Selling a home is no easy feat, yet those who plan to DIY the sale are thinking primarily about the big bucks they could save in the process. But do the savings measure up when compared to the extra work you’ll have to put in?
Today, we’re looking at the tempting proposition of selling your home without an agent and if it can indeed work for you.
Benefits of Selling Your Own Home
1. You can save money
The potential savings you retrieve from the sale is no doubt a major motivator but just how much are we talking? Well, in Malaysia the going rate for agency commission is 2% to 3% of the home’s sale price which can be a really big number if your home has a fat price tag – what’s 3% of RM500, 000 again? That’s right, RM15, 000!
Plus, if your agent is liable to pay the GST (unless independent, most agents are) then you can go ahead and tack on 6% of the total commission payable. Now if you sold the home yourself, these expenses would become your savings.
2. You can wait for a better offer
Depending on your personal circumstances, it may not cost you anything to hold the sale, but to agents that are less dedicated to your needs; a quick commission may be all that matters before they move on to the next sale. Some may have targets to meet and thus the prospect of incurring more time, effort and money to service your sale becomes less attractive with each passing day. The owner however, may have the luxury of holding out for a better buyer.
Note that even if you hire an agent, it is still your prerogative to wait on a sale!
3. You can offer valuable property insight
A potential buyer may pose one hundred-and-one questions about the home and while you have probably debriefed your agent about its condition, it’s unlikely you have covered all areas.
As the owner, you are better equipped to advice and perhaps even convince the buyer to make the purchase. In addition, you could also help provide ancillary information regarding neighbours, safety and the like.
The Downsides of Selling Your Home without an Agent
1. It is time-consuming
It might actually be just as time-consuming as a full-time job, and you can bet that most real estate agents will attest that it actually is a full-time job! Of course most agents manage more than one property for sale or rent at a time but still, if you work 9-to-5 or are a homemaker, pay heed to the extra hours you will no doubt expend.
Moreover, depending on your job, the ability to show your house to potential buyers at their convenience may not be amenable to you if flexibility is an issue. This could lead to you missing out on meeting with qualified buyers.
2. You have to deal with buyers appropriately
People skills are also important; if you’ve house-hunted before and went through an agent, it’s quite likely that the experience of dealing one-on-one mattered somewhat to your decision.
Did the agent appear trustworthy and hardworking or would you have to do all the chasing? Well, you can expect that potential buyers will put you through similar scrutiny and it might affect their decision to purchase if you aren’t so much a “people-person”.
3. You could miss out on an agent’s resources
While it may seem like an easy job, being a good real estate agent is anything but. You’ll need to be familiar with appropriate property knowledge, the selling process and be conscious of locational factors. On the flipside, a lack of experience and resources could see you fall prey to scammers and unqualified buyers that lead to time wasted and perhaps even money lost.
Furthermore, if you need to sell your home urgently, remember that ‘veteran’ agents will most likely have a good pool of clients and leads. Whereas you may take a little more time to find potential buyers.
Now that you have an idea of what an independent sale will entail, check out these tips to help you get started:
1. Research surrounding property prices and do not deduct the supposed agency commission. Some make the mistake of pricing their home a little lower to account for this perceived expense but it isn’t necessary as the sale price indicates what buyers are willing to pay, not how much the seller will profit.
You can also have your house professionally valued to account for approved renovations or specific conditions of your home. Note that the Scale of Fees for valuation is prescribed by the Board of Valuers, Appraisers and Estate Agents of Malaysia.
2. Advertise and spread the word. There are a number of avenues and you don’t have to settle for just one option, mix and match these suggestions to get maximum marketing value.
Place a signboard or two in the vicinity of the property Ask friends and relatives to help you (word of mouth) Use social media pages Take out a newspaper ad Post on online marketplaces or property portals
Important note: Practice caution when meeting with potential buyers who are also strangers. Do request identification prior to your scheduled viewing and avoid showing the property alone; if you must, do inform your immediate neighbours.
3. Get a lawyer because while you can play agent, a legal eagle is an indispensable part of the equation. Some lawyers are real estate specialists that can advise you beyond standard issues of contracts and processes to that of taxes and titles; they could even help conduct research on your potential buyer.
4. Set a cut-off date and determine the next course of action if after a reasonable amount of time (on average three to six months), you find yourself without decent offers being made. You can either continue to hold out if you are in no rush to make the sale, or look for a really good agent to takeover.
It goes without saying that the person you choose for the job needs to be the best of the best. Check out our property agents’ page now to get familiar with some of the most hardworking guys (and gals) in the biz. Moreover, our agents are privy to the large number of realty queries that PropSocial receives every day. These queries generate strong leads for the agents signed up with us and this means that your home has an even better chance of getting sold quickly.
It’s obvious that while it seems like a good idea to sell your own home and reap the ‘commissions’ for yourself, it is not a realistic option to all. Especially if you require your home to be sold urgently or simply do not have the time and energy needed to take on such responsibility.
Nevertheless, your potential savings can be immense and that alone makes this endeavour one worthy of serious consideration!
(Written by: Desiree Nair, 24 February 2016)