Should I sell my house myself? The perils of penny-pinching
By Amanda Scali

8/12/2016 12:00am

Should I sell my house myself? The perils of penny-pinching

When the time comes to sell, you might think to yourself, ‘I didn’t come down in the last shower, I never miss an open home or auction in my area, I have business acumen and sales skills—so I can sell can sell my house myself, right?’

Yes, if you want to lose money and spend years wondering what could have been, like the Ghost Of Christmas Past in this image!

So, why shouldn’t you save money on real estate agent’s fees by selling your home yourself?

Abraham Lincoln had some words of wisdom on a topic with parallels, ‘He who represents himself has a fool for a client.’

Let’s look at what professional real estate agents bring to the table.

The professional’s edge—expertise and experience

As strong as your business and sales skills may be, if you have never sold property you cannot compare your skills to those of someone who has been in the business for years or even decades.

You wouldn’t expect a real estate agent to walk into your career and succeed without training and experience, so what makes you think you could pull off an equivalent feat?

What’s at stake is more than just pride; it’s the opportunity to achieve the highest possible price for your house compared with the chance of having to accept less than its true value.

A good agent has the expertise to:

  • interpret the local property market and recommend a realistic sale price
  • provide a specialised marketing service
  • help you to present your home in its very best light
  • create excitement about your home with the right target audience
  • distinguish between genuine prospects and browsers
  • secure a buyer at a price that reflects your home’s true worth in the current market
  • successfully undertake delicate negotiations on your behalf.

The training and experience of real estate sales professionals allows them to avoid the traps that befall novices.

They’ve made their beginners’ mistakes early in their careers, learnt from them and moved on to create a track record of sales success.

How will you avoid the pitfalls inherent in such a significant task without any training and experience to guide you?

The professional’s edge—emotional detachment

Perhaps the most important distinction between a real estate agent and a self-selling owner is the professional’s ability to remain emotionally detached throughout the sale process.

I cannot stress the importance of this highly enough; I can, however, demonstrate my own commitment to avoiding the conflicts of selling a property to which you are emotionally attached.

I have sold 15 homes and investment properties in the last 28 years and I am an expert marketer, yet … I have NEVER sold my own house.

Once more, with feeling—I have NEVER sold my own house.

Instead, I always pay other industry professionals to sell my properties for me, secure in the knowledge that my emotions will not negatively influence the outcomes.

How will you overcome the risks of letting your emotions interfere with getting the best price for your home?

The professional’s edge—networks, systems and support

Licensed real estate agents have exclusive access to some of the most popular and prestigious property marketing outlets.

They also have the advantage of bulk buying to create a marketing presence for your home.

They have industry contacts with allied professionals such as conveyancers and finance providers and they know how to talk to them in language they understand.

They have access to comprehensive data to create a Comparative Market Analysis to use to set a realistic price for your home.

I have covered our approach to Comparative Market Analysis in this article: How do I know if the price is right? McGrath Real Estate tips on setting your house sale price

Our real estate agents have a systematic way of working through the sales process that has been refined over many years’ practice.

They also have support staff behind them to help with the workload generated by responding to enquiries and conducting open homes.

How will you deal with the absence of the relationships and facilities that enable the professionals to do their job well?

Should I sell my house myself? Maybe professionals do have an edge over penny-pinching

These are just some of the many reasons to employ an experienced professional to sell your home rather than trying to take on the responsibility yourself for the sake of saving a real estate agent’s fees.

Our agents at McGrath Real Estate would be happy to talk with you about the services we provide to sellers so you can decide for yourself if our fees represent a good investment.

Please contact us to make an appointment or obtain a valuation for your home.