Trying To Sell Your Home: Why It Doesn't Pay To Go It Alone!

If you've been thinking about putting your home on the market, perhaps you've been toying with the idea of trying to sell it yourself? You probably think you'll save yourself some money because you won't have to pay a commission to a REALTOR®.

However, when you consider the amount of time you'll have to spend marketing your home, the costs associated with advertising and other incidentals, you may be surprised to discover that you're not likely to save much at all.

In fact, it's likely to take you much longer to sell your home privately than it would if you had used a real estate professional. There's also the chance that you may not even get as much for your home.

If you're still not certain that it's better to work with a REALTOR®, you should consider all the documentation, negotiation, and legalities involved in conducting your own sale. It's a tremendous responsibility to manage a transaction single-handed, involving what's probably the largest purchase you've made in your lifetime. If you're like most people you'll want to ensure that nothing goes wrong and there are no last-minute surprises.

Is your time valuable? You'll have to consider how much your time is worth and whether you're prepared to sacrifice much of it to show your home to potential buyers. Keep in mind that you lack the skills a trained REALTOR® has and that you won't necessarily be able to distinguish the serious buyers from the browsers.


If you decide to go it alone, remember that you'll have to spend a considerable amount of money advertising and marketing your home and you won't have access to the same resources a REALTOR® enjoys -- like the Multiple Listing Service® MLS® system.

MLS® is a cooperative listing system that provides maximum exposure of available properties within any given area.

MLS® and REALTOR® service offer you a tremendous marketing combination. Each listing is made available to every REALTOR® on the Island, in the Province and even across Canada. In fact, all listings are advertised through the Internet ( This means hundreds of REALTORS are marketing your home and thousands of potential buyers are reviewing it, on a daily basis, through the Internet.


For most people, selling a home is an emotional experience and you won't necessarily be as objective as a REALTOR® would be about the value of your home when negotiating a deal. Because of this you may not get the best possible price for your home.

In addition, you probably don't have the knowledge of market conditions that a REALTOR® has. For example, you may think you can get the same price for your home as one of your neighbors -- even though the homes aren't really comparable.

REALTORS are highly trained individuals who will use their special skills to evaluate your home, giving you peace of mind and realistic expectations.


There are many other advantages to working with a REALTOR®. A REALTOR® will make appointments to show your home to potential buyers and act as a mediator to head off potential conflicts between you and the buyer. A REALTOR® will also draw up a legally binding contract to assist you with all the details required to complete the transaction successfully -- including the presentation of offers.

REALTORS build up a large number of valuable contacts over time, in areas such as financing, building, and so on, providing yet another valuable client or customer service. REALTORS also know a number of potential buyers -- many of whom are sellers of homes the REALTOR® has just listed.

So if you're thinking of selling your home on your own, think again and carefully consider the numerous advantages of working with a highly trained professional.

This article was provided by the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board for the information and benefit of consumers. The more than 900 members of VIREB subscribe to a strict Code of Ethics and high Standards of Business Practice.

February, 1993
rev Jan/98