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When considering selling a property, about one per cent of all vendors choose to promote their property for sale themselves or with limited assistance from other service providers.
These include Buy My Place, For Sale By Owner, No Agent Property, Go Private or — the latest of these players — Purple Bricks. These companies essentially run a web portal offering limited advice and assistance to the seller during the process.
Purple Bricks is a little different in that a real estate agent is involved in the process, offering constrained services for a small fee.
But it is, based on what I have seen, just like all the other services already available. These are “pseudo agents”, businesses that purport to “save you $1000s in agent commissions” by offering tacit support in how to handle contracts and put up a for sale sign. These websites underestimate the true value of a professional, experienced agent and are, in my opinion, a waste of time and money.
Why selling privately is not the answer
Apart from the obvious difficulties private sellers experience in accessing effective marketing media, the value of employing an agent is the “arm’s length” benefit.
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 overpriced, too small, too cluttered etc. but they will tell the agent their raw opinions on the property. 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.
And 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.