Selling yourself? There are a a number of ways you may be disadvantaged that perhaps you hadn’t considered…

In Selling Your Property: What You Really Need to Know, our free educational guide to selling your home or property, we include a section discussing how to select a real estate agent. Here we caution home owners not to select the agent with the lowest commission. Real estate agent commissions can be quite a divisive topic among home owners and, while there are some owners who are willing to pay, on average, 2.41 percent of the sale price of their home to an agent to sell their property, there are others who aren’t. If you’re reading this blog post, and you’ve downloaded the Selling Your Property guide, you may be wondering whether you should sell your home privately. 

First of all, our Selling Your Property guide was developed to take readers through the entire sales process, from preparing the home for sale, right through to the very last stages, conveyancing and settlement. The guide’s main purpose is to educate readers about property sales, not so they can sell their property themselves, but so they can work with the relevant professionals — real estate agents, conveyancers, photographers — to achieve the best outcome.

Of course, you don’t have to hire a real estate agent. Just as you can do you own conveyancing and write your own will, there are certainly a small proportion of home owners who decide to sell their property privately without the help of a real estate agent. You can too. It’s just… should you?

Property doesn’t sell itself

Many (perhaps most?) home owners assume, somewhat erroneously, that property in Australia sells itself and services like For Sale By Owner, BuyMyPlace and other such services for selling property privately help perpetuate that theory. But property doesn’t sell itself — if that were true, the real estate profession wouldn’t be the predominant way to sell property in this country.

Selling property is a fairly complex legal transaction that involves a lot more than just listing a home for sale on the internet, and waiting for the buyers to roll in. It involves working with a number of different professionals to navigate each stage of the process efficiently and within the correct legal parameters, and includes:

  • Preparing the contract of sale
  • Preparing the vendor’s disclosure statement
  • Accurately appraising the property’s value
  • Selecting the appropriate sales method
  • Organising and managing the advertising and marketing campaign
  • Attending inspections
  • Responding to buyer inquiry and feedback

If you forgo the use of a real estate agent, then you’ll need to hire a solicitor with experience in real estate law to advise you as you prepare the contract of sale, the vendor’s disclosure statement, handle any money paid to you by the buyer, and to oversee the conveyancing process. Keep in mind, solicitors charge by the hour.

Buyer feedback; anyone?

A very necessary step in the sales process is to follow up with buyers, to get feedback and gauge their interest. We spoke with a number of home buyers about whether they would give feedback directly to a vendor, and the majority reported that they wouldn’t; a small proportion said they would, but only if they were truly interested in buying the home — and that their feedback would be the interest of negotiating the price down only.

When we asked the buyers who said they wouldn’t give feedback to a vendor whether this was because it made them feel awkward, or that they were afraid of an uncomfortable confrontation with the owner, they agreed that this was part of it. Mostly, however, they didn’t see any point in risking an awkward conversation with the owner, when it didn’t serve to benefit them in any way.

In other words, buyers are willing to risk a difficult conversation with an agent over what they didn’t like about a property because they know that, a) the agent won’t take it personally; but, and more especially, b) the agent is likely to recommend, either now or in the future, another property that’s better suited to their needs. When you’re dealing with a vendor direct, there’s no incentive to give feedback, because neither are outcome is likely.

Some buyers think DIY sellers may be hiding something

If buyers don’t give you the chance to follow up with them, it becomes very difficult to negotiate the sale of your property quickly and efficiently. And if buyers see that your property has been hanging around on the market for a while, it starts to send a message that there’s something wrong with it. Either your asking price is too high, or, and this was the overwhelming sentiment buyers reported feeling to us, you’re hiding something about the property, and that’s why you don’t have an agent representing you.

If you truly want to sell your home quickly, efficiently, and for the best price, you need to be informed. You need to have in-depth knowledge of the property market, and of the sales process. You need to be able to work with a number of other professionals, to ensure the successful sale of your property, and that largely hinges on being able to negotiate the sale with a willing buyer.

Learn more about selling property in Australia by subscribing to receive access to our free educational guide, called Selling Your Property: What You Really Need to Know. Alternatively, to read more property news, insights and analysis, continue reading our blog.

As seen in..

Our educational blogs are designed to help you understand each of the steps involved in selling your property so whether you choose to work with a real estate agent or do it yourself you'll understand the work involved and be more efficient and aware of what you need to do. Our articles have been seen in these major online news and information portals..

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