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Selling a property with or without a broker

Examining the situation to take a sound decision
You wish to sell your property? You are hesitating between selling with the help of a professional real estate broker or on your own? In the current context, whether the reselling market is balanced or not, the matter is surely worth thinking over.

“Saving” the broker's commission often has a major impact when you decide to sell your property without the help of a real estate broker. Also, with all of the resources available on the Web nowadays, marketing your property seems as easy as 1-2-3. But is it really the case?
Think about the benefits and inconveniences of selling your property on your own!
To get to the bottom of this, take an objective look at the situation and make a list of the benefits and inconveniences. Then, you will have more insight to choose the best option depending on your personality, availability, knowledge and abilities.
  • Financial benefits of saving the broker's commission. You need to remember that you will still need to pay fees for the services of professionals who will support you with the project. These fees can add up to a few thousand dollars.
  • Better knowledge of your property. You are the best person to say great things about your property. However, are you comfortable with the idea of welcoming visitors and “selling” its features?
  • Control of the whole process. You are in the driver's seat. You need to decide if you will take the first offer-to-purchase you get or if you will wait for a more profitable one. You can take all the time you like to sell your property.
  • Choice and control of visits. Again, you are the one who has to manage the visitors' requests and sort nosy visitors from interested buyers. Finally, this means you will need to qualify visitors to avoid any useless visits.
  • Selling price. One of the first steps is to establish a realistic price. You need to protect your family's assets on a financial level and not sell at a loss. However, a price that is too high might discourage potential buyers and might be an obstacle to selling more quickly. You need to retain the services of experts to help you establish the selling price.
  • Availability and skills. Selling a house or condo requires a significant investment as far as time and energy are concerned. It requires skills that you can develop over time or through research. In any case, it requires that you devote all of your time to it. Would it be more profitable for you to work or to sell your property?
  • Security.
    • Because you do not have the same network of resources as a real estate broker, you must find on your own the technical and legal experts you need to avoid any complications. The latter could have significant financial repercussions. Foresight is better than hindsight.
    • Did you specify the criteria allowing you to let strangers come into your home (appearance, expression, etc.) and under what conditions (in presence of two adults, children, etc.)? Here is an aspect we easily forget and that still requires all of your attention to avoid any inconvenience.
  • Negotiation skills. Are you a true master in the art of negotiation? Great, because you will need to perfect your skills to adapt yourself and manage the emotional aspect of the situation. It is not always easy to deal with buyers who will not hesitate to point out your property's defects and make negative comments to reduce the price you are asking.
  • Protection of your interests. When you are not dealing with a real estate broker, you cannot take advantage of his liability insurance that protects the public in case of fraud, error, negligence or omission.
  • Access to the most important showcase (SIA/MLS). Consumers who sell their property without retaining the services of a real estate broker cannot display their property on the major real estate site in Canada, the SIA/MLS network (or realtor.ca). This site constitutes the major real estate marketing reference tool for all consumers and professionals. It includes all of the real estate brokers' listings in Canada as well as in Québec.
  • Management of multiple applications. Without any precise and well-determined rules, the owner seller can find himself in legal complications when he gets several applications at the same time. Many disputes arise from situations that are difficult to manage. Proper planning is essential.
  • Broker commission and financial benefits. Contrary to popular concept, there is no law that requires that a commission be paid to the broker. It is subject to the market's game. Therefore, it is always negotiable. Before taking the decision to sell your property on your own to save the broker's commission, ask for the actual cost of a broker's services in your region. You might be surprised to discover that the savings are not as significant as you would have thought; mostly if you consider all the efforts and energy you will need to put in selling your property while protecting your interests.
Things to remember
  • 70% of the 80,000 annual sales of properties listed by real estate brokers in Québec are concluded with the help of a colleague broker who is with the potential buyers when they visit the property. This broker usually gets half of the commission stated in the agreement.
  • The real estate broker is a professional within the real estate brokerage industry. As a client, you benefit from his market knowledge, marketing expertise and negotiation skills. He takes charge of all the necessary procedures and validations to ensure a successful transaction. You can also take advantage of his network of experts.
  • The real estate broker is usually compensated through a commission which has been negotiated, according to market rules, with the owner seller at the time of signing the contract. Despite all of his efforts, he will not be compensated if the transaction is not completed (unless there is a special covenant in the contract).


Réal Giguère
Courtier immobilier et hypothécaire
7785, chemin de Chambly
Saint-Hubert, Quebec  J3Y 5K2

514 249-3078
450 653-0090