Selling Without An Agent

Discussion in 'The Buying & Selling Process' started by recko, 21st Nov, 2019.

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  1. recko

    recko Member

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    I'm considering selling a property without an agent, as properties in this area are highly sort after and normally snapped up pretty fast. All I really need is the ability to list on realestate.com and domain.

    Who has experience selling themselves and who do you recommend to go though? All the DIY sales sites seem the same, and have the same price. Any recommendation on which to go through?

    Any advice and guidance would be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    Check all details of their offer - they may show that they advertise on all platforms however there may be a premium for access to some sites.
     
  3. Curious2019

    Curious2019 Well-Known Member

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    I recently used agent in a box. Think it was around $500 to get listed on realestate.com and domain.com. To be honest didn’t get a lot of leads through them, ended up selling after a local drove past and saw my simple Bunnings “FOR SALE” sign with my phone number. This was a block of land though, so might be different for a house. Took about 7-8 months to sell.

    Problem is that once the listing goes stale, it can be hard to sell at your wanted price.

    What price bracket are you trying sell in? If it’s sub $300K I’d think about selling myself. Above that, a good agent might serve you better...
     
  4. FredBear

    FredBear Well-Known Member

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    Bit the same in my area - I know of a case nearby where a house was listed with an agent at mid-day, the agent called one of the people on their list who had just missed out on a similar house, they came to look straight away, offer made on the spot, offer accepted on the spot, contract signed 6.00pm same day.
    No advertising, no styling, no photography, no open inspections, no auction: have to question did the agent really earn the around $70k commission?
    I don't have any personal experience of selling privately, but agree with your thinking: if you have a good property in a hot market, is an agent necessary?
    I would have all the paperwork prepared before advertising yourself: e.g. sales contract, survey, land tax and ATO clearance certificates, pool compliance etc etc, also a building & pest inspection report.
     
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  5. Curious2019

    Curious2019 Well-Known Member

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    I would have to say that agents have relationships that they build over time. The fact the deal got done so quickly and with no marketing costs - the vendor must have seen good value in the deal. Most people want no hassle and a quick sale - Id say the agent earnt their commission. I’d be happy to pay in this circumstance. At a 2% commission this is would have been a $3.5mil property - pretty good to sell that in one day. In commission type transactions, you’re not paying for “time”, you’re paying for expertise and getting the deal done.

    Don’t forget there is an opportunity cost of holding onto property waiting for a buyer to turn up - time you can’t utilise the cash for another deal.
     
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  6. KateAshmor

    KateAshmor Victorian Conveyancing Lawyer Business Member

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    Agents have massive databases of prospective buyers. Perhaps an unadvertised sale, with the most prominent agent in your area, for a discounted commission? This may well save you many months of waiting around as a DIY sale.
     
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  7. Kelvin Cunnington

    Kelvin Cunnington Well-Known Member

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    I've tried it twice.
    Both times, most of the enquiries were agents trying to talk me into allowing them listing the property.
     
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  8. FredBear

    FredBear Well-Known Member

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    So what was the result? Did you end up with a private sale or did you list with one of the agents?
    Actually I get calls from agents all the time wanting to list my property, and I'm not even trying a private sale :)
     
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  9. Kelvin Cunnington

    Kelvin Cunnington Well-Known Member

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    I tried to continue without the agents for a while, but in the end it was becoming apparent that it was like trying to sell a product on Gumtree (for anyone who hasnt tried it) - endless low-balls, no shows and time-wasters.:mad:
    I didnt live near either property - they were rentals - and didnt have plenty of free time to field the inquiries and travel to do all the inspections.
    Plus, I was not prepared to sell for a lowball price. I just wanted to sell for wjhat they were worth.
    Maybe others have had better success.
    I ended up signing with an agent and let them handle it all. In hindsight it was worth the money and the time for them to do it.
     
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  10. recko

    recko Member

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    This is mainly what I'm concerned about, dealing with idiots. I'm currently trying to sell a car and trailer through Facebook and Gumtree and it's a bit of a nightmare with the endless time-wasters etc that I have to deal with.

    I might try it first for a few months. I think it's about $700 to list on both domain and realestate.com. I know one place up the road from mine was "sold by owner" and it sold in under 3 months I believe. The photo's were atrocious potato phone pics and the house it's self was nothing special and unrenovated yet they still got a fair price.

    I am leaning towards an agent as I'd like it sold within 6 months and as others have mentioned, many agents do have contacts and data bases etc.

    I'll think it over a bit more and decide soon.
     
  11. Marg4000

    Marg4000 Well-Known Member

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    Friend sold privately.

    Well presented house in highly desirable, inner-city suburb. Had a retired businessman hubby who was available at all times. Paid for professional photos, sale sign and listing on realestate.com.au, and solicitor to do paperwork before sale and after.

    Sold within 2 weeks at a price higher than those quoted by the 3 RE agents they consulted before deciding to go it alone.

    $1m+ price so considerable commission saved.
     
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  12. Kelvin Cunnington

    Kelvin Cunnington Well-Known Member

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    Yes, lots of infuriating moments trying to sell stuff on FB marketplaces and Gumtree (I'm being diplomatic ;)).
    Try selling it yourself for a few months - nothing ventured, nothing gained.
     
  13. Paul@PAS

    [email protected] Tax, Accounting + SMSF + All things Property Tax Business Plus Member

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    Many agents talk about the time wasters who try to DIY who then want to haggle a cut price fee who then end up using an agent after they give up. It helps to have good traffic past the property to get great DIY results. Its a cheap advert if it has good street appeal. A picture on the web isnt as powerful as a nice looking property someone goes past who is looking in the area. I was once told by an agent many sales are neighbours who see it listed - Dont know what % I query how many properties Domain etc "sells"...The listing pushes traffic to the agent who does the hard work to make a sale. An agent retail shop also helps and a strong local agent gets the traffic on the domains etc. Its like selling cereal - You can get it at Coles, Woolies

    Purple bricks seemed to suffer this fate as they didnt actually "sell" property but just seemed to assist its listing. Then the listing looks stale and it just attracts lowball offers.
     
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  14. MargfromTassie

    MargfromTassie Member

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    Hi, I’ve sold 3 properties myself. A house in Parkdale Vic pre Internet, via The Age classifieds (successful offer in 2 weeks). A unit in Mentone Vic in a high profile position, via a sign I had a company make ( successful offer in 3 weeks).
    And in February this year, in Shearwater, Tasmania I sold a house via FACEBOOK MARKETPLACE ( sold in 8 days). I carefully researched all similar properties within the local area and what they sold for.
    If possible, before they were sold, I visited them and knew how they compared to mine - what was better and what was worse. (To ascertain the sale price of one I visited their next door neighbour after they’d left and he told me what the owners ended up getting).
    In the FB marketplace sale earlier this year, I used FB groups in the local and neighbouring areas. I also posted the property on Gumtree for my general area of Tasmania, and I actually got an inspection and offer via this - which I rejected. From FB marketplace I also got 3 inspections within the first full week, one of whom made the successful offer. My strategy was not to be greedy but to end up with maybe a little more (or even the same) that I would have got using an agent. My main aim was to get A QUICK SALE. Stress free and over and done with. Actually I estimate that I ended up with about $11,000 more than what I would have had if I’d used an agent - judging from the sale price of a very similar property nearby. My house appeal expenses included paint for an interior brick wall, a modern blind instead of old fashioned curtains for the living area, some new vinyl flooring in the bathroom, some new polycarbonate sheeting over the patio, some patio paint, plus a gardener who came for a few hours to mow and tidy up the back garden. I also bought small flowering plants from Bunnings to fill a large potted plant on the front porch next to the door, plus a new doormat. And fresh flowers and an indoor plant for inside. I also bought some new towels and bath mat for the bathroom in coordinating colours. Everything inside was absolutely decluttered and I stored excess furniture and ‘stuff’ elsewhere. All the floors, benches, fittings and surfaces were spotless and I sprayed a fine mist of pure lavender essence just before the inspections.
    In all 3 properties, I met them outside at the front and said that they could go inside by themselves and take as long as they liked and test anything they wanted, whilst I waited in my car ( there were no small items of value which they could pocket). I said that if they were interested, they could come back as many times as they want, bring an adviser etc. I had nothing to hide. I didn’t even get their full names or addresses as the whole idea was to make them feel relaxed with no pressure and that I was easy to deal with. ( whilst they were inside, I did in one case ,take a photo of their car and registration number ).
    I told them honestly that the reason I was not using an agent was that I felt I could do just as good a job myself and that I was mainly intent on getting a quick sale. I told them that I had researched the market nearby carefully and set the price accordingly. I also told them that I would be doing just FB and Gumtree for about 3 weeks, before I paid for a listing on Realestate.com. The advertised price was naturally a bit higher than what I really expected - $385,000 ( and I set my bottom line for a sale without an agent at $370,000 which I got. ) The other property nearby took 3 months to sell and got the same price but the owners had to pay an agents commission of about $11000.
    I gave everyone my contact details and said that they could email or text me an offer if they felt more comfortable that way. I also prepared mentally what to say if the offer was below what I wanted. I got one completely unacceptable offer which I politely but firmly refused - letting them know that I knew the sale price of similar properties.
    Other things - I had a copy of the title and the last rates notice on the table for them to peruse and told them that they were welcome to take photos inside. For the first time in my life I used a recommended local conveyancer instead of a solicitor, which proved to be about half price. They were extremely efficient.
    Apart from the money I spent to improve the property’s appeal, my actual selling costs were FB marketplace $ zero and conveyancer
    $1300. This was in February this year, 2020.
    You might want to use an agent in a very sought after, high profile position in Melbourne or Sydney, as competitive buyers can get carried away on price. On the other hand, for an average market, by doing it yourself you might be able to sell for a quite reasonable price quickly and avoid the stress of a long sale period, whilst possibly saving thousands on commission. It all comes down to doing your research and making it easy for people to inspect and deal with you.
     
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  15. VB King

    VB King Well-Known Member

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    Disclosure ... I'm a selling agent.

    On the assumption you're thinking of going DIY to save the agents fee, do you think you can achieve the same price as an agent (less the selling fee)? (I've seen examples of private sales selling for less and more than agents quoted appraisals by the way). A good agent should be able to extract more from a buyer and cover their fee.

    On a practical note, do you have the time and energy to field enquiry, qualify, and skill to sell? And when it comes to the negotiation, will you be able to manage your emotional involvement?

    Consider also the buyer psyche ... as you've indicated you can expect some low ball offers ... there will be those who assume no agent = can't afford the agents fees = distressed sale = opportunity to negotiate low.

    The points on agents databases above are good, I'll add;
    - we maximise price by creating a feeling of competition and urgency. A strong database certainly helps create a feeling of competition. I understand you're in a hot market anyway.
    - because I've met many of these buyers before, I make it my business to know what they've offered for other properties or bid at auctions. Which means I have a good sense of their maximum budget and therefore know how much I can stretch them. (How often do I hear, "We offered $1.2, it went for $1.25, but we would have paid that too").
     
  16. MargfromTassie

    MargfromTassie Member

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    It depends on the area one lives in and the state of the market there at the time. Capital cities (and areas within commuting distance of them) attract more people mainly because of employment opportunities. There will always be more competition than in rural or less dense areas. And, as you say, a highly skilled agent might prove critical in getting the best offer where there’s serious interest from a number of people. But vendors need to be fully aware of the size of the agent’s commission and how this will affect what they end up with.
    As I stated earlier, if going down the DIY route, it is essential to do ones homework - this will give you confidence that you will not undersell the property.
    “ a good agent....”. Yes, but that’s it isn’t it? No one will have your interest at heart as much as yourself. And, as in any field of employment, (even lawyers and doctors, certainly financial advisers) there are quite a few crap agents around, albeit not as many in prestigious or high value property areas.
    Without doubt it’s overwhelmingly the internet listings that drive the traffic these days. (A premium package on Realestate.com was my next move, but I didn’t have to use it).
    It’s not too hard to find out what other properties in your area have actually sold for. And how they (realistically) compare to one’s own. Research will be time consuming but, in my case, I had the time and wasn’t overly impressed with what I’d seen of real estate agents in my area.
    So, If you are sure of your presentation skills, your ability to photograph your property reasonably well, your ability to clearly set out a description of what your property offers, your ability to negotiate in an unemotional and polite manner, why not have a go ? You don’t have to be Einstein.
     
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  17. Joynz

    Joynz Well-Known Member

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    It was very helpful of you to take the time to give specific details.
     
  18. Heinz57

    Heinz57 Well-Known Member

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    It depends on the property. I sold with forsalebyowner and although it was hard work I was satisfied with the process.

    I believe I could have achieved a higher price through an agent. However not as much as the commission I saved. So overall happy. This was my PPOR.
     
  19. MargfromTassie

    MargfromTassie Member

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    Thank you so much.
     

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