Get more money for your home and sell it quicker by selling it yourself.

1. Its Easy to Sell Your Own Home
2. I'm Not Apposed to Real Estate Agents
3. The Need for Real Estate Agents
4. Why Real Estate Agencies Charge So Much
5. What Real Estate Agents Do
6. Comparing Other Properties With Yours
7. Advertising
8. Answering Enquiries
9. Appointments To View
10. Accepting Offers
11. Completing The Sale
12. Getting More Money
13. Agents Lists
14. Auctioning
15. Preparing Your Home For Sale
16. You Can Do It
Glossary of Real Estate Terms
5. What Real Estate Agents Do!
Twizel New Zealand

So let’s take note of what a real estate salesperson does for his, or her, commission and you can ask yourself if you can’t do the same.

If your property has not yet been advertised for sale, often, the first thing a real estate salesperson will do for you is give you a free appraisal. In fact many will give you a free appraisal even if your property is not yet on the market. They happily do this knowing that a certain percentage of people asking for a free appraisal are at least considering selling and if they are satisfied with the salesperson’s estimate, there is a reasonable chance that he, or she will be given the property to sell. It is quite common for vendors to ask several real estate people to give a free estimate of a property’s value and then entrust the sale to the person who puts the highest estimated value on it.

I myself normally wouldn’t feel comfortable asking an agency to provide a free appraisal if I had no intention of employing them, because I would consider this to be taking advantage of them. But on the other hand, I wouldn’t feel uncomfortable if I told the salesman that I was going to have a go at selling the property myself and wanted to get an independent estimation of its value. I would tell him that if he gave me a sensible appraisal and I wasn’t successful in selling it myself, I would seriously consider calling on his service.

These days, when a real estate salesperson does an appraisal, he or she is required by law to give you a ‘comparative market analysis’. This is known as a CMA. A CMA is a list of prices and other important information about similar properties sold in the same area as the one being appraised.

An appraisal can only be a rough estimate, because it is impossible to know exactly how much the house will fetch before it is sold. No two houses are exactly the same. As you can imagine, even two houses or apartments built next door to each other in the same year and having exactly the same design and floor space on the same size section can vary in value according to how they have been maintained and presented. Even when one has just been sold, there is no guarantee that the price it sold for was its true value. Some properties sell below their potential and some sell for more than they are worth. So the best that anyone can do is make an educated guess.

Your Rateable Valuation, which appears on your rates notices, is another rough (very rough) indication of the value of your property, but these don’t take into account the improvements to the grounds that may have been made; such as gardens or fences. Neither do they include the chattels, such as white ware, carpets, curtains, drapes and light fittings. The valuations may not also reflect any unreported extensions to rooms or other interior alterations that have been made. So it is not unusual for properties to sell for ten or fifteen percent above Government valuation.

Other important considerations that government valuations may not reflect are street appeal, condition of fences, views, access; that is, whether it is a flat or steep section or has a lot of steps, and exposure to sunshine and light. Lack of sunshine and dampness can have a very negative effect on value.

In New Zealand, one way to get a CMA, if you don’t want an appraisal from a real estate salesman, is through the government agency, ‘Quotable Value New Zealand Ltd’. For about 39 dollars (it keeps going up) they will provide you with a detailed list of up to ten properties similar to yours that sold in your area over the previous months. The list will give you the addresses of each of the properties, the dates they were built, their government valuations prior to the sale, their floor areas, the sizes of the sections they are built on, the materials they were constructed of and the price they sold for.

The information they give you will also provide you with those same details about your own property together with an estimated guess at the price range within which it could be expected to sell for. These prices don’t truly reflect the value of the chattels that are likely to have been sold with the properties, which may be worth an additional few thousand dollars. If you have a computer, Quotable Value New Zealand Ltd will provide you with these details over the Internet. Their web site address is

These valuations can be vary useful as concrete evidence against counter attempts by buyers to try to force down the price you are asking by trying to make comparisons with property sales they claim to be familiar with while assuming that you aren’t.

Another way to help you assess the value of your property is to go to the Internet and look at the real estate web sites (particularly ‘’ or "Real" in New Zealand) to see what other people are asking for similar type properties in your area. Most of the listings will provide the addresses of the properties, so if seeing the photos on the Internet isn’t sufficient for you, you can drive round and look at the places from the outside. Naturally, the prices that people ask for their houses does not mean that those will be the final selling prices, but they can help you estimate how much you could expect to get for yours.

The information on how to sell you own home is from the book "How to sell your own home" by author Silvio Famularo. Silvio has had a varied career as an opera singer, comedian, actor and public speaker as well as managing businesses. Now in his later years he devotes his time to writing books with the aim of sharing the good and valuable information he has learned in life with others. His philosophy is that it is not what you accumulate in life that matters, but what you contribute. For other works by Silvio visit the following link: Books by Silvio Famularo