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The increase in online technology, websites and mobile app's has resurrected the debate of Private Selling vs using an Estate Agent.
We’re not going to offer free advertising to these online services by naming them, but there are various options available to the Private Seller. Each offering a range of services from advertising only to varying degrees of sales assistance all claiming to be better, and so much cheaper, than paying an Agent commission.
Ultimately the decision rests with each individual seller, but there are still numerous compelling reasons why a Good Estate Agent is the wiser choice, with the emphasis on the word GOOD.
Lack of exposure: Firstly many of the top Property Websites are reserved for Estate Agents only and do not permit private sales, so as a private seller, you are immediately missing out on the best online exposure. Current figures show that as many as 60% of properties are sold as a result of online advertising so it pays to get the maximum online exposure available, and quickly, something only an agent will be able to do for you.
The fact that the remaining 40% of sales are generated by some other means should immediately be a warning to private sellers that they will never get the best exposure relying purely on these online services. Agents offer numerous other marketing benefits.
Ultimately it’s a numbers game, the more exposure your property gets the more likely you are to find that one right buyer.
Cost and Cash Flow: Estate agents work on a “No success, No pay” principle, commission is only payable upon a successful sale of your property and only on registration of the sale, the agent carries the risk of all the advertising costs, including photographers, video and print and is thus motivated to ensure a successful transaction. Many agents are negotiable on commissions, within reason.
Selling privately requires that you pay for each and every service up front with no refunds. If your house does not sell within a certain time, you may be required to pay again to re-post your online advert, the costs can quickly mount to thousands of Rands.
Business vs Emotion: Probably the best reason for having an independent professional brokering the sale of your property. Selling your home is a Business transaction, in fact it’s the single biggest business transaction most of us will ever make in our lives and it’s a well documented fact that emotion and business do not mix well.
As a private seller, we are emotionally attached to our homes, we grew up there, we have fond memories there, we’ve put time, money and effort into caring for it. This emotional connection leads to error number one most private sellers make. Over Pricing.
We all like to think that our house is worth more than the next house and are led by the heart resulting in listing our own homes at above market value.
A newly listed property receives the most attention from prospective buyers within the first two weeks, but it’s vital to remember that today's buyers have access to so much market information and will have done their homework.
They will already have a good idea of what a house in a certain area is worth and over pricing your house will result in educated serious buyers simply ignoring it. The result is that your home will sit on the market longer.
Potential buyers monitor the market and will notice that your home has been on the market for a while, leading to the perception that there must be something wrong with it, eventually desperation will set in and you will drop your price, but the damage has been done. Stats prove that over priced properties sit on the market well beyond the average time period for that area and eventually sell below market related value as potential buyers assume there is some problem with it and make lower offers, by this time you may be desperate to sell and forced to accept a lower offer.
A trained professional will be able to give you sound logical pricing advice based on facts, figures and good local knowledge, not a thumb suck.
Buyers are not silly people, they know if you are selling your home privately that you are not paying Agents Commission and will take this into account when making an offer, often resulting in you getting less for your home than you would have if an agent was involved, unscrupulous buyers have also been known to take advantage of inexperienced sellers, a good agent has the experience and knowledge to handle these people and kick them to the curb if need be.
TIME, to most of us our time is valuable, most of us work during the day and simply don’t have the time to handle all the inquiries that we may receive, we don’t have the experience to assess quickly if a potential buyer is serious or just a “tyre kicker”, we don’t have the tools or connections to determine if a potential buyer is credit worthy enough to afford to buy our home, and besides you have so much else to think about and do at this stage, including possibly finding a new home to move to, changing the kids schools etc. It’s already a stressful period, do you really want to add to that stress.