I’m getting ready to sell my home, and I’m thinking about handling it myself. Is there a way I can get it listed on Realtor.ca?

The short answer to your question is yes – you can arrange for a real estate brokerage to post your listing on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS), and then personally perform most of the services that are usually handled by a brokerage. It’s known as a limited services arrangement, or “mere posting.”

Selling your home on your own is not an easy endeavor. It will likely take up a lot of time and require some specialized knowledge. Do you know how to market your home and arrange showings, other than putting a sign out and hoping interested buyers stop by? Do you understand the rules around what you are required by law to disclose to buyers, such as defects? Are you skilled at negotiating deals, and reviewing offers? Do you know how much you can realistically expect to get for the home and can you set a listing price that’s realistic and attractive to buyers?

Real estate brokerages vary when it comes to the services they provide; you may have to shop around for the one that will best suit your needs. If you do enter a mere posting agreement, the brokerage still has 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, along any claims you make about square footage, renovations, and other key features.

There’s another reason to sell your home through a registered real estate brokerage: security. Real estate salespeople, brokers and brokerages must register with the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) in order to practice their profession. Registered salespeople and brokers are required to:

    • Complete courses before they can enter the profession, and then keep their knowledge up-to-date by taking additional courses every two years;
    • Comply with the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act, 2002 (REBBA) and its Code of Ethics, which are enforced by RECO; and
    • Maintain consumer deposit insurance, which protects your deposit in a real estate transaction against fraud, insolvency, or misappropriation

If you’re relatively experienced in buying and selling properties, and you’re considering selling your home on your own, using the mere posting option, I still recommend discussing the matter with a salesperson, and with a lawyer who is insured to practice real estate law, since you will need one to finalize the transaction.

But if you don’t have much experience, and you’re unsure of your responsibilities as a seller, you should ask yourself selling your home without the support of a trained professional is really worth the risks. Unlike other do-it-yourself projects, real estate transactions involve legally-binding contracts and large sums of money.

If you have a question for Joe about the home buying or selling process, please email information@reco.on.ca.

Joseph Richer is Registrar of the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO). He is in charge of the administration and enforcement of all rules that govern real estate professionals in Ontario. You can find more tips at reco.on.ca, follow on Twitter @RECOhelps or on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/RECOhelps.

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