Article Review: "Why use an agent rather than selling privately?"

Tony Buckwell
July 16, 2020

TradeMe Property recently published a blog that caught my eye. It was titled “Why use an agent rather than selling privately?”

I read this article with interest and agreed with the points made by the author, however I also felt it missed some critical additional considerations for someone thinking about selling privately:

  • Buyers who see a property for sale privately will often make a lower offer on the basis that ‘the owner isn’t needing to allow for commission costs’. In other words – it is the buyer who saves, rather than the seller. The seller still has to do all the work involved with the marketing & sale process, for little or no real benefit.
  • Buyers may be put off by a house being marketing for sale privately because they feel that they don’t have the same consumer protections as they would if purchasing through a professional agency operating under the legal obligations & requirements of the REAA 2008 (the legislation that agencies must comply with). When you consider the sums of money involved in a property transaction, it is easy to see why buyers are more likely to have confidence in dealing with a professional agency.
  • The risk of getting it wrong. Private sellers could be taking a huge risk with one of their most valuable assets, because they most likely lack the time, expertise, experience and skills needed to put a real estate deal together and see it through to completion.
  • Private sellers will have to pay the full retail price for advertising, whereas professional salespeople have access to wholesale advertising rates.

This blog has focused on the pros & cons of private sale. There is an obvious link in this consideration to the possible advantages of selling with a professional agency. Watch out for my next blog article “11 compelling reasons to market your home with a real estate agent.”

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