Selling your property yourself

Written by Douglas Ross in Selling

Woman using a laptop to sell property yourself

Selling your property yourself can save you significant costs otherwise associated with agent fees. However, this is a much-debated topic within the industry. Some believe the money you save in these fees you end up losing in the eventual sale. Couple this with the added stress of how involved you need to be in the process. It is fair to understand why most people opt to go with an agent. If you do think you have the skills and time to conduct the process yourself and believe that you can achieve the sale price you expect, then this can be a valid method of saving tens of thousands of dollars.

Deciding your property’s worth

If you do decide upon selling your property yourself, it may still be worth using one or more agents’ expertise to value your home. On top of this, market data has never been more detailed and accessible. It is worth researching comparable properties in your area.

Look at properties that have similar features as yours. These include: land size, floor plan size, bedrooms, bathrooms, date of last sale, proximity to your property, views, and general condition and age. Try to match as many of these values/features as you can with your own property, then look at what these properties sold at. With fluctuating markets, make sure you look for properties sold within the last 6 months.

Prepare the property

One advantage of an agent is that they have experience in preparing a property for sale and aligning this preparation with your targeted buyer. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t do this just as well yourself. Knowing whether your target buyers are families, singles, couples, downsizers etc. will help you prepare the home, making it seem more family-oriented, or leaving it sparse so that couples can imagine styling it themselves. Check out our post on presenting your property for inspections here.

Advertise the property

Unfortunately, many major online portals require you to have an agent to list a property. With so many potential buyers now finding their properties online, you can’t really afford to not have access to this market. There are now third-party services, such as Purplebricks and For Sale By Owner that offer marketing services for a low cost as well as the option of an agent who can conduct inspections and an auction. Be aware that low cost comes at a price, so it’s best to be aware of the various pros and cons of enlisting the help of these third-party companies.

Beyond this option, you can do a significant amount yourself. This includes paying your own photographer. If you know someone experienced in this field or you believe you can produce high quality photography yourself, again you can save significant money this way. The next step is in the design and printing of pamphlets, signboards and a large yard sign, which can be done for a relatively low cost. If you don’t have the graphic design or copy-writing skills necessary to produce these assets and you don’t have access to these things through your contacts, then one of the above third party services can help or for the best results, go to an agent.

Choose whether to hold open for inspections or to hold private inspections. Holding private inspections upon request does mean you must keep the property perpetually ready to be inspected. However, this effort can be rewarded by having purely interested property seekers inspecting your property.

The final stages

Selling your property yourself means negotiating yourself. Negotiating is one of the hardest parts of selling a property. An agent’s years of experience in this field can sometimes both alleviate any stress on your part as well as secure you a higher purchase price.

If you  do this yourself, be sure to find out as much as you can about the buyer. This helps to identify any areas you can use in the negotiation. You may get a sense that they are in a hurry to buy. Are they relocating or do they have a new job? Perhaps they are expecting a child. If  your property is one of the few suiting their needs, then you can use this to your advantage. However, conducting a private sale can be a significant challenge to those with little experience. This can be especially so if the buyer is someone you already know. The best thing to do is have a clear idea of your reserve price, based on your own research and agents’ valuations. If you would not go below this reserve in an auction, don’t go below it in a private negotiation.

You will need outside help for the process of signing the contract for the sale. Using a conveyancer or solicitor, have them produce a Section 32 Statement and to handle the settlement process for you.