Avoid risks of pri­vate sell­ing

Pilbara News - - Property - Hay­den Groves

When de­cid­ing to sell, some prop­erty own­ers choose to pro­mote and sell pri­vately with­out the as­sis­tance of a li­censed real es­tate agent.

Of­ten, the mo­ti­va­tion be­hind this de­ci­sion is premised on the seller’s view that the sell­ing fees of real es­tate agents are ex­ces­sive and the rhetor­i­cal ques­tion, “how hard can it be?” In re­al­ity, less than one per cent of prop­er­ties sell with­out an agent which, in it­self, tells you plenty.

Pri­vate sell­ers do not have the mar­ket­ing re­sources to ac­cess all po­ten­tial buy­ers ac­tive in any given mar­ket. It fol­lows that in the event of a suc­cess­ful pri­vate sale, there is the chance a buyer with su­pe­rior pur­chas­ing power was not aware the prop­erty was for sale.

Also, pri­vate sell­ers can­not di­rectly ac­cess the most pop­u­lar prop­erty por­tals like reiwa.com, and with many buy­ers solely us­ing the in­ter­net to search for prop­erty nowa­days, find­ing buy­ers can be chal­leng­ing.

Apart from the dif­fi­cul­ties pri­vate sell­ers ex­pe­ri­ence in ac­cess­ing ef­fec­tive mar­ket­ing me­dia, part of the in­trin­sic value of em­ploy­ing an agent is the “arm’s length” ben­e­fit.

Many pri­vate sell­ers can­not un­der­stand why, af­ter many weeks of home opens, ev­ery­one tells them their home is lovely, but no one has of­fered to buy it.

Buy­ers are nor­mally too po­lite to tell the seller what they re­ally think — that the prop­erty is over-priced, is too small, too clut­tered, etc., but they hap­pily tell the agent their raw opin­ions on value.

Most pri­vate sell­ers also lack suf­fi­cient knowl­edge of con­trac­tual pro­ce­dure — an un­der­stand­ing of the Strata Ti­tles Act, for ex­am­ple — plan­ning and her­itage is­sues and matters con­cern­ing com­pli­ance and dis­clo­sure. Very few pri­vate sell­ers have an in­ti­mate knowl­edge of the Joint Form of Gen­eral Con­di­tions for the Sale of Land, the 23-page le­gal doc­u­ment that forms part of the sale con­tract. Ar­guably the most im­por­tant rea­son to use an agent when sell­ing is the trans­fer of much of the risk from the seller to the agent. In the rare in­stance some­thing goes awry with the sale, the seller is en­ti­tled to look to their agent for guid­ance and, if ap­pro­pri­ate, ap­por­tion blame if the agent has acted im­prop­erly.

Agents of­ten make the task of sell­ing prop­erty look rel­a­tively easy, but I as­sure you it’s not, and the risks of sell­ing pri­vately far out­weigh any vague pos­si­bil­ity of sav­ing the sell­ing fee.

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