount of traffic you can place an add online. Beware! Not all sites are worth the money, you need to make sure that you’re going to get enough exposure for your money. That means doing a bit of research yourself, trying searching for homes in your area and see what sites come up. An example of a strong FSBO site in Canada is PropertySold.ca. In comparison to the sales commission the fees for an online listing are very cheap, but again it’s imperative that the site has a strong presence online and can drive traffic to your site.
Second Alternative: Discounted Listing
The other option is to go a half step and list your home on the system with a discount brokerage. There are companies that specialize in this service and they typically charge a small flat fee, which means you can get your home listed for as little as $385. Again, do your homework and research the firm offering this service, do they have a lot of business, are their rates competitive, are houses on the area listed with them as well? Basically the same background check you would do when selecting an agent. There are plenty of companies offering this service, both locally and nationally, so find the best value for your money. Some agent might even do it but you’re obviously purchasing limited services.
Don’t Let Anyone Tell You
There is a great deal of confusion surrounding who actually pays the commission in the purchase of a home – the buyer or the seller? The Realtor people will tell you that if you list through a discount brokerage you’ll still by paying the commission for the buying agent – this isn’t true. You have your asking price, and the buyer pays it. You may come to an agreement, and it’s important to have a lawyer look over the offers that are made to make sure there aren’t any such caveats, but fact of the matter is you get the fair amount for your house, and any money to the agent goes on top of what the house costs.