Ditch the agent!

Ditch the agent! - Cecil Bunnell

It’s been six months since I have put the duplex for sale. I have been told that, usually, a duplex would be sold much faster. Unless there was a problem with the property. Well, there was nothing wrong with the duplex, as far as I knew. So why wasn't it sold after half an year of being on the market?

I addressed this question to my real estate agent when my wife and I, went to see him. I received a simple answer: «It has potential, but it needs a makeover.” Thus, I asked him what would he change, to make it more appealing to possible buyers. His answer came promptly. He stated that I had to remove the wallpaper from the master bedroom and the kitchen, paint some nice colors, and take out the carpet from the upstairs’ hallway and the stairs. Also, the deck had to be redone and a bannister needed to be installed on the stairs. All that meant a lot of work. It wasn't necessarily extremely costly to do all these changes, but it was time consuming as well.

When my wife expressed her surprise of not being told these things six months back, the agent smiled and said that we weren’t a determined seller at that time. Plus, we did not strike him as the type of pressed by mortgage sellers. Anyway, he handed me a business card of a renovation guy that he was working with, and softly whispered to my ear: «If you pay cash, he'll charge you less.”

At that moment, I wasn't sure if he was promoting his friend for the sake of their friendship, for the quality of his services, or maybe he simply wanted to ensure that he would get his fat commission from the sale. This, in the event that I sell the duplex soon.

It was strange to me that he never mentioned or implied a price reduction. My wife noted the same thing. On the way back home, we discussed about it in the car. She was not thrilled about the idea of spending more money on the duplex.

In fact, she told me off the bat that she would rather sell for a few thousands less than invest a lot more, without knowing if we would get the money back. I have a feeling the agent did not make a good impression on her.

Her suggestion of selling the property without an agent, confirmed my doubt. She revealed that her idea was to do only a few changes that would not cost a lot, but would make the place look prettier. Therefore she proposed to buy some awnings montreal and replace the older ones, reduce the amount of pieces of furniture in the house “less is best” and try to sell it ourselves by placing ads on Kijiji, Trovit, PlusValia, Comfree and PropertyGuys.