Save Money By Selling Your House Without A Real Estate Agent

Selling your house without a real estate agent can be a great way to save money, but only if you do your research and are willing to put in more of your own time.

While you won’t pay commission when going with a for sale by owner option, I wouldn’t consider the entire commission as money saved. This is because you may have to lower your price slightly lower than other comparable homes, and if you don’t you may have to deal with some lower offers. But having this extra room to lower your price isn’t a problem, it actually gives you a competitive advantage. As an example, if your commission would have been $15,000 you could reduce your price be $5,000 or even $10,000 and still come out ahead.

So what price should you be setting? Have a look at similar houses on Realtor.ca and also look at the listings on sites that help you sell on your own like ByTheOwner and ComFree. Don’t just look at prices, but also information like how long it’s been on the market. If the same house has been for sale for awhile then keep in mind that it may not be properly priced.

One of the downsides can be a lack of exposure from not being on MLS, not only for the people who won’t find your house on Realtor.ca, but also because real estate agents are very unlikely to show their clients your house. The other downside is availability for showings. If you’re only available late at night and on weekends, then you may miss too many sale opportunities.

With a down market, a relatively cheap townhouse, and no previous experience with the real estate process, I did use a realtor for my sale. While we don’t plan to sell again for a long time, I might try selling my house myself if it’s a sellers market when that time comes. Have you sold your home without a real estate agent? If so, leave a comment and let us know about your experience!

Written by Tom Drake

Tom Drake is the owner and head writer of Canadian Finance Blog. While you’re here, consider signing up for the RSS feed or email subscription. Both deliver the latest articles directly to you everyday! Have a Twitter account? Then follow me for all the latest posts or to send me any comments or questions!

35 Responses to Save Money By Selling Your House Without A Real Estate Agent

  1. Trevor says:

    Great post especially since the MLS system is going through some changes due to competition/monopoly laws.

    I have heard that you can post to MLS through a realtor for a small fee. Has anyone tried this before?

    I am guessing you still have to pay a lawyer to draft up the final paperwork which still might cost you $500-$1000.

  2. William says:

    Hi Trevor,

    Were still waiting to hear if CREA will be changing their rules based on the competition bureau’s findings. The public should know by January. I have seen some agents try to put homes on mls for a flat fee ($999), but that doesn’t include the co-operating brokers fees (Usually 2.5%). Plus agents are not allowed to accept a dollar amount and a percent because that goes against The Real Estate Business and Brokers Act. It would be wise to check the fine print of anyone offering MLS for $999!

    William

  3. Abdullah says:

    I think it can be a great idea to save money by selling your own home without hiring an agent. You can be more competitive in pricing than other home sellers who are using a real estate agent.

    Of course, you have to do your homework and be fully aware what you are getting into.

  4. Thnx for the article. I think a lot of people get in over their head regarding selling their own home to save money. Sure, you may save 2.5% in commissions (you still have to pay 2.5% to the buying agent), you could lose 5%+ in the final sale value of your home!

    I’m pretty against the current system. Why should I still pay 5% commission on my $2 million house, given it should be a similar effort made on a $500,000 house?

    It’s all about a fixed rate mortgage!

  5. Seems like a high risk strategy to save money that most people won’t feel comfortable with (buyers included). And most buyers expect a discount anyway when they see “for sale by owner”. The problem is also exposure. Site like ByTheOwner are probably gaining more traffic year over year, but the first place most people still check is the MLS websites.

  6. Aolis says:

    The big issue here is the MLS monopoly. If it gets cracked, people will be able to list without paying a fixed percentage to an agent. This will make agent fees more competitive than there are now.

  7. Simon says:

    Yes! Lack of exposure may be overcome by advertising on e-real estate for homeowners. This is mostly private owners selling their home direct. There was also many auction rooms where owners paid a fee to Auctioneer. I have not heard of this option for selling your own property for sometime. The other concern for me is knowing your market and current property values, what is selling and what is slow. Providing you know your market and the climate selling yourself is quite an effective way of gaining a win win for buyer and seller.

  8. Dino says:

    I couldn’t agree more, availability is very important when you are trying to sell, you certainly expect it when you are trying to purchase.

  9. Susan says:

    There are some downsides to selling a home without a real estate agent. Another reason is that buyers realize you don’t have an agent and can try to do some hard negotiating with you and drive your price below market level because you are already “saving money” from not paying a commission and they think they should benefit from those savings as well.

  10. Brent says:

    The days of stealing prime REO properties from the Resolution Trust Corporation (RTC) are gone. The RTC was a quasi-federal government entity established by congress to dispose of the tremendous number of foreclosed assets of the major lenders during the property market downturn in the early ’90s.

  11. Brett Cairns says:

    If you are thinking of selling your home yourself in the Comox Valley come and talk to me and I will offer you a list of considerations

  12. marissa says:

    While I dont agree with the % concept, I have seen many people struggle with selling their own homes. I have also seen quite a few people be really successful at it.

  13. Jennifer says:

    There are some downsides to selling a home without a real estate agent. Another reason is that buyers realize you don’t have an agent and can try to do some hard negotiating with you and drive your price below market level because you are already “saving money” from not paying a commission and they think they should benefit from those savings as well.

  14. Gregg Singer Developer says:

    It is a valuable post regarding selling a house without involvement of agent. I partially agreed with this post because selling a house on his own responsibility is not a cup of tea for everyone. Many people struggles and some are successes in this field. Actually buyer not believes on the seller without agent as well as it’s a trend to sell house through broker for getting good money.

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  17. Indeed, selling your house without the aid of an agent will be able to help you save some cash in the process, but it would be tedious as well for your part. This is why if you want to go solo on selling a property, you must be armed with some efficient strategies to help you get on top of things. You can ask the aid of individuals who’ve done it already as they can give you some useful tips as well.

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  19. I think that is an interesting point, it made me think a bit.is really we can save money By Selling our House Without A Real Estate Agent.

  20. Haine dama says:

    I think that we can save a lot of money by cutting of the middle man. On a $300,000 home, that’s about $18,000 of savings if we consider a 6% commission. There are some markets where commissions run even higher, I believe 7.5 to 8 percent.

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  25. Doug Boswell says:

    Selling by yourself can be done but it takes a lot of work. In order for it to be seen you must have it listed on mls.ca. This is where potential buyers will find it and tell their agent they want to go through it. There is nothing wrong using a flat fee agent to do this.
    You must be prepared to offer 2.5% to a buyer’s agent. Unless the realtor does knows a commission will be there the chances of them bringing traffic through your home is minimal.
    You can set the times when showings will occur if you choose to be there -which you should be to explain why your house is the one these potential buyers want.
    If you know of any hidden problems, ie leaking roof or foundation you must disclose this. You can advertise your home yourself if you wish but having the mls.ca listing is your best advertizing.
    Saving 2.5% by doing some of the work yourself is worthwhile. It helps pay your moving and closing costs and helps pay a mortgage penalty if you have to pay one.

  26. We do Real Estate. That’s it. From residential to commercial, if it has four walls and a solid foundation, you bet we’re there. We want to be a part of one of your best memories and proudest moments.

  27. Lisa g. says:

    We sold our house last spring through com.free. We did end up paying commission on one end to an agent who brought his clients…I think after paying for marketing, the realtor who brought the clients and everything else we saved about $8000. But it was fairly stressful, having an agent would have relieved some of that. It was the second time I sold a house without a realtor the first time the market was better so it was easier. Key was the house was show perfect to sway people to deal with us over realtor listings that didn’t always show well.

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    I think its a great deal to sell your property without the involvement of agents, but not all times its perfect. So, that’s why i am partial agree with your blog.

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  34. I read your article and this will help me in selling my old home and purchase a new house. This is a very good article out sell and purchase a property without agents.

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