It is not a requirement to use a real estate agent when selling your home, with some sellers deciding to sell privately, managing the whole sale process themselves.
If you decide to go down this path when selling your home, it’s important to be aware of the risk that you’re taking on. Selling privately is a decision to go without the expert services that real estate agents provide in favour of doing it all yourself.
In this article, we highlight the pros and cons of selling privately to help you make an informed decision about what’s best for you.
Why sell privately?
The main reason that sellers choose not to use real estate agents is cost. Agents charge fees, which means some buyers see an opportunity to save money by selling their home themselves.
But is it really that simple?
Why use an agent?
Yes, using an agent means that you will have to pay a fee, often in the form of a commission or a percentage of the sale price. However, this fee is agreed upfront, which means that you shouldn’t be hit with any surprises down the track.
When you use a licensed real estate agent, they are required by law to act ethically and responsibly when selling your home. This means that you can be sure that they will provide services to successfully sell your home for the best price. It also means that if you don’t agree with your agent or you believe they haven’t acted in your best interests, you may contest the contract you signed when you engaged their services.
In this way, the risks of using an agent are able to be reduced and controlled by compliance mechanisms in ways that the risks of selling privately cannot be controlled.
On top of this, there are a number of ways that you can check the track record of an agent before engaging their services. One of the most common ways to track is by word of mouth – using an agent recommended by other people you know – and then there’s online research into their sales histories and reviews by people who have used their services before you.
By doing this research for a range of different agents and having discussions with each of them to assess their fees, market knowledge and approaches to selling, you will be in a great position to choose the best one for your needs and make the most of the value they can bring to your sale.
While it is common to assume that real estate agents may have hidden costs, it’s easy to underestimate the hidden costs of selling privately.
There’s no other way around it – advertising costs money. As a private seller, it is unlikely you’ll be able to advertise for a lower cost than an established agent with industry connections and relationships with suppliers. It’s important to consider the value of sales skills and real estate expertise and how it’s possible you’ll actually save money by selling using an agent.