When the time comes to sell your home, it can be tempting to try and save yourself thousands of dollars by conducting a private sale. You’ve heard all about how houses are selling like hot cakes all over the country. How hard can it be? Unfortunately, it’s more difficult than it sounds.
First, you have to market the property effectively, and patiently answer phone calls and oversee crowds of people – many of them not remotely interested in buying – as they trample through your home, then make the follow-up phone calls. Then, when you finally do get an interested party, you have to haggle over the price.
There are companies which occupy a middle ground, enabling you to sell privately but with similar support to that offered by a real estate agency. The fee depends on the marketing package you choose, and the value of your property, and is payable whether the property sells or not. Fees can be as low as several hundred dollars.
Keep in mind that real estate agents are professional salespeople, and the good ones are practised at getting the highest possible price for each individual property. If they can get even 5-10% more than you can, they’ll more than have earned their fee.
Private vendors tend to overvalue their homes, because they love them. An agent who knows the area well should be able to advise you on an achievable price and a realistic estimate of how long it should take to sell.
If you do decide to sell privately, make sure you don’t skimp on advertising, and be realistic about the asking price.
You'll also find more practical help and advice by clicking on our Private Sales and Budget Options page.