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How to Sell Your Home Yourself in Toronto and Cash In For 2023?

Adam Ainsworth
Adam Ainsworthhttps://www.buymeacoffee.com/DonValleyTimes
I’m a freelance writer exploring motivation, traditional wisdom, peak personal effectiveness, and community building. Subscribe to my newsletter for updates and new articles using the link below.

Are you looking to make a move, keep as much money in your pocket as you can, and sell your home yourself without a Realtor?

Selling a house or condo yourself privately (also known as For Sale By Owner – FSBO) in Toronto can be simple, but it’s not always easy to find a qualified buyer in the fast-moving GTA market.

This article outlines the process of how to sell your home yourself in the Greater Toronto Area, and what some of the costs are involved.

Determine the Market Value of Your Home

To sell your home yourself the first thing you’ll need to figure out is how much your home is worth, also known as a property valuation.

If you know what other comparable homes have recently sold for, and make adjustments based on any upgrades or renovations you’ve done, you’ll come up with a range of what your home is worth. Remember a comparable should be an identical house or identical condo to your own. That means the same size, the same number of beds and bathrooms, etc. Be careful not to compare your property to one which is similar but not identical.

Ultimately the market decides the final price but understanding the comparables will give you the confidence to stand your ground and get what you want when buyers might be telling you all the things wrong with your property. 

Try your best not to be emotionally attached to your home or condo. Yes, you might have put a lot of hard work and care into your home. You probably think your home is better than others on the street or in the building. But try your best to look at objective facts and details.

Once you’ve completed the market research and determined the market value of your home the next thing to do is get the property ready for the market.

Cleaning and Decluttering ($1,000 – $5,000)

Probably the single most important thing you can do to show your home in its best possible light is to have it professionally cleaned and decluttered. Remove all personal items to achieve a neat and welcoming environment for a stranger who’s trying to envision turning your home into theirs.

Maintenance and Repairs

Make sure to handle all the repairs. The last thing you want is to put in all of this work to sell your home yourself, only to have a deal fall through over some routine maintenance or repair issue. New paint, light fixtures, and door handles make a big difference and provide good ROI.

Staging Your Home ($2,000 – $10,000)

A lot of properties that achieve top dollar are professionally staged. You can find a lot of DIY staging tips online. It’s another tool in your tool kit to maximize your sales price. It might not be necessary for every property, but staging should be considered as an option that fits your budget. Digital staging is a great option to save costs and help bring life to empty spaces.

Professional Real Estate Photos and Video ($250 – $2,000)

The better your home looks online, the more people will come and see it. Professional-looking photos and videos can help grab buyers’ attention and create interest in your home for sale. At a minimum, you should invest in a professional photo shoot.

You can also take really good photos with your iPhone. You’ll want to use a tripod to make sure all the photos are level and taken at the same height so you have a consistent flow from one photo to the next.

The iPhone has a fantastic feature that gives you a bracketed exposure to expose the interior and exterior for stunning results. You’ll need to turn on HDR for this.

Drone and video footage are optional and best for unique and high-end luxury properties.

But just having a lot of people come through the home doesn’t always translate into receiving the offer you’re looking for. Have patience and consider some of the other strategies for attracting the right buyers.

Paid Marketing ($500 – $2,000)

There are many paid marketing channels you can use to market and sell your home yourself. Some of the most popular channels include; Facebook Ads, Google Ads, YouTube, Lawn Signs, Direct Mail, Newspaper, Magazine, and Television ads.

Today since 90 to 95 percent of buyers are going to see listings first online before seeing them in person, you’ll want to be on as many websites as possible.

But if you want to maximize your sales price you can take it a step further by using the powerful digital marketing targeting now available to get in front of the right buyers who are interested in properties like yours. It doesn’t you any good if you’re marketing a million-dollar property to a buyer looking for a $500,000 starter home, and on the other end if you’re marketing a $500,000 to people who can only afford to rent. Behavioural targeting is very important to market your home in the most effective way possible.

You want to make sure you get in front of buyers who can afford it and are looking for a house or condo like yours. Usually, properties get listed on the multiple listing system, the MLS, with professional photos, professional videos, 3d interactive tours which get syndicated out to hundreds of other websites including realtor.ca, rew.ca, zolo.ca, royallepage.ca, remax.ca, and many more.  

If marketing the property is not something you want to tackle there are some discount brokerages that for a fee will help you sell your home yourself by putting your listing on the MLS, like Fair Square or Property Guys.

Free Online For Sale By Owner Home Marketing

If you’re not comfortable with some of the more advanced paid digital marketing options, posting your property description and photos to one of the free online classified sites could generate some interest. Some of the popular free online classified services to sell your home yourself including Kijiji, Craigslist, and Facebook Marketplace.

Showing Your Home

You’ve put in all this effort to sell your home yourself. You’ve prepared your home for the market, marketed and promoted it, and now it’s time to welcome the first visitors inside to see it for themselves. It’s a good practice to prequalify potential buyers so you don’t end up spending time with someone who’s not approved to buy a home at your asking price.

Sell Your Home Yourself with virtual open house

A complete domination plan for a traditional open house could include creating an invitation and knocking on all your neighbour’s doors to invite them and anyone they know who might be interested in moving into the area over to your open house.

This approach if done right could generate tones of qualified buyers. Make sure you vet all visitors when they come in and take down their information so you can follow up and ask for feedback after the event. 

During the pandemic conducting a virtual open house is a good strategy if you want to keep contact to a minimum.

Negotiating Price, and Terms

Probably one of the most challenging aspects of selling your home yourself is staying calm while negotiating the sale of your most valuable asset.

You might be asked to issue a buyer’s credit or kick back some commission if the buyer gives you the price you’re looking for. Be prepared for a variety of scenarios so you’re not caught off guard.

If you decide to sell your home yourself, be prepared to receive calls from real estate agents asking if you will pay them a commission if they bring you a buyer. Consider that by paying a buyer agent a commission, you are essentially paying someone to negotiate against you because the buyer’s agent is working in the buyer’s best interest.

Writing Up a Contract and Closing the Sale

You can find all the paperwork to sell your home yourself without a realtor here. Pay particular attention to dates and deadlines, as these details are often brought up in litigation cases.

To ensure you follow all the proper legal steps to selling a house, you’ll need to hire a real estate lawyer who will take care of searching the title and transferring the deed.

Work with the buyer to arrange inspection and appraisal visits, as well as a final walk-through.

When the lawyers finalize all the legal documents, you’ll receive your money and hand the keys to the new owner.

If you need help with any steps in this process contact me here.

Adam Ainsworth

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