In 1996, I needed to sell the waterfont property. Again, I decided to do this privately in order to save the sales commission.
Almost two years later
, I gave up and listed with Anne Reid, a real estate agent who was a friend of mine, and the parent of a student I had taught in Grade 1. In the preceeding two years, the best offer I had been able to get on my own was $190,000, and I had turned it down. It took a while, but Anne Reid found a buyer at $213,000.
Lesson: The same one that I should have learned in Episode 2!
Your experiences may be different, but there is certainly a pattern in mine.
What I have found is that both buying and selling can be a problem if you don't have someone working for you in your best interests.
Anne was probably the most direct with her advice. She asked me, "Bob, when you tried to sell privately and you found someone interested in your place, didn't they expect you to drop your price by the sales commission and more?"
Yes. And more. She was absolutely right. I was expected to take the loss, and I had none of the advantages of marketing with the exposure that MLS can provide.
So, here is my conclusion.
No one likes to pay real estate commissions, so private sales and purchases do have some appeal. The problem is that so many things can go wrong with them.
If I were buying in an area where I didn't have a really good understanding of real estate values, I would now be sure to enter into a Buyer Agency agreement with an agent from that community.
- Bob Foster, 2005
These experiences were humbling, but they contained valuable lessons that helped me when I decided to become a real estate sale person myself.
The comment I made in 2005 about "the advantages of marketing with the exposure that MLS can provide" was right on the money.
A qualified real estate agent can put your listing on MLS or, as it is now known, Realtor.ca.
You can't do that if you sell privately, and the companies that sell you packages for marketing your home as "For Sale By Owner" can't do it either. That means that, even with any newspaper advertising you may do, you are never likely to get as many people through your home as you would if it was on MLS.
The more people who see your home, the better chance you have of getting the offer you want. It's that simple - and 85% of people who buy a home now see it first on the Internet. Selling without having your home on MLS can work, but you are missing out on having the most important real estate tool in the country working for you.
- Bob Foster, 2009
See BobFoster.ca for details about the services I provide to my clients, or give me a call if you would like a referral to a reputable agent in your area.