Sell it yourself or with an agent?

One of the first things to decide on when selling your home is whether to sell it yourself by private sale or through a real estate agent.

TMP220 5 DIY Or Through An Agent 735X500

Selling privately

The biggest benefit of a private sale is money - you won’t be paying an agent’s commission.

Be prepared to work for that big offer, though. You’ll be responsible for marketing your home including all advertising, showing potential buyers through the house, hearing their feedback directly, and negotiating a price and conditions.

Starting is simple with Trade Me Property’s easy step-by-step process to list your home for sale. Just make sure you have some great photos and text that will really showcase the property and catch people’s attention.

To ensure you’re legally covered in the sale you’ll need advice from your lawyer, and to keep things legal you should use them to take you through the legal ins and outs of the Sales and Purchase Agreement.

Using an agent

Real estate agents offer sellers their experience, networks and agency brand recognition and, just like going to a doctor rather than Google for a medical prognosis, this comes at a price.

Just like finding a doctor who you click with, your first decision is to find the right agent. Check out profiles of agents near you, their current listings and sales history, then make a short list and contact them to meet and talk about what they can offer you.

Treat your agent’s commission as a cost of selling - it’s not a bonus. If you factor this in when you’re working out the bottom-line price you need to get for your property, and recognise it for what it is (a cost of selling), then you and your agent will get on swimmingly. Don’t start resenting them for getting tens of thousands of dollars when you didn’t get the price you ultimately wanted - the power of saying yes or no to a deal is still in your hands.

Agents manage your marketing and open homes, and take care of the negotiations for you. They’re working on your behalf, but if your negotiations are getting down to the wire and you really need that extra thousand dollars, keep in mind that for them it’s the potential difference between a sale (commission) or no sale (no commission) - so naturally they’ll be keen to seal the deal as quickly as possible.

Agents also have the backing and networks of other agents in their agencies, giving you potential exposure and access to property buyers who are working with other agents.

But ultimately, an agent can only sell what you present. If you’ve left your property looking like a lemon it’ll stay looking like a lemon and something will give way - either the price or the offers. If you’ve put in the hard yards to make it look like a stunner, it’ll look like a stunner and be a piece of cake for the agent to market.