is no doubt in my mind
that you can get more money for your house and in most
cases sell it quicker by selling it yourself.
I know this
because several years ago I was involved
in selling many houses as a licensed real estate salesman
and I know full well that there is nothing a real
estate salesperson can do that the average intelligent
person who is not an experienced property seller can’t.
Also, as a private individual I have sold four properties
of my own without the aid of a real estate agency.
In one of those cases, I sold an apartment without
even meeting the buyer. I simply advertised that it
was for sale; my tenant showed potential buyers through
it, and when one buyer decided to make an offer he
phoned me. I told him to put the offer in writing
through his solicitor and get his solicitor to send
it to mine. I then went to my solicitor, studied the
offer, accepted it and signed it. Our respective solicitors,
as in the case when properties are bought and sold
through agencies, attended to the change of ownership
my wife and I sold our house in Wellington
privately with no trouble at all. The rateable value
of the property was $205,000, which we thought was
a bit low. Since several real estate people, without
us making the request, were continually offering to
give us a free appraisal, we took up the invitation
by one of them. This man thought our property would
fetch up to $220,000. We still thought that it was
worth more, based on the selling prices of other properties
we knew of that had recently sold.
Anyway, after this, we spent about six thousand dollars
on renovations and repairs, tidied up the grounds
and put a few extra pot plants round the house. Then
we called in a friend who is a registered valuer to
give us a verbal valuation, which he kindly did without
charge. He spent some time doing his homework and
suggested that we put it on the market for $230,000.
But he didn’t expect us to get much more than
$220,000. We very much appreciated his kindness. However,
without telling him so, we still considered this estimate
to be too low.
The following Saturday we placed a very descriptive
ad in the Wellington daily newspaper with the selling
price at $245,000, had a flood of replies, and got
an almost unconditional cash offer for the full amount
the next day. The only condition was that the purchaser’s
solicitor could search the title.
a property can be so simple and so quick
that once while working for an agency I sold someone’s
property without ever seeing the house, without meeting
the owners and without meeting the buyer. This happened
when one of the other salespersons for the company
I was working with listed the particular property.
After reading the details about her latest listing,
it appeared to me that this house might suit the requirements
of a client who had previously phoned me to enquire
about a different property that I was dealing with.
So I rang this man about the new listing, gave him
the address and told him to go and look at it from
the outside over the weekend and, if it appealed to
him, he should ring me and make an appointment with
me to take him through it.
So he went up to the house on his own and, while he
was looking at it, the owner, who happened to be doing
some gardening, asked him why he was looking at it
with such interest. My client explained that a salesman
had told him that the house was on the market and
he was interested. So the owner offered to show him
through the house there and then. My client liked
the house and enthusiastically rang me first thing
on Monday morning to tell me that he was going to
his lawyer to draw up an offer and that he would bring
it in to me at our office to take to the seller.
When he brought the offer in to the office I wasn’t
there, so my colleague who listed the property, who
was, naturally, keen to get her cut for listing the
property, took the offer to the vender herself, and
after a bit of discussion he signed it. I was told
that he was a bit indignant that he had to pay a $9,000
commission (this was many years ago) when we only
had the property listed for one weekend, had only
placed one ad in the newspapers and only directed
one person to the property whom he showed through
the house himself.
However, he conceded that he had previously had the
property on the market with another company, which
he had given a two-month exclusive agency to for no
avail and that he didn’t have to pay for their
efforts to try and sell it.
day, I don't know what either the buyer or
seller looks like and I have no idea whether the house,
which I never visited or saw photos of, was worth
what it was sold for or not. (This sale, like the
sale of my own properties, was made in the days before
Marketing on the Internet became the dominant method
of marketing.) As in the case of virtually all real
estate agency transactions, although I was officially
a salesperson, I was merely someone who connected
a buyer with a seller. There is no special skill required
to do this. The lawyers handle the tricky business.
cases property owners are far, far better
equipped to sell their own properties than real estate
salespeople simply because they know more about their
houses than any salesperson could know and they are
therefore better informed to answer all the questions
that potential buyers will ask. Salespeople get virtually
all their relevant information about a property from
the vendors. If sellers can pass information on to
a sales person, or a group of them, why should they
not be able to pass it on to prospective buyers?