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Open House Concerns

Q -  Recently in the news there was a report about property being stolen at an Open House.  Is this a common occurrence and can anything ...


For Sale By Owner (FSBO) Stories

Q - I am seriously thinking of selling my home myself.  Is there anything specific that I should consider before I do this?

A - I have no idea how much you know about real estate transactions so I will simply relate a couple of stories that might alert you to some issues.

First Story:  I was called by a seller to see if I could assist him in getting out of a contract.  He was selling his own house and had an offer in hand.  The buyer drew up the contract and the seller didn't consult with anyone before signing.

The financing conditions were 3 months long instead of the customary few days.  He accepted the offer but did not fully comprehend the implications of the financing condition.  In essence, it meant that the seller could not sell to anyone else for this 3 month period.  And, if the seller could not get financing, the seller wasted 3 months.  In the meantime, the seller found out that the buyers were looking at other homes during this time period.  The game being played by the buyers was to keep this home tied up while they checked the market to see if there was anything better.

My advice to the seller was to consult a lawyer.

Second Story:  One day I saw a neighbour that opted to forego selling through a real estate agent and sold privately.  Apparently, the sale went through but he was not overly pleased.  He told me he 'figured out' the asking price by checking advertisements of houses in the newspapers and then 'lowered it a bit' because there would not be any real estate fees.  He thought this would make the property very attractive to a buyer.

The neighbour didn't get as much as he hoped for because the buyer reduced his asking price by the amount that represented real estate fees!

Admittedly, this seller was not at all experienced with the real estate process but the buyer was.  As a result, the seller came up short.

To answer your question, the biggest factor in selling your home yourself is the amount of knowledge you have about the real estate process itself.  That is something you have to evaluate.  Many have done well selling their own home but many also had regrets.

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