Ask Charles: Pressure to Sell Without an Agent


We recently received an unsolicited offer to buy our home. They said we’d get more money if we don’t hire a real estate agent. What should we do?

What you’re describing is not an unusual situation. Whether you’rein a desirable neighbourhood in the city, or a picturesque rural area, you could be approached about selling your property for any number of reasons.

Your first step is to decide if you have any interest in selling. If you don’t want to sell, no matter the offer price, your conversation with the interested buyer will be short.

On the other hand, if you would consider selling, you should do your due diligence before agreeing, no matter the offer.

While you are free to sell your property without hiring a real estate professional, a licensed professional would work on your behalf to ensure that your interests are covered during the sale.

The buyer may simply be trying to make it sound like they’re considering your interests by saying you’ll get more money for your property if you don’t hire a real estate professional, but there’s a good chance that the buyer doesn’t want you to get a real estate professional involved because they think they may be able to buy your home for a cheaper price.

While it’s true that you won’t have to pay commissions to a real estate professional if you make the deal yourself, you could still end up with a worse deal at the end of the day. With solid negotiating skills, your real estate professional may be able to negotiate a higher price for your property.

In addition, licensed real estate professionals are educated and regulated, they carry errors and omissions insurance, and the Real Estate Council of Alberta can investigate conduct if you believe that they’ve breached the rules in place.

The potential buyer is looking out for their own interests. Hiring a licensed real estate professional ensures that there’s someone looking out for yours.

You’ve got questions. He’s got answers.

Charles Stevenson is the Registrar at the Real Estate Council of Alberta. Charles knows that buying and selling a home can be confusing, but it doesn’t have to be. “Ask Charles” is a question and answer column for consumers about buying and selling property in Alberta.

If you have a new question for Charles, please email [email protected].

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