Posted Friday September 15, 2023 12:00 PM

Navigating Real Estate Commissions in Ontario: How to Sell or Buy a House Without a Realtor (November 2023)

Friday September 15, 2023 12:00

Navigating Real Estate Commissions in Ontario

Real estate commissions are a key aspect of property transactions, often shrouded in confusion. In this article, we'll unravel the mystery surrounding real estate commissions in Ontario and shed light on how they function. The concept of private home sales and owner-sold properties have become increasing popular in the Ontario and throughout Canada, but both buyers and sellers are unsure of where to start. We will dive into the challenges faced when buying a house without a realtor in Canada and the equally formidable task of selling a house without a realtor. 

Understanding Traditional Real Estate Commissions:

Ontario Real estate commissions are fees paid to listing agents or brokers for their services in facilitating property transactions. Typically, these commissions are a percentage of the final sale price, with the standard rate ranging from 5% to 6%.

Flat Fee Commissions:

Now, homeowners can list their properties for a fixed fee, regardless of the property's value. On average, Canadians can save approximately $20,000 in commissions when selling their homes through flat fee models. Homeowners get to keep a larger portion of their equity and that's big. There are quite a few flat fee models out there, the key is to find the one that gives you great value regardless of price. Hire a real estate company such as Zown to list your home without a realtor (a traditional one, at least). 

Payment and Division:

Sellers generally cover the commission costs, which are deducted from their proceeds. The commission is divided between the listing agent and the buyer's agent, compensating them for their respective roles in the transaction.


Real estate commissions in Ontario are negotiable. Sellers can discuss and agree upon the commission rate with their listing agent before listing the property, allowing flexibility in unique cases or high-value transactions.


Considerations for Sellers and Buyers:

In as a part of private home sales, sellers should review the commission agreement, understanding the services provided in return. Market conditions, property value, and agent expertise should also be considered when evaluating the commission structure. Buyers don't directly pay commissions, but they can indirectly be affected by them. Commission dynamics may influence negotiation possibilities and the final purchase price, so potential buyers should be aware and account for this in their budget and strategy.Selling a house without a realtor is easy with Zown!

Challenges of selling or buying a house without a realtor

Now that we have established how Ontario real estate commissions work, we can determine how to buy or sell a house without a realtor. For sale by owner (FSBO) is a common term referring to a property that is sold directly through an owner without the help of a real estate agent/broker. Buying a home or putting a home for sale without a realtor can seem risky, but choosing an AI-oriented flat-fee model like Zown can grant you access to the traditional perks of a realtor and even more insights thanks to our technology. Here are some of the largest obstacles of owner-sold properties and opting to sell or buy without a real estate agent:

Market Unfamiliarity:

One of the biggest perceived risks of selling or buying a house without a realtor in Canada is the lack of market knowledge. Traditional realtors are relied upon for their ability to identify and evaluate listings based on various market factors such as the property type, price, location of the listing and the number of bedrooms. Ultimately realtors act as a source of guidance for potential home buyers/sellers to assist them in making the best decision based on budget and property requirements. Conducting a home inspection as a seller or visiting open houses as a buyer, can give you a better gauge of what to expect. With Zown's AI technology and team of real estate experts, we can simplify your journey of selling or buying a house without a traditional realtor by providing insights such as the range of the home's valuation, the likelihood that it has to sell and similar properties that may have been sold in the neighboring area.

Inexperience in Negotiations:

Another challenge that is faced when selling or buying a house without a realtor is having a lack of experience in negotiations. For sellers, this can result in their home being listed at a price that is too high based on the current market conditions, while for buyers this could result in placing an offer that does not reflect how much a property is actually worth. Negotiating during the FSBO process will be challenging, but with guidance from our real estate team and AI-oriented approach, we can help you make the best decision based on your expectations and the market conditions. There will also be a dedicated Zown Agent to not only assist you with offer negotiations, but also guide you in every step of the way in your journey.

Lack of Market Recognition:

Whether you are selling or buying a house without a realtor in Canada, it is essential that your target requirements can be met without making any financial sacrifices. Without access to the listings/connections that realtors may have, it can be challenging for your potential DIY home purchase or DIY home sale to reach serious buyers as a seller or for you to find the most suitable home based on various factors as a buyer. However, Zown provides you with these benefits such as listing properties directly on the MLS, 3D Virtual Tour and Floor plans and 24/7 support to ensure that you are able to buy or sell a house as effectively as possible. 

Zown's AI technology can help you navigate selling or buying a house!

Our Solution for Selling a House without a Realtor

Despite some of the challenges of completing an independent home purchase or an independent house selling, there are numerous steps that we will take to mitigate the risks:

Getting an accurate valuation for your property:

Using our AI Valuation model, we can determine an accurate price for a house to be bought or sold at. Based on factors such as the likelihood to sell, similar properties that have been recently sold and the demand for your home based on the number of new listings in comparison to the number of active buyers. All of these features are free to use directly on our website.

Book a free virtual visit:

To get a verified opinion on the value of your home, you can schedule a virtual visit with our team of agents. Through this meeting, you can learn more about how to sell your home or buy a house without a traditional realtor, as well as other options for you to maximize your return. 

Listing preparation:

To prepare your home to be listed on the MLS, we take care of all of the photography, staging, the 'For Sale' sign and more. This can ensure that your 

Getting the best offer: 

With Zown's experienced agents, they can guide and negotiate to the best possible offer when selling your home without a realtor. 92% of clients that decide to sell their home with Zown are able to save up to tens of thousands in fees, without sacrificing quality of service. Buying a house without a realtor or selling a house without a realtor has never been easier.

Paperwork + Closing:

One of the most common questions is what paperwork is required for selling a house without a realtor in Canada? Once the offer has been agreed upon, your Zown agent will help you finalize all of the relevant paperwork, such as the Purchase agreement, ownership documents, inspection report and closing statement to ensure that your house-selling or house-buying process in Canada is completed smoothly.


With the FSBO homes becoming more common across North America, the burning question is do you need a realtor to buy a house or sell your home? Thanks to Zown's flat-fee model, we eliminate the necessity of a high-commision realtor, while providing all the perks and beyond that comes with their services. Real estate commissions are fees paid to agents or brokers for their services in property transactions. Understanding how real estate commissions work empowers both sellers and buyers to make informed decisions and collaborate effectively with their agents to achieve their real estate goals.