DIY or Hire a Realtor

DIY or Hire a Realtor



When selling your home, there are a few approaches to consider. It’s best to weigh the pros and cons of each to determine which best suits your needs.

1. Selling Privately

Selling privately, also known as For Sale By Owner (FSBO) means you’re responsible for every aspect of the transaction. With this approach, you won’t access the benefits of the MLS Multiple Listing Service (MLS) – the largest marketing tool for home sales. This service gives the public access to view your home online as well as offering buyers the option to come tour your home. Over 90% of homes in the GTA are sold via the MLS.

When selling privately, you are responsible for:


While there is a lot of information online about the housing market, setting your price can be tricky and requires a strategy. Because of this, most private sellers price and sell their homes below market value.

Showings and Documentation

In addition to pricing, sellers are responsible for all showings, managing buyer requests and all the legalese of the documentation. This can be quite time-consuming, energy zapping and overall, stressful – all at a time when your emotions are running high. And for buyers working with an agent, they may be advised to advance with caution when dealing with a FSBO.

Mere Postings

You can post to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) by paying an agent a small flat fee, but this type of listing is often lacking many of the legally required details.

Legal Considerations

You can involve a lawyer to review all documentation on your behalf, but often the lawyer will be acting blindly because they haven’t seen the home. This means they won’t have the background necessary to flag areas of concern.

All in all, sellers may find handling their sale independently more costly in the long run than if they had engaged an agent.

2. Selling With A Realtor Exclusively

This is a private protected way to sell your home, which comes with limited benefits of realtor guidance and expertise. This approach suits sellers who would prefer privacy with the transaction, more time to prepare their home before introducing it to the MLS publicly or prefer not to have their home open to the public. In this case, the realtor will use alternative methods to market your home to ensure a smooth sale with the highest price possible for you.

3. Selling Publicly With A Realtor Through The MLS 

Selling publicly means you will receive the invaluable counsel, direction and expertise of an experienced realtor. They will not only give you peace of mind during a stressful process, but also help maximize your home’s selling price. A good realtor will customize a marketing plan for your property so it garners the right attention and exposure in the marketplace.

Realtors are also equipped with expertise in the following areas:

Current Market Conditions

Market conditions in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and Toronto specifically, can change on a weekly basis or even within a few days. This means that it’s critical to have someone keeping you up to speed with strategies that best reflect the intricacies of your unique personal situation as well as the market’s conditions.

Negotiation Expertise

The market can be complicated and in order to navigate it effectively, realtors will implement various strategies. Only those with experience are best equipped to handle the nuances and garner the best outcomes for you.

Market Demand

The bulk of what happens before a house is put on the market will drive the final price. Professional realtors will know what todays buyers are looking for.

Networking and Reputation

This goes a long way in giving you the confidence to enter the market and negotiations with your best foot forward.


Realtors in Ontario are required to carry Errors and Omissions Insurance. This ensures that any mistakes or oversights are protected against. So, if you decide to sell your home yourself, you won’t have the benefits of this type of insurance.

Contract Expertise 

A full-service or professional realtor has experience reviewing contracts with lawyers. They understand the nuances of contracts and are always looking for any pitfalls in the language, including missing or negligent clauses.

Up-to-date Sold Prices

Realtors have access to the most recent selling prices to the day, which ultimately helps determine your listing price.


So, how do you find the right realtor?

If you would like more information on the differences between the various approaches to selling your property, please contact me.

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