What’s In Your Pocket?
What’s In Your Pocket?

So you’ve decided to sell your home or investment property and you’re looking at different options and their related expenses for your exit strategy. With closing costs, marketing the property and everything in between, the additional cost of hiring a professional realtor seems like an unnecessary expense. And of course you’ve likely had this questions run through your mind: “How much is a realtor going to take out of my pocket?”

This is one of the biggest mistakes people make when deciding to sell their property and often is a decision that COSTS money rather than saves it. If you have the right realtor on your side, the chance to attract buyers willing to pay more for your property is much higher than if you chose to sell/list the property yourself. You might be paying a commission to your realtor in the end, but what if that saves you an extra $10,000 overall? Seems like something for serious consideration.

Negotiation of the deal is inevitable in the process and most people think it goes like this: You say a number, the other party says a number and you come to a final agreement somewhere in between. Seems simple, right? A professional negotiator knows there is MUCH more to it than that and will ensure that maximum profit is made on your behalf.

If you’ve struggled with negotiations when you’ve bought or sold a car, you may want to reconsider negotiating the sale of a house by yourself. Multi-hundred thousand dollar deals aren’t for the faint of heart – if you struggled to sell your Honda, a professional might be the answer to sell your house. But if you feel comfortable going it alone then that decision is certainly yours to make.

Self-sellers must understand that when you list a property on the MLS, you are increasing the visibility of that property to more buyers. This is a good thing, but you must still remember that if those new buyers are currently working with a realtor (or a realtor sees your property and brings a buyer to you), you will still have to pay the buyers’ side of the sales commissions.

To get the most traffic to your listing (most demand), a great strategy is to state that you will pay the buyers’ commissions if a realtor brings a qualified buyer to you – this is an incentive that will make your property stand out among many others. While this may seem counter-intuitive, you will end up saving on the selling side of the deal which may be valuable to many self-sellers.

Marketing: Who is going to market the property if you decide to list it yourself? YOU ARE! This doesn’t mean sticking your property on the MLS and waiting for leads to pour in – this is an example of how NOT to sell a $300,000 asset. Get the word out and attract as many buyers as you can – this will take some elbow grease and hard work, but it is crucial to selling your property in a timely fashion at a price you are comfortable with.

You can enlist newspaper ads, online ads, physical flyers and posters and even host your own open house. Your ability as the chief marketer will make the difference between moving the property quickly or watching it go stale on the MLS – and nobody likes stale, whether we’re talking about bread or real estate.


Having a lawyer on your team is critical in the buying and selling process, especially when it comes time to review documentation in advance of a final agreement (additional cost in many cases). One poorly-worded clause or misrepresentation by you in the advertising or declarations could be disastrous and lead to thousands of dollars in lawsuits and/or costs. Sadly, these mistakes are happening more frequently as buyers and sellers who aren’t aware of all legal requirements are writing deals at their own peril. A great way to get educated on the matter is to read and understand your local Real Estate Sale Contract. Make sure you understand every inch of that contract and be certain that the one you are reading/using is appropriate for your local and provincial laws.

Be sure to stay tuned for next week’s post – I will elaborate on this article and walk you through a proven strategy for selling your property efficiently at a price that makes sense for you. If you’re interested in seeing my latest research presented in person, check out the REIN™ Events Calendar to see what is coming up in your area this spring.

What’s In Your Pocket? was last modified: April 25th, 2012 by maddy

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