Par Michel Galipeau

To sell your home quickly and for free without the help of a real estate agent? Let’s be honest: It’s too good to be true!

Let’s see what questions you should ask yourself before you decide to sell as a FSBO…

Do you really have the time?

It’s more than snapping a few pictures, posting them online and waiting for people to show up. Remember, you will have to handle all aspects of sales and marketing while coordinating family responsibilities, working full time and shopping for a new house for yourself.

How do you plan to promote your home?

A sign in front of the house is not enough: You need to arm yourself with a strong marketing strategy to promote your home on social media and search engines. In addition to having the tools for this purpose, a real estate agent displays his listings on his agency’s website; many also have blogs that attract potential buyers.

Is your security ensured?

Your inexperience makes you the perfect target for scams such as identity theft or the signature of fraudulent documents. When you have strangers over, there is also a significant risk of burglary. Real estate agents take a number of steps to ensure their safety and yours, but no one is looking after you when you are alone.

Do you understand every legal aspect?

Any mistake you make, anything you forget can have serious financial consequences. What information do you need to disclose to the buyer? Is your house legal? Do you fully understand the content of the paperwork you must read and sign?

How much is your house worth?

An agent will properly estimate the value of your home. On your own, you could sell it $40,000 less than its market value and give the impression that it has a latent defect, or on the contrary, try to sell it for too much and struggle to find a buyer! And don’t forget: The longer a house stays on the market, the more its value decreases…

Can you negotiate?

The buyer, his agent, his notary and his inspector are aware that you pay no commission, which gives them much leeway to negotiate. The broker knows that you have neither the skills nor the knowledge to stand up to him. Moreover, most brokers do not think highly of FSBOs since, by believing that they don’t need them, they depreciate their profession.

Are you ready to take the risk?

You pay a commission to an agent only if he succeeds in selling your house. Even if he spends a small fortune trying to sell it, it’s at his own risk, not yours. By going FSBO, you spend a lot of money with no guarantee of succeeding. A real estate agent will cost you about 5% in commission but will save you money elsewhere. Besides, with an agent, you will probably sell faster and for more!

The use of the masculine gender in this article is not discriminatory. 

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