Why print doesn’t add up.
The real estate industry’s greatest fear is that home sellers will work out how easy it is to find a buyer for their property without using a real estate agent. Companies that help home sellers to market their properties without agents by listing their homes privately are emerging in larger numbers each year precisely because sellers are discovering this principle.
How do you find a buyer without using a real estate agent?
Just do what an agent would do. Put an ad on the Internet and a small inexpensive one in the paper, put a ‘For Sale’ sign on your property and list it with a fair asking price. These three marketing strategies will have buyers beating a path to your door. It really is that simple.
Real estate agents have two primary roles when employed by a home seller. The first is to find interested buyers. Different agents use a variety of strategies to achieve this objective. Some will focus on newspaper ads while others rely mainly on the Internet, ‘For Sale’ signs and agency databases.
The second objective of the agent is to negotiate the highest possible price with the best terms for the home seller. Some agents can achieve this objective but many can’t. Too many homes are undersold by agents across Australia each week by agents. All private home sellers are capable of underselling their property but it is very difficult to tell how many actually achieved the best possible price in the market once their homes were sold.
If a home seller feels they could competently negotiate the highest possible price their best buyer is willing to offer, the only real value a real estate agent can offer is convenience. A competent agent may save the home seller valuable time and effort.
Underselling a property
Most agents spend excessive amounts of money finding buyers and then use selling methods such as a public auction which undersells properties. Unfortunately, the massive amount of money spent by agents looking for buyers is the home seller’s money, not the agents’.
So, if the home seller is paying upfront for advertising and carrying the risk to find a buyer (all of which they could do without an agent) what is the home seller really paying an agent for? The answer is this: they are buying the agent’s negotiation skills (or lack thereof) and strategic knowledge of the market.
If you feel an agent does not possess a high enough level of negotiation skill to sell your home or sufficient experience in the market either find another agent or sell the home yourself. By placing your property on the Internet at a fair market price you will quickly find plenty of interested buyers. It will then be up to your negotiation skills to conclude the sale at the highest possible price the best buyer is prepared to pay. Right now it costs a real estate agent a little over $1500 per month to list every property they have for sale and for rent on a major real estate website.
For example, if an agent lists 20 rental properties and 20 properties for sale on domain.com.au that works out at a cost of just under $40 per listing per month. A private seller can list their home for under $500 on domain.com.au and access the same buyers as the agent. This is a saving of $4500 if the home seller is asked to part with $5000 for a print advertising campaign.
So when selling your home, your options are these:
•Pay for the most cost-effective marketing via an agent’s database while paying for their negotiation expertise and market knowledge.
• Market your property and negotiate the sale yourself.
• Or, if you are unaware of how to play the game, pay for expensive and useless mass print advertising.
It’s your choice.