How to Cut Real Estate Fees When Selling Your Home in Alberta?

Real estate fees is the total cost of selling a property that the seller has to pay for the work and efforts that go in making the sale possible. It usually includes realtor’s commission, lawyer’s fee, legal charges, and any penalties or outstanding dues from a premature mortgage.

Selling your home or property could cost you thousands of dollars should you choose to sell it through a realtor. Even if you do not hire a real estate agent to do your bidding, you’d still have to pay for the additional costs associated with the lawyer and legal formalities.

The point is, since you cannot avoid the latter, you might as well try to save on the realtor. 

Besides, it’s the realtor’s fee that makes up for the largest portion of the total real estate fees. In the case of Alberta, it is 7% on the first $100K of the total price of the property, and 3% on the remaining. 

A further 5% tax is also applicable on the total commission which is then split into an equal ratio between the buyer’s and seller’s agents.

To give you a fair idea, the average rate of total commission in Alberta, including both the agents, is over $16K. Quite a hefty sum if you ask me. 

In a way, not only you must pay for the services of your agent, but also for the buyer’s agent i.e., for bringing interested parties and prospects your way and securing you the desired deal. 

The bottom line is - cost-cutting on agents’ commission alone could save you from spending big chunks of money from your pocket. 

But in order to do so, you’ll have to take the matter into your own hands. Basically, do everything a real estate agent does for you, yourself! From marketing, listing, and staging, to showing, negotiating, and closing. 

Better known as FSBO, or for sale by owner, it’s where you sell your property as an individual without involving a real estate or listing agent.

Contrary to multiple listing services (MLS), wherein you hire a broker or agent to sell your property, FSBO is rather fast as well as economical, given that you are willing to put in the time and efforts it needs to sell your home in the first place. 

On that note, here’s what you should do to cut real estate fees when selling your home in Alberta on your own:

1. Find out the right value/ price of your space

The first step to selling your home begins with finding out the right price. You can do that by researching on the internet, as well as by paying attention to other homes for sale in your area. 

Being aware of the asking price of houses that are just like yours could help you determine the right value or worth of your property. 

You may also get an appraisal or property valuation from a realtor at a much cheaper price than their usual commision. 

Also, you might want to add a margin of 1% to your target price so as to leave some room for negotiation and repairs (if any), and which brings us to the next step needed to sell your house i.e., getting your house ready. 

2. Get your home ready for sale

The point of prepping your house prior to selling is to ultimately boost the market value of your property. 

A few improvements, minor repairs, and fixes, decluttering, and finishing any unfinished projects could not only make your space look larger, attractive, and show-ready, but could also increase the net worth and your chances of getting a profitable offer.

Giving a final touch would also furnish your home with a fresh appeal and the ease to inspect it as a prospective buyer.  

Speaking of which, do take some high-resolution pictures of your house, different rooms, and the entire space from various angles and sides which will help you list your property across various websites and online channels.

3. Market & showcase your property

Marketing your property for sale requires a couple of things. First, some captivating images of your house, and second, a well-drafted summary which must include all the necessary information and details about the property. 

You could also use visuals or virtual tours to draw more prospects your way.

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Also, just because you won’t have a realtor, does not mean that you couldn’t list your property for sale in the MLS system. In fact, many online listing websites such as Zillow, Facebook, Marketplace, Trulia, and Redfin let you market your property for free which you should make good use of.

You should also distribute flyers and put up a for-sale sign in your yard to attract potential buyers and passersby.

And be prepared to show your home to interested parties whenever they ask. This is going to be a common activity which you can manage by having several open houses. 

4. Negotiate the offer

Upon successfully enticing a few prospective buyers, comes the hardest part of making the sale which is coming to terms with the final offer. 

While the buyer or the buyer’s agent would be all in to reduce the price in their favour, you too should leave no stones unturned when negotiating to get the best possible price in your favour. Besides, you’ll have the upper hand here since you’d have already marked up the asking price by 1% to give you the room for a bargain.  

But do not go with a hasty decision. Remember, you have all the power to accept, counter, or refuse an offer you don’t find reasonable.  

5. Reach the final agreement and close the deal

Once both the parties agree upon the terms and pricing, comes the final stage of exchanging info, contacts, and finalising the sales agreement, as well as carrying out any amendment required in the paperwork.

After finalising the deal, you can figure out the closing date, which would be the day when you get paid, and hand over the keys to the new owner. 

Conclusion

Selling your home without a real estate agent is not a far-fetched concept. All you need to do is evaluate the property accurately, and market it in all the right places, and you too, like many others can save tens of thousands of dollars which you’d otherwise have to pay to a real estate agent. 

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