One of the problems all too often encountered by property buyers and sellers alike is that, by having to deal with a third party, namely the estate agent, the process often becomes unduly muddied and complicated, not to mention expensive. After all, you buy a property because you want it, certainly not because you like the agent. The fact is that once a property has been professionally marketed and brought to the attention of a prospective buyer, then all they need do is to have access to inspect and, if they wish to purchase, someone to make an offer to. After that, it’s down to each party’s solicitor to deal with the paperwork.
An increasing number of vendors now realize they can sell their property without employing an agent. However, selling privately does present its own inherent difficulties and costs, not least of which is how to market the property in such a way as to attract serious buyers. Any prospective buyer:
- needs to be attracted to what you have to sell,
- will want to gather as much information as possible before contacting you to arrange a viewing and
- must feel comfortable that the price set represents a realistic market figure.
The downside of trying to sell privately frequently means the vendor wastes a good deal of time and money in attempting to market their property, doesn’t manage to sell it and ends up having to turn to an agent. But there is a better way, one that considerably improves your chances of achieving a result without having to pay out a hefty commission to someone who, when all’s said and done, is charging you a hefty fee if they manage to attract someone who wants to buy your property.
So, how best to sell your property and hold on to the hard-earned cash you’d otherwise be paying out to an agent? You really can’t sell a secret and there are a number of things you can do to in order to attract targeted buyers. First, you need to put together a marketing strategy that allows you to expose your property to as wide a market as possible and which includes all the essential elements required to ensure a successful sale and in as realistic a timeframe as possible. Obviously, a website presence is important to raise your property’s profile, as is signage and print media advertising.
However, it goes without saying that the quality of your marketing materials is vital. Just as people won’t warm to a poorly-presented house so, equally, they won’t even consider coming to look at a property which hasn’t caught their attention with professional-looking signage, eye-catching web and print media ads as well as detailed (preferably colour) property flyers. This being so, it’s still possible to attract buyers without the need to pay commission to an agent. After all, what you’re really paying an agent a good deal of money to do is to have their company produce marketing materials and subsequently show any interested parties around your own home.
It’s true to say that, as mentioned earlier, a purchaser will buy a property because it’s what they’re looking for, so who better to show them round their home than the owners themselves? Having turned themselves into salespeople (which certainly isn’t difficult), what the private seller then needs to pay careful attention to is the quality of the materials and advertising they use to attract potential buyers.
Whilst this can often prove to be a time-consuming and expensive affair, there are real estate companies which provide vendors with all the marketing tools and support they need to professionally profile their property.
Recent rising house prices have seen a corresponding increase in the final fee paid to the agent, a fee which bites deep into the hard-earned profits of vendors who are looking to hold on to a greater percentage of their equity.
Accordingly, as the real estate model in New Zealand and Australia continues to evolve, growing numbers of smart vendors are beginning to appreciate the fact that the paying of high commission rates to estate agents is not only unnecessary but, indeed, detrimental to their financial health.
Author: Gary Le Petit