How to be your own real estate agent: selling your property yourself can save thousands of dollars

Selling your property yourself can save you a bundle. Photo: Frances Mocnik Laboratory manager Marina Tretiach sold her house recently through an online marketplace, bypassing the services of a real estate agent. Photo: Dominic Lorrimer
Nanjing Night Net

It’s never been easier to be your own real estate agent.

There are at least a dozen websites that let you sell your property yourself, with fees a tiny fraction of the commissions charged by real estate agents.

Marina Tretiach recently sold her house in Sydney’s Lane Cove through ForSaleByOwner南京夜网419论坛, saving tens of thousands of dollars in agent’s fees.

The laboratory manager was looking to buy another house outside Sydney for more than a year and had attended many auctions.

“I thought to myself that I can do all the things that agents do,” Marina says. “I am really familiar with the area and I know the house and I was sure that I could do as good a job as they could do.”

Marina found the process easy, the website providing a video tutorial on what to do.

The websites appear to be broadly similar in their approach. They have a basic marketing package where online ads are placed on leading real estate websites as well on the sites themselves.

The vendor can add further services and products, such as a “for sale” sign for the front of the property and brochures.

Although all properties are listed with prices, the vendor can opt to go to auction where the website can supply an auctioneer for the day.

The vendor decides whether to have open houses or whether to have private viewings, the vendor handing all the inquiries themselves.

Marina sold her house for the asking price within three weeks of listing.

Her open houses were well attended but one day she received a call from someone who had seen the for-sale sign and wanted to see the house privately. He was the eventual buyer. Save commissions

Paul Heath, the chief executive of BuyMyPlace南京夜网419论坛, says by selling their properties themselves vendors can save a fortune in commissions and marketing costs.

Applying a typical commission of 2.25 per cent to the median Sydney house price equates to a saving of $24,000.

Also, there are some savings on the typical marketing expenses of about 1 per cent, he says.

Heath says private vendors most often still get appraisals from their local real estate agents and go to a lot of auctions and look at what similar properties are fetching.

The websites can provide local sales records.

Colin Sacks, chief executive of ForSaleByOwner, says private vendors need proper support.

“It’s one thing not to use an agent but another not to use an agent and to do it well,” he says. “An agent does bring certain skills to the table and so the question is whether we are able to bring those skills together in an online environment. We provide vendors with a ‘dashboard’ where they will see all the inquiries and whether people are looking at their ads in Domain南京夜网419论坛 and Realestate南京夜网419论坛 and other sites.”

Sacks says most people using his site are paying about $1000, which includes a for-sale board for the front of the property. Agents fight back

Real estate agents are sceptical of claims made by websites that private vendors are routinely achieving higher prices than if they had used an agent.

Michael Harris, the director of Raine & Horne in Sydney’s Newton, has been selling property for 17 years.

“What I am today is not what I was when I started in real estate, which is what your average mum and dad is going to be like,” Harris says. “People do not realise the amount of work that you have to do to sell a house.”

Real estate agent Trudy Biggin, of Biggin & Scott in Melbourne’s Brighton, says a good agent can advise on how the property should be presented to create that “wow” factor.

She says one of the main skills of a good agent is in negotiating with a potential buyer so as to achieve the best price for the vendor.

“If you know that someone really likes the house, the skill is to keep them focused on that house and to pay a premium price,” she says.

Sam Lally, a buyer’s agent at Buyer’s Advocate Australia in Melbourne’s Hawthorn, agrees.

Lally sold real estate before switching to helping buyers and he says you need to know how to talk to potential buyers, what information to get from them and how to qualify them.

In his role as a buyer’s agent, Lally “loves” dealing with vendors directly.

“Some people think their skills in their professional areas of expertise are transferable to property negotiations,” he says.

“Private vendors are often no match for experienced property negotiators, such as buyer’s advocates or agents.

“Vendors who use good agents have a better chance of getting a better price for their property.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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