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Selling A Property Yourself Without The Services Of A Property Agent
Selling your property yourself has it advantages and disadvantages. If you wonder if anyone in the right frame of mind would attempt to sell
themselves, just look out for “For Sale By Owner” signs. It is not as unheard of as you might think. Your first attempt could be troublesome. But after some practice, you are going to do fine. Being a property investor, you are going to be involved in selling more than once.
Before we go on, you must firstly acknowledge that the job of property agents are not as easy as putting up an advertisement in the classifieds or on Craigslist. Yes sometimes they make their work look too easy even though the scope of their job is much more than that. But we are not going into the details of that.
For most people, the first advantage of taking the task of selling themselves is saving on agent commissions from realtors. The second advantage is that you will handle all communications with the buyer or buyer’s agent yourself. This gives you raw information on the seller’s thoughts and concerns. But your inexperience to deal with negotiations yourself can potentially cost you. A third advantage is that you do not have to worry about an agent not giving enough attention or exposure to your property.
So the best scenario whereby you are selling your apartment yourself is when these circumstances are met:
- There is already a genuine serious buyer on hand. This makes the marketing expertise of a real estate agent unnecessary.
- You have the knowledge and experience of how the property transaction process works. All you need is a law firm for the legal formalities.
- You are aware of how prices in the neighbourhood is moving. So you are sure you are not undervaluing your property.
- You feel that you know your property in a way that a property agent does not. This puts you in a better position to market your apartment properly.
- Your property is in high demand and can jolly well sell itself. You know this from market data on demand.
It is important to note that unless a buyer is ready to splash the cash, you will have to spend money on marketing and advertising your apartment to generate prospects.
The biggest fear of going about selling a property yourself is getting into legal issues. The proper legal documentation will of course be handled by your appointed lawyer. An important issue is to take a good look at the option to purchase and see if you have left out key terms that protects your interest. However, there are other stuff that you have to keep in mind. For example, you cannot discriminate buyers based on race, gender, age, etc. You also should not hide material information on your property from the buyer. There might be things that you do not know that you didn’t know.
Another fear is that you might not be able to find a buyer for your property without spending a lot of money. When you hire the services of a property agent to help sell your unit, they spend money on advertising. The commission fees that you pay helps cover these advertising costs. This is why these days real estate agents are not willing to market a property unless the seller has sign an exclusivity agreement with them.
Experienced agents will also have all marketing networks set up and ready to go blast out your listing with a few phone calls. By taking up the task of selling the property yourself, you have to learn the ropes on how to organize all marketing channels. And who is to say that you know exactly what you are doing and where are the best places to advertise your property listing.
You will also have to generate all marketing materials yourself. However, if you are not familiar with graphic designs, marketing messages, advertising headlines, Photoshop layouts, printing requirements, or even cannot tell the difference between jpeg and tiff images, you can easily outsource these activities to third parties. Once you get a designer to prepare your required marketing materials, all you will have to do is get in touch with your chosen marketing channels and send them your designs.
We have yet to factor in the time element for these tasks. You will be able to organize all required activities and handle everything with just your smart phone with some experience. It is your first time that you should be really concerned about. So if you have made this decision, be ready to make some mistakes and get very hands-on to learn the ropes.
Once you put the word out that you are selling your property via “For Sale By Owner”, you are going to be receiving phone calls from agents pitching their services. So if you are sure that you do not want to use one, you can easily prevent most phone calls by stating in your advertisement that you will only deal directly with buyers or buyers’ agents. A huge number of “For Sale By Owner” sellers actually end up engaging an agent.
So should I use an agent?
Unless your property runs into multiple millions in value, you might not save as much as you think by not hiring one. The reasoning is that what agents do is pretty much the same no matter how high or low your property value is. But it is common for agents to charge a lower fee in percentage points for high end properties.
Property agents are professionals and should be rightly remunerated for making your sale as hassle free as possible. Other than paying for the marketing costs, you are actually paying for a peace of mind. Do you really feel confident enough to handle the whole transaction process yourself? So if you want to go at it alone, you must be very sure on how the transaction process works and confident enough to handle it yourself. At this point, your best friend will be your lawyer. Since you are going to hire one anyway, get their advice so that you do not run into any problems along the way.