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Selling a Property on MLS vs Selling Privately

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When deciding to sell a home or an investment property, you will have to choose between listing the home on MLS, selling on your own on an FSBO website, or a private sale with the help of a broker. Each options appeals to a different type of seller, and comes with its own advantages and disadvantages. ling a Property on MLS vs Selling Privately

Selling on MLS with a broker:


  • Working with a broker allows you to bypass the time-consuming but necessary tasks  involved in a real estate sale. Among other duties, your broker will assume the responsibility of the real estate photography, marketing the home online and in her or her internal network, coordinating showings with other brokers or buyers, answering questions about the property, being present at visits and open houses, completing and submitting the legal paperwork, and negotiation once receiving an offer. Working with a real estate broker saves the seller a great deal of time and effort over the course of a property sale.
  • A broker will provide you with a professionally executed comparative market analysis to avoid pricing errors.
  • When listing your home on MLS, it becomes accessible to all other agents and buyers, increasing your chances of a quick sale.


  • You will have to pay your broker a commission in exchange for their work. Commissions are typically negotiated as a percentage of the selling price, ranging between 2 and 6% in Montreal.

Selling on your own with a FSBO website:


  • Selling on your own allows you to save on commission.


  • FSBO websites incur their own costs. For example, you will have to pay for the real estate photography, signage, marketing, and consulting costs out of pocket as part of the FSBO website’s listing package. These are costs that are otherwise included in your real estate broker’s commission.
  • Selling without professional guidance will make you more vulnerable to pricing errors, missed deadlines, and oversights when dealing with legal paperwork.
  • An FSBO seller will need to dedicate at least 10 hours per week to the property sale, to stay on top of email correspondence, phone calls from buyers and brokers,  visits, and marketing the home. If the home is slow to sell, the cumulative time spent on the property sale may not be worth the commission saved.

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Selling privately (off-market) with a broker:

Selling privately while engaging the help of a broker involves marketing your property internally within the broker’s private network, rather than listing on MLS. This can be done as a precursor to listing the property publicly, or as an alternative. To sell a property privately, your broker would email the listing to their internal database of private buyers and investors, or upload it to a private investor’s database such as our VIP database.


  • By marketing your home privately, you can test out a variety of asking prices. In a highly competitive market, this could give the seller more leverage. Price reductions are published on Centris, while price reductions made off-market remain private and allow sellers to try out different asking prices without leaving a trace.
  • Private sales can also be appealing to sellers who want to maintain privacy around their personal space. The thought of hosting open houses and having photos of your home distributed publicly online can be disquieting to some. With an off-market sale, the property images are circulated within a smaller group of active and qualified buyers, thereby reducing the number of visits while increasing the chances of a serious offer.
  • Private sellers tap into a niched pool of buyers and investors who desire exclusivity, and are not interested in the public offerings on Centris. When it comes to commercial opportunities and hot residential deals or luxury homes, circulating your property privately could result in a faster sale, since it bypasses the process of preparing your property for the market.
  • Opting for a private sale allows you to save time by avoiding the initial process of preparing the home for MLS .


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