Do you want to sell your home privately? No- Problem.


We all excited about our monthly office meeting.

The meeting subject was agents about the “changes to our industry” including the addition of the HST, the Competition Bureau and how they may affect the marketing and sale of real estate.  This is what full-time professionals do.  We constantly update ourselves and make sure we know how to keep our clients informed, protected and properly represented.

However, what I really wanted to do this morning is hit the pavement and introduce myself to every “For Sale By Owner” presently trying to sell.  Not with the intention to advertise my services and try to list them for sale.  What I really wanted to do was introduce myself, educate them and ask them a series of questions.  Our meeting would go something like this:

Agent: Good morning, My name is Vijay from Re/Max

Seller: I don’t want to use an agent. I want to sell privately

Agent: That’s fine. I’m not here to sell your home but would like to ask a few questions

Seller: Ok…no problem. What questions?

Agent: Do you know what FINTRAC is?

Seller: No

Agent: Do you know what a SPIS is?

Seller: No

Agent: Do you know about Money Laundering?

Seller: No

Agent: Are you aware of Grow Houses?

Seller: No

Agent: Are you aware of the circulation of counterfeit certified cheque especially in real estate?

Seller: No

Agent: Are you aware and up to date with all the recent home sales in your neighborhood?

Seller: No

Agent: Do you know what type of questions to ask a prospective buyer to gauge seriousness and interest?

Seller: No

Agent: Are you aware of the latest mortgage rates and rules that have been implemented?

Seller: No

Agent: Are all the people who walk in or see your house qualified?

Seller: I don’t know

Agent: Do you have valuables, a family?

Seller: Yes

Agent: Who is responsible for measurements, accuracy and representation?

Seller: I guess me

Agent: How are you dealing with the time commitment? Who shows your house when you’re not here?

Seller: No one

Agent: Do you know the appropriate marketing for your type of property?

Seller: I don’t know. What do you mean?  Mostly newspaper, a For Sale sign and an internet site

Agent: How many properties have you sold this year?

Seller: None

Agent: When is the last time you sold a property?

Seller: Maybe about 6 years ago

Agent: Do you think real estate laws and practices have changed in recent years?

Seller: Don’t know. Have they?

Agent: Last couple of question. Why are you selling privately?

Seller: To save the real estate fee

Agent: Why do buyers go to private Sellers?

Seller: I guess to save the real estate fee

Agent: Interesting.  Hopefully you’re a great negotiator.  Thank you for your time and truly wish you good luck

Selling property is beyond a For Sale sign and a posting on an internet site however this is what some may think.  How can anyone that doesn’t live and breathe this business understand all the pitfalls that exist when handling the largest investment of their life?  How can anyone truly believe that marketing and multiple offers just occur?  Does a seller that sells a property once every 5-10 years really believe that they have the negotiating know-how to create multiple offers.  Does a seller really believe that whole bunch of private buyers will simply line up outside willing to bid without being counseled by a professional?

Maybe some consumers need to experience the trials and tribulations of selling privately to truly appreciate just how complex our business is and how valuable a Realtor’s services are.  I know someone always pays the fee.  Too bad a seller may be gambling and learning the hard way with the largest investment of their lives.

 Oh and by the way, the same pitfalls apply when buying privately but that another story.