In an increasingly DIY economy, more and more people are looking for ways around the status quo; ways to do things more efficiently, more innovatively and most of all, to save money. When it comes to selling property, most people ask themselves whether they should sell their homes privately but how do you know if it is the right choice for you? Check out our pros and cons list and see whether there’s a secret property tycoon trapped inside you, or if you are better off calling in the experts.
The Pros of Selling Your Home Yourself
- In Australia, real estate agent’s fees are not fixed, so the commission you pay to the agent will usually be around 2.5% of your sale price. This will amount to thousands of dollars that could be in your pocket rather than an agent’s if you sell your property yourself
- You can offer a much more personal experience to the buyer, by sharing your experiences of living in the home and the area. It also gives you the chance to choose who will next live in your beloved home, which for many can be an emotional experience
- An agent has more than one home to sell so will typically recommend set open times and private appointments. If you sell your home yourself, you can welcome people to see it as often and for as long as you like.
- You can set your asking price or choose to run your own auction by hiring your own auctioneer. You choose which method of sale best suits you when selling your property.
The Pros of Using a Real Estate Agency
- Selling a house is time consuming and can get complicated. When paying an agent commission, you buy peace of mind that they will take care of everything in a thorough and professional manner, so you can get on with your life.
- Unlike you, selling houses is their full-time job. Agents come with comprehensive knowledge of the market and the industry, plus finely tuned negotiating skills to help secure you the best possible price for your property.
- Good marketing and a house that has been well prepared for sale are essential when trying to sell a property. Real estate agents generally have in-house marketing departments that will make your house look so amazing, you may reconsider selling it. In addition, an agent’s brand plays a big role in property sales and marketing, with some people only choosing to buy through the brand they know and trust the most.
- Agents can hear your personal opinions, insights and experiences about the property and then summarise them (in many cases stripping back the emotion) into a more professional story for potential buyers. Their ability to present an opportunity and negotiate a strong price may well result in an outcome that exceeds any saving made through a private sale.
The Cons of Selling Your Home Yourself
- Many private sellers underestimate the time it takes to manage the sale of a house. If your hours and expenses involved were logged and calculated out on an hourly rate, you might find it doesn’t fall too short of an agent’s commission anyway. Never mind the mental and emotional toll on you, your family and your job as your time is swallowed up by trying to market and sell a house.
- When dealing face to face with buyers, you are in the hot seat and have to deal with all the awkward conversations and negotiations about building and pest inspections, repairs and money that an agent would ordinarily take care of. For this reason, less than five per cent of private sales are met with success.
- Your limited knowledge and lack of experience in selling property may be more evident than you think it is. If you don’t have a full understanding of the legal requirements involved, you open yourself up to risk. Buyers may be less inclined to make an offer or negotiate when they know they’re dealing direct with the owner. They anticipate causing offence, if they think your home is worth less than you do, and tend to avoid starting a negotiation for fear of outright rejection.
- Selling (and buying) your own home can be emotional and even though, in theory, you think you can do it, it all becomes too real when you’re actually walking strangers through your home and seeing them imagining it as theirs. You may not be able to present an objective face when selling and therefore set an unrealistic price, or get defensive in discussions about the property’s asking price.
The Cons of Using a Real Estate Agency
- The commission. Need we say more? Summer in Europe anyone?
- You may have difficulties, firstly finding an agent that knows your area well and can advise you effectively of the local market. Then, if you only find a few agents like this, it can be difficult to secure one that you feel you can trust and connect with.
- Agents are realistic about market values and you may find it difficult to hire an agent when you want a higher price than the agent believes the market will realistically bear.
- Because agent’s fees are unregulated in Australia, an agent can charge you whatever they want. This is why it’s important to shop around or you may find out too late that you got a bad deal.