How to save on fees and sell your house without an agent
Want to sell your house without an agent? Here are three options...
1. If you've got the gift of the gab... forsalebyowner.com.au
If you've got the time and the right personality you may be able to bypass a real estate altogether and sell it yourself.
Forsalebyowner.com.au, one of the largest private sale businesses with around 2000 listings at any given time, offers two packages (Essentials $699 and Essentials Plus $969) to help vendors sell their own home.
Both packages are "listed until sold" and include listings on property portals realestate.com.au and domain.com.au, plus "for sale" boards, marketing materials and support if needed.
Other portals that For Sale By Owner uses include juwai.com (Chinese), homely.com.au and homesales.com.au.
"We give sellers the opportunity to do well and not be prejudiced by not having a real estate agent," says founder Colin Sacks.
"With the property marketing softening, those who have only recently bought just don't have the equity to be eaten up by agent commission and marketing fees."
2. If you want to do it yourself but with the option of some help... buymyplace.com.au
This would suit those who want basic help with the option of extra services.
You simple select one of four packages, write your property description, upload your photo and buyMyplace puts your listing on its website and seven others, including the big guns, realestate.com.au and domain.com.au.
The basic package starts at $650 and includes a "for sale" board, market comparison report and brochures.
The "recommended" packaged comes in at $1495 and includes four hours of support with a property expert plus a floor plan and professional copywriting. If you intend taking your property to auction, you'll need to add a further $895 on top of your selected package.
Chief executive Colin Keating says sellers save $17,000 on an average home sale and most are sold within 30 to 40 days, although it's not unusual for some to be sold within a week.
3. If you want to avoid all fees... visit a buyer's agent
Something you could try first is to approach a local buyer's agent to see if they have any clients who might be interested in buying.
This way you might be able to sell the property without going through the whole rigmarole of listing it for sale. A buyer's agent does not sell real estate; rather they look for a home on behalf of buyers whereas the selling agent works for the vendor (seller).
By law an agent cannot act for (and accept a commission from) both parties in the transaction. This means that if your house ticks the checklist of a buyer's agent's client you could technically sell it and pay no agent fees whatsoever.
Rich Harvey, CEO of propertybuyer.com.au, says you should always get an independent valuation so you're confident you're selling it at the right price.
He also notes that it's not as easy as it may sound as the clients of buyer's agents are very specific on what they are searching for, "so you need have that perfect home".
What if your house doesn't sell?
Don't underestimate how important it is to present your property in the best possible light. Less is always more when it comes to styling and a clean, shiny home with sparkling benchtops and bathrooms could make all the difference.
A different price may also seal the deal. Demand can change so don't lock yourself in with a fixed number.
If you're using a real estate and are not happy with their work you may be able to give them the flick. Take care, though, as you have entered into a legally binding contract.
You'll need to refer to the fine print here. An agency agreement can either be open ended or for a specified period. It is important to properly end your agreement with them before signing up with another agent. Otherwise, as the NSW Department of Fair Trading warns, both agents may charge you commission when the property is sold.
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