How To Sell Your Home Yourself Without Using A Realtor In Ontario

selling your home yourself

Are you a first-time home seller stuck at crossroads deliberating whether you should go ahead and complete the biggest real estate transaction of your life by yourself or use professional help to complete your home sale? 

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Well, you aren’t the first to get stuck here and you won’t be the last. You’re the best person to answer that question. If you’re confident in your ability, buckle up and prepare to sell your home privately! Though harder (we will get more into this later), it’s possible and I have met many clients who simply feel like listing with a real estate agent is not for them. But, selling your home yourself has a number of pitfalls that you should be well aware of prior to making this decision.

However, in nearly every case, I strongly recommend that you take help. Hire a sellers’ agent and consult a trusted real estate lawyer. Often, hiring the right professional will actually net you a higher sale price despite their commission. Working with professionals can help you overcome all the challenges that you face when selling your home. They have the capacity to help you throughout the selling process – right from staging and preparing your home to sell to procuring and ensuring all the legal documents are in line with local regulations. 

I repeat: there is a lot of work that goes into selling a home. It’s not just a lot of work, you also need some experience to understand how to navigate the real estate market. Our agents are backed by a team of professionals — an entire team — dedicated to making your house stand out on the market and getting you top dollar. Real estate agents specialize in this. They can advise you on how to maximize the selling price of your home – quickly! Unlike the average person, they have the eyes to recognize a qualified buyer from afar, and the team to make the sale preparation possible.

If you do choose to go the “For sale by owner” [FSBO] route, in my experience, such properties take a lot longer to sell because of poor strategy and a lack of experience! Using the right strategy to get you the right price is worth the cost of a realtor’s service because it will net you more money in the end. 

With that being said, let’s look at both sides of the coin and figure out what’s the best approach for you!  

Best Approach To Selling Your Home: Assemble The A-Team Or Ride Solo?


Can You Sell Your House Yourself Without A Realtor?


Yes, you can sell your home yourself privately in Ontario without using the services of a real estate agent. But it’s a lot of work. In addition to everything else that’s on your plate, you will need to prepare your home for sale yourself – which includes overseeing home staging and renovation work. You will also need to market your property yourself. You will need to coordinate showings with prospective buyers. You will need to be on top of all the rules and regulations that govern home sales. You get the drift!

You can sell your home yourself without any help but it puts a lot of pressure on your shoulders. Consider me biased. Assuming that this is one of the biggest transactions of your life – it’s not a good idea to cut corners. Unless you’re on a budget or clearly know what you’re doing, you’re hurting yourself by overlooking the services of a real estate agent. Agents add a lot of value to the real estate transaction – especially those who are supported by a team of professionals that add value in different stages of the selling process!

More on this below as I break down the pros and cons of selling your home privately – without working with a real estate agent.

Pros Of Selling Your House Privately [FSBO]


Save Money


In my experience, the biggest reason for homeowners opting to go the for-sale-by-owner route is to save some money by avoiding paying the listing agent’s commission. I understand and I repeat – if you’re on a budget, the FSBO route is a great option for you to work towards your objectives within limited means. But while you do save money on the listing agent’s commission, you also expose yourself to the risk of not selling your property for its true market value. At the end of the day, unless you’re on top of the selling process, you could end up losing money instead of saving money by choosing to work on your own!

Remember – even if you’re choosing to sell your home privately, while you do cut out the listing agent’s commission, you will still have to budget for the buying agent’s commission [roughly 2% – 3% of the real estate transaction].

Full Control Over The Selling Process


If you’re somebody who knows the real estate industry and has a complete strategy in place to help you sell your home, the FSBO route might appeal to you as it gives you full control over the selling process. You might not want to work with a real estate agent as you would just end up butting heads against one another.

100% Commitment


One thing that you can be sure of when you’re selling your home yourself is that you’re all-in, 100% committed to selling your property quickly and for the right price. You work on your own time and do not need to wait or adjust your schedule to somebody else. Sometimes when you’re working with a large real estate brokerage, you may have to adjust your timelines and calendars to accommodate the agent’s schedule. Even then, depending on who you’re working with, you might feel that they aren’t as into it as you are!

But that’s not us. If you do choose to list your property with us, I guarantee you concierge-level service from all members of my team. We help our clients from Day 1 by conducting a thorough comparative market analysis to estimate your home’s value, staging your property and preparing it to sell, taking professionally shot listing photographs and the list goes on and on! If you’re looking to sell your property or are keen to learn more about our process, book a free call with me or somebody from my team today!

Cons Of Selling Your House Privately [FSBO]


Limited Marketing Opportunities


Homeowners who choose to sell their properties without the assistance of a realtor often miss out on the valuable marketing advantages provided by an experienced professional. Realtors possess extensive networks and connections that enable them to locate buyers who are an ideal match for your home.

Furthermore, realtors possess the expertise to showcase your property to the right buyers, employing effective marketing strategies that maximize your chances of securing the highest possible price. By tapping into their extensive network, real estate agents can reach a significantly larger pool of potential clients than individual homeowners ever could. As a result, your home can be sold more expeditiously, thanks to the ability to rapidly engage with a larger number of prospective buyers. Beyond that, most buyers work with professional Real Estate Agents, who in turn only show properties listed on MLS by professional agents. You could be missing out on 95% of active buyers.

Lack Of Experience & Insufficient Knowledge


Inexperienced home sellers who opt for the “For Sale By Owner” route often find themselves at a disadvantage, as they may lack the necessary knowledge and expertise to navigate the entire selling process effectively. Engaging the services of a real estate agent brings substantial value, as these professionals work closely with buyers on a daily basis and possess an intimate understanding of their preferences within the current market.

Selling a property without a real estate agent can be more challenging, primarily because the seller is responsible for paying the commission to the buyer’s agent. Consequently, many buyer’s agents are deterred from working with “For Sale By Owner” properties.

When you sell your home independently, there is a higher likelihood of misjudging its value, either overpricing or underpricing it. This misstep can result in your property selling for less than its actual worth or remaining on the market for a longer duration than anticipated.

By forgoing the assistance of a real estate agent, you miss out on invaluable expertise that streamlines the selling process and alleviates stress. Real estate agents excel in negotiations and possess all the skills necessary to secure the best possible price for your home. Additionally, buyer agents may be reluctant to collaborate with inexperienced sellers who lack knowledge of the selling process or familiarity with the local neighbourhood. Representing your own home could dissuade agents from bringing prospective buyers, limiting your opportunities due to perceived inexperience and inadequate understanding of the transaction!

Related: Why Isn’t Your Home Selling? Quiz It Up!

Unnecessary Exposure To Liabilities


Utilizing the services of a real estate agent when selling your home can help you steer clear of significant pitfalls. Licensed real estate agents possess Errors and Omissions Insurance, providing them with the necessary protection in the event of a client initiating legal action where court costs and legal fees are beyond their control. This coverage safeguards them against any errors or mishaps that may occur.

Selling any property involves adherence to specific laws, the violation of which can lead to severe consequences. To avoid potential lawsuits, it is crucial to steer clear of legal errors. A real estate agent possesses the requisite education and experience in the intricacies of the real estate buying and selling process, ensuring that such mistakes are avoided. Furthermore, they are bound by a code of ethics enforced by The Real Estate Council of Ontario and must maintain their insurance coverage and an active license.

No Professional Representation / Help


When dealing with the largest asset you own, it’s important to have a trusted professional who is trained to guide you through the process. A listing agent’s whole purpose is to get you the highest sale price possible when you list your home. Apart from getting you the best sale price possible, they will sell your home faster and market the property better than you will be able to. They know how to maximize the sale price to get you the most money and position the property for optimal success. Working with a trusted professional to sell your home will help with everything involved from getting the property ready, completing the home inspection, marketing the property, and more.

No Support To Help You Prepare Your Home For Sale


Before listing your home for sale, it is crucial to ensure everything is impeccably prepared, as first impressions hold significant weight with prospective buyers. Real estate agents possess expertise in understanding the factors that drive home sales. As part of our services, we conduct a thorough walk-through of your home, identifying necessary changes that will enhance its appeal to attract buyers and generate the most favuorable offers.

When you choose to work with us, we provide complimentary staging services to all our clients selling their homes. Whether it involves a thorough deep cleaning or recaulking a bathroom, our dedicated team will handle all necessary tasks. Our staging service elevates the presentation of your property, making it more visually appealing and maximizing its selling potential. By staging your home, you can effectively attract buyers and expedite the selling process.

Should You Sell Your House Yourself In Ontario?


Well, it depends. After going through the pros and cons of the FSBO route – what do you think is the best option for you? If you still need help, here’s a short quiz that could help you make a decision.

  • 1) How comfortable are you with marketing and advertising?

    a) Very comfortable – I enjoy creating and implementing marketing strategies.

    b) Moderately comfortable – I have some experience but could use guidance.

    c) Not comfortable – I would prefer someone else handle the marketing aspect.

    2) How familiar are you with the legal and paperwork requirements involved in selling a property?

    a) Very familiar – I have experience or knowledge in handling legal documents.

    b) Somewhat familiar – I have a basic understanding but would need assistance.

    c) Not familiar at all – I would need significant help navigating the legal aspects.

    3) How much time can you commit to the home selling process?

    a) A significant amount – I have a flexible schedule and can dedicate ample time.

    b) A moderate amount – I can spare some time but may need assistance with certain tasks.

    c) Very little – I have a busy schedule and would prefer minimal involvement.

    4) Are you comfortable negotiating with potential buyers?

    a) Very comfortable – I have experience and confidence in negotiating.

    b) Moderately comfortable – I can handle basic negotiations but may need guidance.

    c) Not comfortable – I would prefer someone else handle negotiations on my behalf.

    5) What is your level of patience and persistence in dealing with potential buyers?

    a) Very patient and persistent – I am willing to invest time and effort to find the right buyer.

    b) Moderately patient and persistent – I am willing to put in some effort but may need support.

    c) Not very patient or persistent – I prefer a quicker sale process, even if it means compromising on price.

Jot down your responses and if you really did read this blog, you should have an answer to your question. But if you’re still on fences and need some counsel to help you decide what’s right for you, book a free call with me or somebody from my team, and let’s find the best strategy for you!

Process Of Selling Your Home Yourself In Ontario


How To Sell Your Home Privately On Your Own?


If you’ve worked with a real estate agent in the past, that’s great! Feel free to incorporate their processes into your own process as you look to sell your home privately for the first time! Regardless of what your process looks like today, I am going to give you a sneak peek into my process. Here are 5 things that you should definitely look into when preparing your home for sale yourself!

  1. Be Paperwork Ready From The Get-Go!: Look for all the documents that you need to sell your property [I have shared the most important ones below]. Keep them organized in one separate folder. I might be stating the obvious. But I have met many home sellers who are chasing their tails looking for all the paperwork during closing and this ends up delaying the entire process – sometimes even losing out on a potential qualified buyer!

  2. Study, Study & Study: Conduct A Comparative Market Analysis: Without a proper selling strategy, it’s hard to succeed in the real estate industry. In my opinion, this is where selling your property on your own gets really challenging because it’s hard to gauge what’s right and what’s wrong without any proper guidance. Regardless, before you list your property, understand the market conditions you’re operating. You need to know if you’re operating in a buyer’s market or a seller’s market. It’s equally important to keep up to date with local factors influencing property prices in different neighbourhoods. Do your research. Go through the most recent real estate reports that you find online to get a pulse of the market. Watch YouTube videos and podcasts to understand how to interpret real estate data. Finally, once you’re comfortable with all the real estate terminology, you can analyze the most recent sales data relevant to your neighbourhood to guide your real estate pricing strategy.

  3. Show The World The Best Version Of Your Property: Prepare your property for sale before listing it on the market. Stage your property and address any minor or major renovations that can help you increase the value of your home before selling. Even if you aren’t using the services of a real estate agent, hire a professional photographer or invite one of your friends who loves photography to help you take high-quality listing photos. Trust me, it’s worth it. You can ignore everything else but don’t be lazy with your photographs!

  4. Lights, Camera & Action: Market Your Property Like A Superstar!: You’ve got the paperwork. Done your research. Prepared your property for sale. Next, it’s time to market your listing to the right set of potential buyers. Since you’re selling your property on your own, you will need to rely on your own personal network, marketing brain, and social media to help you get the word out. Join relevant Facebook groups and share your listing there. You can draft up a WhatsApp message and forward it to all your friends, family, and groups and request your network’s help to get the word out. Promote your listing on your own social media channels. This would be a good time to use some of that saved commission money to promote your listing to the right set of buyers. Don’t be shy, get creative! It’s a lot easier to market your listing online today vs a couple of decades ago when everything relied on word of mouth!

  5. Train Like An Agent, A Secret Agent: Learn How To Negotiate! The last hurdle that I see you face as you prepare to sell your home yourself will be at the negotiation table. The good news is that you have full control over the selling process. It’s unlikely that you will get pressured into accepting a deal that you aren’t happy with it. But if you want the best price for your property – you will need to learn how to negotiate because the real estate industry in Canada is ruthless! It’s a very competitive market and everybody is looking after their own behinds. If negotiate in your full-time job, great! You know the drill. If you’re somebody who is averse to confrontation and saying “no” – this is not the time and place to be courteous. Sign up for a free negotiation masterclass on LinkedIn or some other platform. Or, borrow a book and just learn the basics of negotiation. It’s a skill that will help you throughout your life!

Paperwork Needed To Sell Your Home Privately In Ontario


This is not an exhaustive list but it’s a good place to start. Here are the essential documents that you will need to sell your home privately in Ontario:

  • Sales contract

  • Property survey plans

  • Property disclosure form

  • Property deed

  • Property tax receipts

  • Utility bill receipts

  • Renovation contracts

  • Transferable warranties

  • Loan paperwork

  • Inspection reports

Final Words


Since your home is likely your biggest asset, a great real estate agent is more than worth it when deciding to sell your home. The home selling process should be seamless and stress-free for you, and it pays for itself when you consider all of the other costs involved and how important a transaction this is. Strategy and marketing, along with a skilled agent, are key to selling your home in Toronto for top dollar. 

Book a free call to list with us today, or to ensure you are fully prepared before you list your home for sale, download our FREE seller’s guide.

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Pierre Carapetian
Pierre Carapetian

Pierre Carapetian is the Broker Of Record for Pierre Carapetian Group Realty with over 12 years of experience in the real estate market. As a proud Torontonian and real estate broker, he prides himself on knowing this city inside out. He started investing at the age of 18 and has facilitated over half a billion dollars in real estate transactions.