By Craig Lowe
A lot of people have the impression that selling homes is easy, and in some ways this statement is true. There is certainly no doubt that it is pretty easy to undersell a house.
The real skill in selling real estate is generating enough competition among buyers to drive the price to the highest level possible. This is done through refined marketing and negotiating techniques that are developed over years of selling property combined with regular training.
Even if someone has the marketing and negotiation skills, this does not ensure success. The fact is that 99% of serious buyers are looking at the advertising placed by real estate agents. Private individuals cannot advertise cheaply in the most widely read publications and sections of the newspaper and can only use specific private sale publications and designated columns. This would be fine except that the readership of these is much lower and therefore even if the advertising is written perfectly to attract the correct buyers, and the correct selling methods are used, the chance of the same level of competition being achieved as a real estate agent is zero.
Because real estate agents buy so much advertising from the major newspapers they are able to offer it to you at a substantially reduced rate. A recent marketing package I put together for a client had a retail value of over $20,000 plus it was actually impossible for a private individual to have secured comparable advert positioning, and I was able to provide this for under $4000 (a saving of $16,000). Now that’s the exposure! Of course marketing costs can be much cheaper depending on budget and the home, but the saving is always a similar percentage.
Most buyers don’t read the private sale publications regularly. There is one exception to this, and that is bargain hunters. Many bargain hunters scour the private sale advertising like hawks because they know that the properties will not be fully exposed to the market, competition from other buyers will be light and the negotiating is likely to be inexperienced. Even if you are an experienced negotiator, can you imagine sitting at someone else’s kitchen table trying to explain why they should put their best foot forward when your own tender closes? It would be uncomfortable to say the least, the best you can really hope for is to give them tender documents and hope they work out a high price by themselves – not likely! Agents acting as a middleperson can build trust with buyers and actually sit down with them to discuss the price they will be tendering, using proven negotiating techniques to ensure they pay the most they are willing and able to pay.
Without ensuring every possible buyer in the market has had the chance to buy your property, you will never know you could not have achieved a higher price. The only way to fully expose your property to the right buyers is through a well thought out marketing plan with expertly written advertising copy formulated by a Real Estate Professional.
Real estate is a legal minefield and selling your home can be stressful and emotional. Having a real estate agent means having someone who is fully accountable for the representation of your home and through experience will know how to avoid any legal pitfalls.
I certainly know that I pay for my own fee, often many times over through ensuring the highest price is paid for my clients homes. If you do wish to sell your home privately, I am more than happy to provide objective advice as to your best marketing options, obligation free.