10 things to know about selling privately

Selling a home is not as easy as most people think. It involves complex work, as well as a lot of your own time. Private sales can be a tricky business and can leave the home owner short on time and with less money than they hoped for. If you’re planning to go it alone, here are 10 things you need to be aware of.

1. Setting and achieving the right price can be tough if you're not an expert

The first challenge for any private seller is to establish the right asking price. Go too high and you’ll turn away potential buyers. Go too low and you won’t get what you deserve.

It's natural to think that you’ll save money by selling privately, but our experience suggests this is not the case. With private sales, buyers expect a bargain. They will often try to negotiate the price down, arguing that the private seller doesn't have to pay any commission.

Real estate agents create buyer competition and are able to use their negotiating skills to drive up the sale price. They have the experience, tools and resources to get the best price for you.

2. Marketing a home is specialised work

Open homes, writing and implementing your marketing campaign, negotiating the legal ins and outs - there's a lot to organise when you're selling a house. If you're already busy with jobs and family, it can be difficult to set aside time to deal with these things.

A real estate agent takes the pressure off you, expertly dealing with buyers and making the process as smooth as possible, so there's little interference on your life.

3. Are you comfortable dealing with tricky questions?

Whether it's organising viewings or providing feedback, dealing with buyers can be time consuming and sometimes awkward.

They may ask difficult questions that you don’t feel comfortable answering, such as whether there are any known problems with the property, what building materials were used in its construction, or if there are any consent issues.

4. You'll need to deal with legal matters

There are a number of legal documents to be prepared and signed. A real estate agent can take care of these tasks for you. If you sell privately, you'll probably need the services of a lawyer.

5. Can you get enough buyers through the door?

When you're selling, one of the most important things is getting as many people through your door as possible.

Real estate agents have access to a large database of buyers. They know who is currently in the market, and what those people are looking for. They'll work full time to get your home the exposure it deserves.

We have over 1,800 salespeople who want to sell your home

In a private sale there is only one person bringing in potential buyers - the owner.  When you choose a Barfoot & Thompson salesperson to sell your home, all of the company's 1,800+ salespeople are able to bring in potential buyers, significantly increasing your market reach and selling power.

6. You'll need a good level of market knowledge

Do you know what buyers are looking for? Or how much houses in your area are selling for? Real estate agents have more insight into the local property market - from their experience of selling homes, access to comparable market data and the relationships they build with buyers and sellers on a daily basis.

7. You won't get the same level of online exposure if you go it alone

Online listings play a pivotal role in the marketing of your property. 

All Barfoot & Thompson listings get added to our website Barfoot.co.nz (which receives over 650,000 visits a month), our app available from the App Store and Google Play, as well as top property websites Realestate.co.nz, LeadingRE and Chinese language site Hougarden.com.

When you sell privately, your online advertising options will be more limited.

Special marketing rates

Real estate companies have access to volume discounts and special rates for advertising - such as the Property Press - which are unlikely to be available to you as a private seller.

8. You'll need good negotiating skills

It can be challenging to conduct effective negotiations when you're emotionally involved. Real estate agents are not emotionally attached to your home, so can negotiate the best price on your behalf.

9. You've got less options when it comes to the method of sale

Private sellers typically market their home for sale by asking price. Real estate salespeople are experienced in selling by a range of methods, one of the most effective and popular being auctions.

10. You may end up narrowing your pool of buyers

Auckland is a multi-cultural city and some home buyers feel more comfortable negotiating in their native language. So unless you speak multiple languages, you might end up narrowing your pool of potential buyers.

At Barfoot & Thompson, our salespeople speak a range of different languages and are always on-hand to help with any communication difficulties.

You might also want to consider the fact that some buyers don't trust private sales. When you buy privately, you're not protected by the same rules and regulations as licensed real estate salespeople, and this puts many buyers off.

We're qualified and licensed professionals

Our salespeople are qualified real estate professionals and Barfoot & Thompson Ltd is licensed under the Real Estate Agents Act 2008.

If you decide you would like some help selling your home, contact one of our salespeople - they'll be happy to help.