Taking on the sale of one’s property is an ambitious and sometimes complicated task. You may find engaging professionals from the field helpful in the process.
When it comes to listing a property on national listing websites like, Multiple Listing Service® (MLS), you will need the assistance of a real estate brokerage to post your listing. This type of service is referred to as a “limited services”, or “mere posting” agreement.
You should note that when entering this type of agreement, brokerages have an obligation to ensure the information presented in the listing is accurate and, not misleading or deceptive, so you can expect a brokerage representative to confirm the information you provide, for example square footage, renovations, and other key features, as a part of this service.
That is the short answer to your question, however, I feel it is important that we cover some ground relating to selling a property privately both for your potential benefit and that of anyone considering entering the market unrepresented – meaning without the guidance and counsel of a real estate salesperson or broker acting in their best interest. Choosing to sell one’s property privately is one’s prerogative; however, I do want to be sure that anyone considering it does so with their eyes wide open.
As the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) Registrar, I encourage buyers and sellers to consider hiring real estate professionals to assist in their transactions; for several reasons. Perhaps the most compelling is that real estate salespeople, brokers and brokerages must be registered with RECO, the provincial real estate regulator, in order to trade real estate in Ontario. To do so, they are required to:
- Complete courses before they enter the profession, and then keep their knowledge current by completing ongoing professional development training every two years;
- Comply with the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act, 2002 (REBBA) and its Code of Ethics;
- Maintain professional liability insurance to pay for damages and costs arising out of claims made against a registrant for an error, omission or negligent act in the course of trading in real estate; and
- Maintain deposit insurance, which protects consumer deposits in real estate transactions protecting against fraud, insolvency, or misappropriation.
Other reasons to work with a registered real estate brokerage: security and access to current trends and practices.
On the other hand, if you are experienced in buying and selling properties and are willing to take on the risks associated with self-representation, I suggest asking yourself some important questions to help weigh your options:
Do you know how to market your home and arrange showings?
Do you understand the rules around what you are required by law to disclose to buyers, such as latent and patent defects? If these words mean nothing to you, that’s a good sign you need professional help.
Are you skilled at negotiating deals, and reviewing offers…for what is likely the largest asset you will ever own?
Do you know how much you can realistically expect to get for the home, and can you set a listing price that’s attractive to the buyers you want?
If you don’t have much experience, and you’re unsure of your responsibilities as a seller, you should ask yourself if selling your home without the support of a trained professional is worth the risks; real estate transactions involve legally binding contracts and large sums of money.
Whichever route you choose, I recommend discussing your sale with a lawyer who is insured to practice real estate law, since you will need one to finalize the transaction.
Contributed By: Joseph Richer – Registrar of the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO).