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When it comes to selling a home, there are plenty of options you can take. One of the most common, but also most difficult, is to sell it privately. Let’s dive right into what this means, how you can do it, and if you should do it.


The Basic Details of Selling Your Home Privately


What Does it Mean to Sell a Home Privately?

In layman’s terms, it means that you do not hire a realtor or real estate agent to sell your home – you do it yourself. You put the ad up for sale, decide the price, and organize all the legal documents that come with selling the property. In many ways, it’s like selling your car privately – except it’s your home, a tad more difficult and lots of work to do.


Why are People Sell Their Homes Privately?

Despite the extra work that comes with selling privately (and there is a lot to it), there are plenty of advantages that come with it. These includes:


  • You get to save money on the commission that you would have to pay the realtor. This is best defined by the example from Sun Life Insurance: “A commission of 5% on a $200,000 house, for example, would result in a payment of $10,000 plus GST/HST, split between the buyer’s and seller’s agents.” That’s a lot of money you could save.
  • You get the opportunity to organize viewings and plan them to your schedule. You also get to decide who to sell the house to. The same applies to negotiations, as you’ll have complete control of how much you want to sell for.
  • Large availability of resources means you can do it easier than ever before. Once again, Sun Life provided an ample example: “When Mark Haak [a graphic designer based in Brantford, Ont] decided to sell his house privately, he used a private-sale real estate network that provided him with a multiple listing service, signs, real estate-savvy staff to help with the sale and answer his questions about open houses and promoting his house, an appraisal and standard forms.” In essence, while there is a lot of work involved, you have lots of resources to access nowadays.
  • Home Flippers also points out that “Some people have little equity in their home, meaning that they’d profit little or not at all if they paid estate agent fees”. This means you could possibly make a profit on the place.

How You Can Sell Your Home Privately

There are several very detailed steps involved in the process of a private sale. Let’s start the process:


1) Get the Paperwork Ready

You’re going to need a stack of paperwork prior to the sale. Start by collecting your property deed, mortgage papers, tax assessments and other essential documents. You’ll need them later on.


2) Maximize Your Home’s Value

A little work goes a long way. Start by assessing what you need to repair, restore or replace in your home. Then, slowly make your way through it to give your home that valuable boost it needs to increase its resale value.


Some ideas can include painting the house, replacing lights, fixing the roof, gutters and eavestrough, and getting rid of any odours from the house (mainly from pets and children).


3) Determine the Value of Your Home

Note down the size of your home, when it was built, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and any upgrades or renovations that improved its curb appeal and value.


With all that down, start researching home listings in your area or similar suburbs, and most importantly, how much a property such as yours usually sells for.


You should get an estimate of how much your home is worth.


But to officially confirm it, it’s best to get your home appraised by a licensed appraiser. They can determine the actual value, so you know how much you can sell it for.


You should also get a property inspection to determine if any necessary repairs are needed to make your home safer for potential buyers.


4) Market Your Home

Take plenty of photos of your best that showcase its best features. Always go for bright, natural lighting in each image. It would help if you also wrote a very engaging and detailed description of your home that clearly targets your preferred buyer (basically, anyone can afford the home!)


Then start the advertising campaign!


List your home online on several sites, including Zillow, HomeFinder, or even Kijiji. You should also place ads in your local paper and place a ‘For Sale’ sign in front of your home, so everyone knows you’re selling.


5) Show Your Home

Prepare your home for open house showings.


Make sure your home is clean, odour-free and prime to be its best. You want your buyers to feel welcome and comfortable in the home, so let them ask all the essential questions.


Organize times that are best for you, but also consider the buyer’s preferences, since remember, they’re the ones buying the house!


6) Considering & Accepting Offers

When the buyer makes a move and offers a price, take your time to think about it. Consider the price offered and how it reflects your own value of the property. You can always negotiate with them to get a better deal.


If you’re happy with the offer, accept it!


But remember to note down the important details of the sale:


  • The amount of the deposit (aim for the standard 5 to 10%)
  • The amount of the down payment
  • The terms and conditions the buyer and you need to fulfill
  • The deposit amount date
  • The closing date and costs


With all this information, take it to your real estate lawyer. They’re crucial to finalizing the transaction and ensuring there are no misunderstandings or problems from both sides.


Once the lawyer signs everything up – Congratulations! You’ve sold your home!


Why You Shouldn’t Do It


Let’s face it, selling your home by yourself is difficult, challenging, time-consuming and a lot of work. Everything is on your shoulders, and if you were to make a mistake, there’s no one else to blame but yourself.


That’s why you have to be completely sure this is the right course of action for you. If not, we recommend you speak to our trusted Ontario realtor, Emily Jones. She can handle and manage everything related to your sale, ensuring you get the result you want! Contact her today!