You need a real estate agent to list the house you are selling on MLS

Can I list my house on an MLS without a real estate agent?

The short answer is no.

You cannot list a property on a Multiple Listing Service database – more commonly known as MLS – without the help of a real estate agent who has access to this system.

However, you can decide how involved you want an agent in the sale of your home. Let’s dive a little deeper into that.

Known as “mere postings,” some agents post listings on MLS under limited service agreements. Although they can do this without providing additional services or representing your interests, agents are still responsible for ensuring that all information presented in advertisements is accurate.

Typically costing a flat fee, a “simple listing” is usually a “for sale by owner (FSBO)” property, except that it appears on an MLS listing service.

That said – and while selling a home privately is certainly your choice – I would like to point out that selling your own home is a big undertaking that requires a great deal of time, effort and expertise. If you choose the FSBO route, you will be responsible for everything including setting the listing price, getting the property ready for sale, advertising, managing visits, from reviewing offers, negotiating terms and managing documents once an agreement with a buyer has been reached. So before moving forward, assess your situation and your priorities to make sure you are comfortable with this approach.

If you change your mind and decide to have a full service agreement with an agent, then they are obligated to represent your interests. Agents offer a wide range of service options, including monitoring market trends, staging and preparing the property, offering strategic advice, arranging visits, negotiating and managing documents on your behalf.

All agents in Ontario must be registered with the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) to deal in real estate. Before applying for registration, they must complete a comprehensive training program and pass a series of exams. They must also respect a code of ethics.

And, to better serve customers, they are required to take additional courses every two years and continue to update and hone their knowledge and skills.

Keep in mind that agent offerings vary in terms of knowledge, experience, fee structures, and services. It’s always wise to interview and evaluate a few agents before choosing the one that can best help you.

Whatever you decide, since real estate agreements are legally binding contracts, I strongly encourage you to discuss the sale of your home with an attorney who is insured to practice real estate law. They can provide advice, review documents and take the necessary steps to complete the transaction. Good luck.

If you have a question about the process of buying or selling a home, please email [email protected]

Joe Richer is Registrar of the Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO). This column is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal or professional advice on real estate transactions. Follow RECO on Twitter: @RECOhelps

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