DIY real estate?

When it comes to saving money, DIY can be a really handy tool in cutting costs- generally speaking for pretty much everything.

However, when it comes some things- like selling your own house, for instance, before you wander down the DIY path, there are a few things you’ll want to consider.


Saving on commission worth it?

If you sell your own home, you can literally save thousands on a Realtor. However, a realtor (a good Realtor) will provide you with a number of services that you won’t get on your own.

As a first step, you need to decide if these services are something that you need- or would be nice to have. Why are you selling? Everyone wants a quick sale- but do you fundamentally need one? Have you been transferred for work, firmed up a purchase on another house, selling as part of a divorce or trying to take equity out of your house because of financial trouble?

If speed is necessary, it may be worth the commission money to get support from a professional, because the costs of not selling quickly could be substantial.

If you’re in no hurry, than DIY may be the way to go.

Where do you live?

Some housing markets in Canada are so hot, all you may need to do is hang a sign out and your home will be sold. That makes a pretty strong case for DIY real estate.

In some markets, where things are a little slower, or even in a down town (some Eastern Centres, and much of Alberta) you’ll probably want to consider your options.

Help your house move

If you are going DIY, you’ve got to do a number of things- as a baseline. Clean, clean, clean your house. De-clutter. Get rid of personal or taste specific items.

Be smart about pricing. Obviously you want to get the most you can, but how you price your home will dictate what kind of traffic (and what kind of offers) you get. Research comparable sales in your area.

If you are using a Realtor…

Interview a few to find one that fits your needs. You are paying commission, so find out what that includes (and you’ll find this varies from realtor to realtor). Ask about marketing (how often and what channels) and what kind of extra services (i.e. cleaners, staging, professional photographer) are included. You’re paying for it, so get the most for your money.

Whether you decide to do this on your own or engage the services of a realtor, make sure you are doing it for the right reasons.  Real Estate sales can be tricky and it’s likely your largest asset-make you do everything to get the most out of it.  Even if it means paying a hefty commission.