Thinking of Selling Privately? Everything You Need to know?
I have been in the real estate industry since 1996. I started as a rookie with an unquenchable desire to learn every aspect of the real estate market.
I remain a long-time student of formal real estate training to master the art the salesmanship and learn how to communicate with the public most effectively. Today, after 26 years in the real estate industry, I have seen many economic changes and have created numerous real estate service plans in the best interest of the public.
In the downfall of the real estate market in 2008, I realized that many sellers did not have any equity to afford to pay a real estate commission. The sellers had a negative equity value in their home and in many situations they were losing their home to foreclosure. This was a very dark time in my career while I was desperately trying to help this market segment and there were no tools for me to do so.
As a real estate agent, Broker, and real estate industry member, I felt a huge responsibility to provide a competent service for these sellers who were losing their home and needed to sell privately to save the commission fee. I met between 4 and 8 sellers each week for almost a year and the story was almost the same each time. My exhaustion paled in comparison to the anxiety and hopelessness that each of these families were feeling.
The majority of sellers knew that they were not equipped to sell privately but absolutely had no choice. They also knew that they did not have enough knowledge and experience to safely be a For Sale by Owner which only increased their fear and stress. But when your home is in negative equity, the sold comparables on your home are lower than the mortgage payout amount, and the bank has started the foreclosure process there was no option but to sell privately.
So, I created a private seller plan to help this increasing market segment. Over the years I have modified my For Sale by Owner selling option to keep up with the online growth, the new complexity of seller’s financial needs, and the real estate law.
To this day and forever moving forward, I will always keep a For Sale by Owner plan in my tool kit so sellers will have a safe and inexpensive option to sell privately. I will never look into the eyes of another hopeless seller riddled with anxiety and tell them, “I am sorry, I have nothing that will help you with your situation”.
Selling Privately Safely
Once you have decided that you are going to sell your home privately, there are three ways to expose your home to the market. Become a For Sale by Owner with:
#1: NO real estate involvement:
To be a private seller without ANY real estate assistance is dying out faster and faster these days because the online competition is too rigorous. This option is the absolutely least successful way to expose your home on the market. It is the cheapest but most likely your home will not sell. Based on my experience, if you go this route you will soon realize that you need to list it with real estate to get it sold.
#2: Discount Commission Brokerages:
Today there are many Discount Real Estate brokerages on the market such as 1% Realty, 2% Realty, and Four Square (used to be Purple Bricks), etc. Today consumers can enjoy the services of a legally registered discount real estate brokerage that are held accountable to the same laws as other brokerages.
A discount brokerage will list a seller’s home for a very low flat rate commission that most likely have to be paid in advance. And the sellers will have to pay one or two percent of the selling purchase price. This is a great option to pay half the commission and still enjoy the exposure of a multiple listing system.
But be clearly warned, you get what you pay for. You may not get customer service, marketing or pricing advice, guidance with offers or negotiations only the competitive privilege to be listed on the MLS and that is it. Your listing will be loaded and left. It will be up to you to do the rest of the work. Many times, the sellers that listed with discount brokerages have not been able to sell and my full-service brokerage re-listed their home.
The services that each discount brokerage offer will vary greatly so the best way to understand the minimum service option is by asking questions and interviewing numerous brokerages.
#3: Mere Posting Service
Some real estate brokerages offer a mere posting service but do not promote these services so at the time of this writing it is difficult for me to get their information. All mere posting services are set up differently. For the purpose of this article, I am going to give you the facts on what a Mere Posting Service is and what I proudly offer in my Mere Posting Service.
As of January 2021, here are the most recent Government Rules & Regulations regarding Mere Posting. The government regulation from the Real Estate Council of Alberta explains that all Mere Postings must originate with a contractual commitment. They stated:
Real estate client relationships must be in writing. A client relationship in which the real estate professional gives limited service. “Mere Postings” fall into this category and our behavior as agents is clearly dictated to us by the Commissioner of Competition.
Mere Posting is Explained from the Consent Order between CREA and the Commissioner of Competition:
The Consent Order defines a “Mere Posting” as a listing on a Member Board’s MLS System where the member has chosen or agreed not to provide services to the seller other than to submit the listing for posting on MLS.
The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) states a listing brokerage must act as agent for the seller to post, amend, or remove a property listing on MLS System. This allows for the “Mere Posting” of a property listing on the MLS System but removes the requirement for a continuous agency representation relationship for the full duration of the listing.
A REALTOR who enters into an agreement with a seller of a property to facilitate a “Mere Posting” on MLS System enters into a service agreement as defined in the Real Estate Act Rules. This constitutes a client relationship because the seller engages the REALTOR to list their property and submit it to the MLS System.
The Real Estate Council of Alberta (RECA) states that a person who provides a “Mere Posting” service in Alberta is considered to be trading in real estate. They require a real estate broker license from RECA.
Mere Posting Service at Infinite Realty Service
In 2008 I vowed that I would create a fair and educational private seller program that would be in the best interest of the public so they could confidently sell privately.
As I wrote in my other blog article, Recession or Correction, I would drive away in tears after meeting with these families. Those few years of attending painful listing appointments left an indelible mark on me to effect change. It was at the end of 2008 that I created MY OWN For Sale by Owner program to help all the struggling sellers sell their home without paying high commission.
At the time in 2008 I was the Broker/Owner of a franchised brokerage, and I needed permission of the Western Franchise Corporation to launch this new service. They emphatically denied my brokerage participation to promote a private seller program. This only fueled my passion and ignited my tenacity to effect the change that I whole heartedly believed the real estate industry desperately needed.
So, with my stubbornness in hand, I sold my real estate brokerage franchise in December of 2008 and began creating my new brokerage Infinite Realty Service. Our tag line is—Where Anything is Possible.
In April 2016 I open my Independent Boutique Full Service Real Estate Brokerage: Infinite Realty Service—Where Anything is Possible.
Every day we make all things possible and give hope where it feels impossible.
At Infinite Realty Service we know that selling privately may be the only option for some sellers. Our business model is based on Compassionate Care Real Estate Service for all of our services.
Our Rules for Mere Posting Listings
Understanding the Role of YOUR Real Estate Agent:
A self-represented “Mere Posting” seller is a client to a real estate professional that assists a “Mere Posting” seller. Real estate professionals must impart a clear understanding of their role and extent of services they offer.
RECA (Real Estate Council of Alberta) recommends that real estate professionals must clearly articulate there is NO agency representation on the “Mere Posting” service agreement without written amendment. Real estate professionals must avoid any activity that might create an implied agency representation relation with the seller. They should not give confidential advice or any service that require the use of judgment or discretion.
Understanding Your Role as a Private Seller:
A self-represented “Mere Posting” seller is a client to a real estate professional. Your real estate agent from Infinite Realty Service will assist you as a “Mere Posting” seller.
Your agent will provide you all the administrative work that you will need to get your posting on the MLS.
Unless an amendment is signed by you stating you want to be fully represented, your licensed real estate designate from Infinite Realty Service will perform limited activities when you request.
Those limited activities include: Provide accurate Residential Measurement Standard of your home to establish size and meet the legal requirements; Provide comprehensive Market Data—a list of Sold Comparable Data and Active Market Data Market but will not discern the data to suggest value or provide opinion for price reduction; Provide Offer Negotiations; and upon your request, may Hosting an Open House for additional exposure.
Activities Not Acceptable: Your Real Estate Professional from Infinite Realty Service will not provide any confidential advice or any service that will require the use of judgment or discretion.
We have 2 Mere Posting Options for You!
We have two wonderful Mere Posting Fee Packages options at Infinite Realty Service. Both are very comprehensive and effective depending on the private seller’s experience level.
The BASIC PACKAGE: it offers minimal service and requires the seller to do majority of the marketing and advertising of the property. This package is for the experienced seller that has bought and sold more than 5 properties.
The ADVANCED PACKAGE: offer substantially more service and provides the seller with peace of mind and full support when selling privately. This package is for the inexperienced private seller that wants to understand the full sales process. It offers detailed information, full comprehensive educational materials, and numerous technical advantages.
If you would like more information about our Mere Posting options you can connect with Lorri Brewer at her website at www.lorribrewer.com or call her at 780-756-7653. She would love to hear from you and is always happy to help!