Some people want to sell their own property. As a big DIYer myself, I can’t criticise that. The transaction cost in real estate is very high, and if an owner can successfully sell their own property they can save thousands of dollars. And, like any other do-it-yourself activity, success pays a huge satisfaction dividend.
There are downsides and risks, of course. Selling on your own is not easy money. If it were easy, then, as the saying goes, everyone would do it, and the market wouldn’t pay realtors thousands of dollars to get properties sold.
The biggest risk is that the property will beceom the subject of a legal battle. The vast majority of real estate transactions do not result in legal disputes. This is thanks, in large part, to organized real estate and the effots of thousands of real estate professionals who draft clear, enforceable contracts that accurately reflect what both buyer and seller want to do.
If your sale is complex, or if you do not think you will be able to draft an enforceable contract, you should get professional help in order to avoid legal problems. That doesn’t mean you can’t play a much more active role in the transaction – it just means that you should be realistic about your abilities.
The second downside is that selling a property is work. You’ll have to price it, market it, show it, answer questions about it, make a website, do a title search, and a thousand other tasks that sometimes go unmentioned. The good thing, however, is that if you sell the property you will get paid for that work, and paid in tax free dollars in most cases.
Clearly, if you can do the work, protect yourself against the risk, and get professional help when you need it, the you can sell your own property, and you deserve to be compensated for doing so.
Over a series of blogposts I am going to share some of my knowledge about selling real estate in order to make it easier for a property owner who is so inclined to sell on their own, or take on at least part of the task.
My motivations are pretty simple. For Sale By Owner (FSBO) listings have not traditionally made up a large part of the market, and I don’t think the internet or access to the MLS will change that, despite claims to the contrary (I trust the judgement of the market more than the judgement of “experts” The market has rewarded rewarded professionals for decades and I’m confident it will continue to do so). In other words, I’m not threatened by FSBOs, and don’t see a reason to get in their way.
I believe that if someone wants to expend time and energy educating themselves about anything, including real estate, they should be encouraged. I also believe that if someone wants to do the same work that someone else gets paid for, they should also get paid. If the owner does the work a realtor normally does, they deserve compensation.
I also believe that some people will initially want to do everything themselves and later decide they need some professional help that I can provide. If so, great. If not, I don’t lose anything, and I’ve helped someone accomplish something, so, again, great.
I don’t like non-realtor running businesses that sell access to the Multiple Listing Service while criticising realtors. Without realtors there would be no MLS, and that should be recognized. Realtors work hard, every single day, to create and maintain a fantastic marketing system, advertising platform and database of historical information. Without that system everyone would suffer. I’m in favour of opening up that system to sellers acting for themselves, but I’m not in favour of parasites who don’t respect their host.
I’ve experimented with various commission arrangements to allow sellers to market their own properties, and its been a good experience. Since sellers like that don’t threaten me, and since I respect their independence, I want to help them. I also believe that by helping them I can provide them a valuable service, and make it tougher for parasites to survive.
That’s the “what” and the “why”. Stay tuned for the “how”.
My name is Rob Chipman and I’m a realtor, pilot and all around super hero based in Vancouver, BC. I really enjoy flying, playing guitar and hockey, real estate and the Chilcotin. My company is Coronet Realty Ltd., located at 3582 East Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC, V5K 2A7. I have a C-150L that I own with two other pilots, based out of Pitt Meadows. Do not hesitate to contact me by email if I can help you do anything, especially if its likely to be interesting.