How to Sell Your Own Home
Janice Shea was Head of the Media, Technical, A.V. Equipment Services at Algonquin College, Nepean, Ontario.
“A. Vendor” is nothing if not enthusiastic about the joys of selling “your own home.” This attractively packaged paperback organizes the whole process into seven stages, including setting price, preparing the house, advertising, showing, closing, and giving possession. The following three chapters offer advice on buying, and a final section contains counsel from experts: lawyer, mortgage broker, builder, salesman, buyer, seller.
In reading the actual “selling” section, the seven stages involved speed by and voilà, the satisfied vendor walks away with a handsome profit (no real estate commission to cut into it), and happy because he did it himself. This prose barrels on; only when he pauses does the bemused reader realize what is involved. For all its apparent simplicity, the work involved in composing ads, consulting experts (at least three), having signs, invitations, and handouts printed, taking phone calls (some ridiculous), receiving fifty neighbours (for heaven’s sake!), holding open houses, and generally running around, could occupy two or more people full time, depending on the market. Added to this, keeping the house neat at all times and making sure children “are out of the house or at least out of the way” (good luck!) could cause even a saint to go mad with frustration.
The writer, in other words, is so knowledgeable and enthusiastic about his subject, that he (she?) minimizes the work involved, simplifies the process, and so fires up the potential vendor that a very complex, tedious, and sensitive process takes on the appearance of a stroll through the park. However, the details are all there, the advice is expert, and there is no doubt that an individual who is absolutely determined, and who can work full time on the project, could respectably initiate and conclude the process described. Thick-skinned indeed would she/he be, however (asking experts for free advice), as well as organized, energetic, tactful, knowledgeable, firm, assured, prescient, and generally willing to dig in for what could be a long siege.
I, however, am more sanguine that this volume will sell books than houses, and for one will hand the process over to “A. Vendor” who is clearly skilled, can mediate, and will protect me from the ravages of hoi polloi having at me in a “for sale/by owner” free-for-all.