A Comox Valley For Sale by Owner is a phrase in real estate that is synonymous with a desire of some homeowners to sell their homes without having to pay a commission to list and display Comox Valley properties and the listing agent. At first thought, this may seem like a sensible thing to do. Why pay someone else to provide you with a service when you can do it yourself? After all, some people repair their own cars, and in doing so, avoid having to pay a mechanic to do so. But, is there a difference when it comes to the services provided by a professional? Do you go to a lawyer for legal advice and do you go to a doctor for medical advice or do you do to the internet so that you can avoid paying for these services when you need them? When you have the time, knowledge and skills to do something yourself, why not? In terms of real estate, what happens when the real estate “sale” goes wrong and the buyer sues the seller? Why did the founder and former CEO of ForSalebyOwner.com (Colby Sambrotto) turn to a licensed real estate broker in 2011 to sell his home when he was unable to sell his own home? Does a good, competent, real estate agent provide value in the home selling process? Perhaps they do.
The Comox Valley Real Estate market is currently a Buyer’s Market. As of the end of March, total inventory was up about 4.4% over last year, but sales were down about 10%. Single family home inventory was up about 1%, but sales were down about 22%. Through most of April, new listings continue to significantly outpace sales. For many homes it is not whether or not they will sell close to their asking price, it is whether or not they will sell at all. In some price ranges and circumstances last year, fewer than 10% of homes sold. If you need to sell your home in this type of market, would you not want to increase your probability of doing so? If a Comox Valley realtor lists your home but does not sell it, you pay them nothing so they take all of the risk. If it does sell, you pay a commission on the sale. Is it better to have sold and have paid a commission or not to have sold? Only you can answer this question. This type of market can be difficult for sellers unless their homes are prepared, presented and priced within a strategy and plan appropriate to the market. A competent real estate agent should be able to provide this kind of advice to a seller. The challenge is to find such an agent knowing that real estate agents are not all the same nor do they bring the same levels of education, training and experience to their profession.
So, if you are thinking of dealing with your real estate listings in the local community of Comox yourself, ask yourself the following questions:
Do I have a good appreciation of the laws that apply to real estate transactions in British Columbia including those related to property disclosure and representation?
Do I know when to seek legal and other professional advice when issues come up for which I do not have the knowledge and expertise to deal with?
Do I know how to write a legally enforceable contract that will stand up in court if things go wrong?
Do I have access to all of the real estate contract clauses and conditions that I may need to use to respond to an offer?
To whom do I turn for advice when I receive an offer containing a clause or condition that I do not understand?
There are at least 10 other fundamental questions I would ask myself if I were considering the sale of my own home. By the way, as a real estate agent, I would not sell my own home. Beyond the basic questions mentioned and alluded to above, what about other questions such as those on preparation, presentation and price? Do you understand the elements of each? In terms of price, will you base your list price on what you want or need or will you base it on market value? Do you know how to estimate market value? Do you understand pricing strategies to be effective in this kind of market? Do you understand how to respond effectively if the market changes?
If you live in the Comox Valley and are thinking about the Comox Valley For Sale by Owner option, it is a good idea to think through all of the pitfalls and risks before making such a decision. If you need help to sell your favourite homes for sale in the City of Courtenay, contact Brett Cairns of RE/MAX Ocean Pacific Realty for an appointment. By investing a bit of time with Brett, you may just find that you receive valuable information that you do not already have.
by Brett Cairns