Selling my own home.
April 11, 2007 1:51 PM   Subscribe

What should I watch out for when I sell my own home?

I'm moving back to Montreal in the near future, and I'm going to sell my house here in Ottawa, ON. I'm fine with doing it with an agent, and I planned to call a very good and trustworthy agent that I know early next week to list ASAP.

We haven't yet called the agent, however, and a potential buyer has turned up out of the blue. He's coming over to see the house tomorrow evening.

I assume that my lawyer can provide me with any forms I'd need to make this happen and can oversee the deal from my point of view. What else should I be watching for through this process?

Would there be a clear advantage to calling our agents right away and negotiating a different deal should this particular prospect become a buyer?
posted by mikel to Work & Money (4 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
You can find all the forms you need in a self-help legal book about selling your own home. It is probably easiest to (hopefully) get an offer from the buyer, accept it, make sure you both have signed, dated, and witnessed copies and then bring it in to a lawyer to do the actual sale. I did just this when I recently sold my place in Montreal and it was dead easy (of course, you let a notary handle the deal in QC, but that isn't important to you). There isn't much benefit to you of calling an agent as long as you are sure that the offer you are accepting is fair. Some research on your part will be needed to make sure that the offered price is good, but a few hours can save you the thousands of dollars an agent will cost you.
posted by ssg at 4:57 PM on April 11, 2007

Also, I should mention that a home appraisal may be a good investment. If you are in any doubt at all about the value of your home, call an appraiser (which will only cost you a few hundred dollars) and get a professional opinion. You can also use an appraisal as a bargaining tool if you decide to negotiate with the potential buyer.
posted by ssg at 5:09 PM on April 11, 2007

I'm a real estate agent in the US, so I'm not sure at all how things differ up North, but I'd say give it a go without the agent in this case. The true advantages of an agent are bringing in more people to see your home, and representing your interests in negotiations. If this deal happens, point number one is already taken care of. Point number two is a little trickier, but you should be able to handle it fine through a lawyer (which will be much less than the percentage charged by an agent). In my opinion, you either get a good offer that you close on in a month or so, or something doesn't work out and you list your home with the agent after that. Good luck, hope it all goes well for you.

Also, make sure your buyer doesn't have an agent representing them. In the US, that buyer's agent will attempt to get their part of the percentage from the seller of the home, with or without a listing agent in the process. Sounds like that's not the case here, but just check it out.
posted by shinynewnick at 8:26 PM on April 11, 2007

Do a basic but accurate "Comps" Search, to evaluate a price that your home will be worth on the market. Find (in the US though a site like zillow) what similar homes in the area have sold & closed for in the last 2-4 months. If the buyer offers you an amount that reflects those values, and you feel confident that they can close the deal, become a "Fizbo" (For sale by owner).
Questions to ask the buyer: How much will you put down, Can you show me the source of that money, what is your credit score, may I talk to your lender (please talk to them first!), do you have to sell another property to buy my house, if so - when, what do you like about this house, if I agree to your offer, and you back out within 30 days (or less), will you agree to forfeit your good faith deposit, etc.
Good luck,
posted by growabrain at 10:44 PM on April 11, 2007

« Older Screenplay in three weeks - am I crazy?   |   Should I stretch after judo? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.