Blog Post was written by guest Amie Hautz – Century 21 Bamber Real Estate Ltd.

When market conditions are sluggish, some home sellers are tempted to sell their home themselves to save money. This is understandable, considering real estate fess add up to thousands of dollars.Importance of a Realtor

However, although my hairdresser isn’t cheap, I certainly wouldn’t consider trying to give myself a new ‘do. And as much as you can learn on Youtube, I wouldn’t play around with re-wiring a home. I would call an electrician. So, let’s explore the upsides of working with a realtor and the potential pitfalls of selling your home yourself.

To me, there are three facets that make hiring a realtor the right choice: customer service, market knowledge and logistics & technical details.

Believe me, I know that not all realtors provide excellent customer service, just like some mechanics or accountants or grocery store clerks. But if you find (or are referred to) a good realtor, you will have the benefits of responsive and professional communication throughout the entire process: pre-listing, during the listing and after the sale to possession date and beyond.

A good realtor will look at the big picture, while managing the small details by your side every step of the way. Real estate sales can be stressful, emotional ordeals. Sometimes you are dealing with a divorce, birth, death, relocation or other challenging time. It helps to have a trusted advisor working in your best interests to achieve your unique goals. In terms of market knowledge, you can look online to find out what other houses have listed for around you. However, realtors have access not only to sales history, private realtor remarks and extensive market statistics through our Real Estate Board’s database and full-time economist, we also have the experience of having walked through hundreds of other houses.

Pricing A Home

Pricing a home to sell takes into account supply & demand, facts about the house such as specific location, condition, features, etc. and statistics and trends in the neighbourhoods. But it also takes a certain amount of je-ne-sais-quoi that comes from years of experience continually touring homes all around the city. It’s not just science, there is a bit of art to it as well.

We can recommend small, effective changes that are worth doing because we see what is working on other listings that sell. The effort put in prior to listing a house is in fact more important than the work put in after a house hits MLS. 

The work that we do with you to prepare your home for sale, research market conditions thoroughly, stage the house, take professional photographs & measurements and input a complete listing is what sets the stage to obtain a great offer on your house and negotiate favourable terms for you. Then our marketing plan kicks in until an offer is received.

Negotiating An Offer

Negotiating an offer is something we do all the time – on both sides of the coin. We know the real estate contracts inside and out and understand how to handle a multitude of scenarios such as:

how to handle competing offers – what is allowed to be disclosed, how does the timing work, can you counter offer more than one offer, can you get one offer to bid higher than another, etc.

  •  how to deal with a Sale of Buyer’s Home condition and what kind of time frames are reasonable for this,
  •  what needs to be disclosed about your property/what constitutes a defect – lack of permits, water issues, past issues that have been rectified, future development nearby, etc.
  •  how to adjust contract clauses properly if you don’t have a current, compliant Real Property Report,
  •  how to legally sell your property when Dower Rights apply due to one name being on title and that person being legally married,
  •  what condo documents need to be provided (there are a lot!), how to obtain them and how to handle questions and objections about these documents,
  •  how a party wall agreement, restrictive covenant, easement or other encumbrance registered on  your land title may affect your sale,
  •  how to handle issues that are brought up after a home inspection,
  •  how to handle the timing of selling your own house when you are purchasing another at the same time,
  •  how to market and disclose a legal or illegal secondary suite,
  •   whether to continue showing the house while it is conditionally sold,

Behind the Scenes – It’s All In the Details

There are also logistical items that are handled behind the scenes when you use a professional realtor such as:

  • coordinating all showing times and open houses and obtaining buyer feedback,
  •  holding deposit money in trust and refunding it if necessary,
  •  sending all conveyancing documents to your lawyer so they can prepare for you to sign with them,
  •  installing and removing for sale signs & lock boxes,
  •  uploading listings with all fields filled out properly so that your listing is hitting as many searches as possible,
  •  coordinating photographs, measurements, ordering RPRs, booking home inspections and appraisals, properly filling out all required paperwork,

So, there’s more to this process than simply throwing up a yard sign and hoping for the best! I truly believe in the value of a professional realtor on your team to help you get the most money for your house with the least stress! 

For what it’s worth, I recently showed a “for sale by owner” property to some buyer clients of mine. The seller was incredibly difficult to get a hold of to even book our showing, she and her dog were present while we viewed. The house was in very poor condition and was overpriced and not selling in a busy market. Despite all of this, my clients decided to put an offer in on the property. The seller was again very difficult to reach, was very uninformed about the standard clauses in the contract and was unwilling to move on price. As a result, my clients moved on and purchased a different property. 

This experience has been repeated by many of my colleagues which is why many realtors are a bit skeptical that “for sale by owner” homes will ever be the right one for our buyers! This reputation of “for sale by owner” properties in general also contributes to the difficulty they have in getting their properties sold. 

I am happy to discuss this information with anyone anytime, so please drop me a line if you have questions about the home selling (or home buying) process! 

Guest blog post was written By Amie Hautz who is a licensed Calgary Real Estate Agent and an esteemed affiliate of Century 21 Bamber Realty Ltd.

Visit Amie’s website at she may be contacted at (403) 852-0262