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Is there any point in getting a real estate agent to sell your house in Canberra?

By junketFunket - 27 May 2011 16

AllHomes has a [virtual] monopoly so all real estate agents list through them anyway.

There is heavy demand for houses. I’ve been to a number of house inspections and essentially, the agent is just there to open up the door and let people through.

It doesn’t sound awfully hard, and some of the agents I’ve met have been pretty bad.

Furthermore, apparently, they get a pretty hefty commission – in the range of $10k+.

Quite frankly, I think I could do just as good a job. Probably better, because it’s my house and I would know more about it.

All I’d need is an ad on allHomes, some printouts, a professional photographer to take some pictures, a solicitor to draw up the contracts etc.

All the house inspections are done on weekends, so I’ve got the time to do it and I think I could do all this for well under 10k.

Has anyone tried selling a home on their own?

Is this a good idea?

Would like to hear of your good and bad experiences?

What’s Your opinion?


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16 Responses to
Is there any point in getting a real estate agent to sell your house in Canberra?
thatsnotme 12:13 am 28 May 11

matt31221 said :

Being a bloke who married a women that already owned a house, I have never dealt with a real estate agent. Escuse my ignorance but what do the real estate agents do? A friend of mine was winging to me that he had been gazumped and ripped of but a couple of real estate agents. Are they obselete over priced middlemen??

There are, I’m sure, some agents out there that earn their pay, and more. None of the agents I’ve dealt with fall into this category however.

When selling, our agent would apparently follow up with the people who attended open houses, then give us vague feedback. When buying, our agent didn’t manage to find the time to even put a ‘Sold’ sticker on the sign. When attempting to buy a different house, the agent would not bother to give us any feedback after we’d made offers on the house – we had to call him to find out that the owners had rejected our offer, on more than one occasion. That was a blessing in disguise though…as it meant we ended up in this house, which was a much better buy.

One thing that agent can provide, that isn’t available to your average private seller, is details on the actual sale prices being achieved in your area. Looking at allhomes can give you an indication of asking prices, but not what properties are actually selling for. That’s where paying for a formal, independent valuation could come in very handy.

When it comes to doing it yourself – I’d feel confident doing it now, after being through the process before. If I were selling for the first time though, I think it would be much harder to go it alone. Practical experience counts for a lot.

matt31221 10:48 pm 27 May 11

Being a bloke who married a women that already owned a house, I have never dealt with a real estate agent. Escuse my ignorance but what do the real estate agents do? A friend of mine was winging to me that he had been gazumped and ripped of but a couple of real estate agents. Are they obselete over priced middlemen??

WonderfulWorld 10:06 pm 27 May 11

Like many services using an agent is helpful when you want a non stressed approach which is completed for you without addtional pressure and the unknown, as long as you have an agent you can trust of course.

Travel agents are similar, you either book on line or go with an agent depending on the time, destination and detail of your holiday, service you expect and to avoid common pitfalls.

Everybody has indivudual requirements, and sometimes it is not about saving the dollars, it is about the end to end service, knowledge that while you are working, somebody is working for you and your best interests. Knowing the legalities, insurances, potential buyers etc.

You can save money by doing it yourself and you can save time on some occasions, but I would be interested on the statistics overall on the stress, time and quality of a private sale, especially for those selling their first property.

Padoof 9:39 pm 27 May 11

My partner and I bought our lovely home a year and a half ago, it was advertised on allhomes and self marketed via canreps with viewing by appointment only.

I would highly recommend for you to have professional photos done if you want to sell the house quickly – the photos of my place were atrocious which may explain why it had taken over a year to sell. I only looked at my house because it was the last 4 bedroom ensuite house under 500k in ‘inner’ Tuggeranong, lucky for me and my family we fell in love with the place and is perfect for us. The photos did not do it any justice whatsoever.

Good luck!

CoffinRX2 8:54 pm 27 May 11

Advertising, exposure and a good agent can easily get you well in excess of the commission they are paid for, for selling your home

The Traineediplomat 7:26 pm 27 May 11

gasman said :

The house will either sell itself or a price drop is required. People in Canberra know the market, and know what price moist areas sell for. Don’t need an agent to convince them.

.

Hehehe childish… “what price moist areas sell for”…. like Fyshwick…ahahahahah

gasman 5:47 pm 27 May 11

We have sold one house, bought one house and are currently selling a house in Canberra all privately. No agents involved. You get a building inspection, a solicitor to do the legal stuff (which you would have to pay for anyway) and list on allhomes for $995, until sold. I am a half-decent photographer, so can take the required and have also put up a little dedicated website (38bentham.com). The house will either sell itself or a price drop is required. People in Canberra know the market, and know what price moist areas sell for. Don’t need an agent to convince them.

Its pretty easy, and the sales we have been involved with were very pleasant – in both instances we agreed on a price during a chat over a cup of coffee. No games, no back-stabbing, and no commission.

It still amazes me that people think an agent is necessary.

RedDogInCan 5:31 pm 27 May 11

One thing to be wary of is hard nose buyers who reason that because you won’t be paying an agent’s fee then you should reduce the price of the house accordingly. Tell them where to stick it.

JohnK 4:29 pm 27 May 11

Chop71 said :

… and the buyers are usually happy to skip an agent too

Yes. Absolutely.

djk 4:22 pm 27 May 11

I think it would be reasonably easy to do yourself if you have the time. The only other thing I might do is have a professional valuation done so that you don’t sell yourself short or (more likely) overvalue your property and set the bar too high.

Pooks 4:02 pm 27 May 11

The father of Mr Pooks did this. Apparently it’s easy and pretty straight forward. Perhaps go and see your solicitor and explain what you aim to do, then get cracking on Allhomes.

ABC129 3:38 pm 27 May 11

My wife and I sold our apartment in Braddon ourselves. We’re part time photographers as well so took all our own photos. Allhomes were pretty reasonable to deal with though it was a bit of a manual process to send all the information to them etc. From memory it cost a bit to set up the ad (couple of hundred bucks) because we weren’t an agent. They obviously make their money there, not from allclassifieds.
Our biggest issues were dealing with first home buyers that needed their hand held. We had one guy that got half way through the process then chickened out. Once we found a mum and dad investor everything went smoothly.
We could get people through the door to do inspections easily because there were a lot of other properties in the vicinity, and the building, for sale.
Not sure I’d jump into selling a house, but I agree with the appraisal of some real estate agents. Some of them are absolutely fantastic and worth every penny while others ‘seem’ to do not much more than open the front door at specific times of the day.
Best of luck!

MsCheeky 3:20 pm 27 May 11

Absolutely, yes, have done it myself. Forget conveyancing, you’re still going to use a solicitor for the legals. All you do is sell it. And yes, it’s a matter of getting any necessary reports, listing it, being there for the open house with brochures, then negotiating the price with interested buyers.

I did it about 10 years ago, before allhomes existed, so I used a firm called Canreps who looked after the photography, advertising and signage and took calls that they then referred to me. But I did the rest of the stuff above. They cost me about $1000, while an agent would have been about ten times that. The only disadvantage you’ll have is your open house times won’t be prominently displayed in the Saturday real estate supplement.

With allhomes now the go to place for buyers, I think it’s a cinch to do it yourself. If the property is well presented and properly priced, it shouldn’t take long. Good luck.

Chop71 3:07 pm 27 May 11

Easy as, I would advise attending a course on how to do it 1st though.
and then yeah, you are saving plenty and the buyers are usually happy to skip an agent too

trix 2:42 pm 27 May 11

Just by googling “private home sales”, I’ve found nearly a dozen sites in Australia that seem to be dedicated to, er, private home sales. It’s been done before, and if you dig around in there, you’ll probably find useful resources.

However, there’s probably a lot of work under the bonnet with arranging conveyancing that you’re not aware of yet – hopefully one of those sites will have real world experiences to draw on.

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