5 Things I Learned From Selling a Property Privately
In my experience, selling a property privately has its own set of challenges but it can be done successfully if a) you have the right skills & mindset and b) the time and energy to devote to it.
Buyers tend to be more suspicious of private sellers because they’re used to dealing with real estate agents, so you may need to work harder to convince a buyer that you’re credible and you’ve got nothing to hide.
Here’s what I think it takes to sell a property privately and, most importantly, get the price your property deserves:
1. Have a good level of market knowledge
You can be sure that buyers will be wanting some insight into your local property market. So having a good level of market knowledge and showing your asking price isn’t way off will reassure them that they’re getting a good deal. It pays to have some comparable sales facts and figures on hand, such as, how much houses in the area were sold for in the last six months and how long they generally stay on the market.
Also, knowing upfront what buyers in your area are looking for can also help you renovate and style your property to add value.
2. Can you deal with tricky questions
If you’re confident with sales and have good negotiation skills, selling your property privately can be a lot of fun! You get to meet potential buyers, get a feel for the market and, of course, meet and deal directly with the buyer.
But there’s also the other side of it. If you have a full time job then organising viewings, providing feedback and dealing with difficult questions from buyers can take up a lot of your precious downtime. You may not feel comfortable fielding questions about building materials or consent issues etc.
3. Setting the right asking price
The main reason people want to sell a property privately is probably because they’re hoping to avoid paying real estate agent fees and thus get as much profit as possible. But, if you’re not an expert, setting the right asking price for your property can be tricky. You may save yourself paying a real estate agent’s commission but if you price the property wrong you may not save at all.
Price it too high and it will put buyers off. If it sits on the market too long, it may be considered a lemon and eventually you may end up settling for a price that’s way below market value (or not sell at all!). Price it too low and you won’t get all the funds that could have been yours. That said, even experienced real estate agents can price a property wrong.
As a private seller you’ll also attract buyers who expect a bargain because they will argue that you don’t have to pay any commission. So be prepared for people who will try to negotiate the price down drastically. But remember, you won’t have any agent pressure on you to drop your price to make the sale.
4. What are your marketing skills like?
When you’re selling a property privately, one of the biggest challenges is getting as many potential buyers through the door as possible. For people who want to sell their property privately using online listing websites to expose the property to potential buyers is your best bet. Different websites perform differently at various areas so it’s worth knowing where to list and through which ‘for sale by owner’ online realtor! Other options include using print media, like flyer drops and newspaper ads.
But you may still struggle as, unlike a real estate agent who is continually updating their database of buyers, you won’t have their connections. But on the flip side you’re free to sell your property your way without being restricted to agent policies or demands.
5. Have you got the time?
Last but not least, when selling your property privately you need time to devote to it. Real estate agents work long hours to sell properties, and usually give up their weekends. Will your current lifestyle allow you to do this? Can you spare the time to meet and greet people at open homes or viewings by appointment and give them the information they need? If not, then selling privately may not be for you.
On the other hand, if selling a property privately sounds like it might be right up your alley then it could be a lot of fun and I do hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I do.
Here’s to your success,