Things to consider in a private sale
If you are considering selling your home privately it is important to keep the following facts in mind before you make your decision.
Advantages of using an Estate Agent
An estate agent works for you FOR FREE – they only get paid if they actually sell your home.
If you’re considering a private sale, it might be your first attempt at marketing a property yourself. There may be some important details that you are not aware of that may cause some trouble. Estate agents do it every day, so there will be very few surprises.
Buyers that want to buy privately
The kind of buyer you will attract is somewhat different from the buyer that approaches an estate agent. Bargain hunters and property investors keep a close eye on properties that are privately marketed. These private buyers target privately marketed properties for a reason: They want to save the agent’s commission for themselves while at the same time hoping to negotiate a rate which is below market value.
In many instances, the maxim “let the buyer beware” is turned on its head in the private seller scenario.
Financial and legal considerations
Private sellers usually have little or no knowledge of the financial or legal implications around the sale of a house. Answer the following two questions for yourself:
Question 1: How will I ensure that my buyer’s finance is approved?
Accepting an offer which lapses weeks later when the buyer’s bond is not approved could waste a lot of your time and money. In most cases, you will need to be upfront in your interviews with potential buyers and learn to spot time wasters. Again, think about the value an estate agent can bring in this generally uncomfortable environment. Also, an estate agent has many potential buyers on the books, so if one does fall through, you would not have wasted weeks in the process.
Question 2: How will I ensure that my interests are protected in a sales agreement?
Drawing up a contract of sale is easy! Drawing up a watertight contract that protects your interests and getting expert advice on the common law aspects of the sale will cost in legal fees, which are never insignificant.
Access to a qualified buyer base
Agents usually have access to an existing buyer base; private sellers don’t. These existing buyers have been qualified by the agent and are serious about buying your home. This is the reason why an agent may sell your property within a few hours of listing it for sale.
The buyers that a private seller will encounter have not been qualified as far as finance, credit rating and motivation are concerned.