BY THE REAL ESTATE INSTITUTE OF QUEENSLAND (REIQ) CEO ANTONIA MERCORELLA
In a hot real estate market with high levels of buyer demand, people may be tempted to try to DIY the sale of their property to save on agent fees, but it’s important to think very carefully about the risks and pitfalls of forgoing the expertise of a real estate professional because the stakes are high.
Even if you consider yourself to be skilled in marketing and negotiation, engaging an experienced real estate agent can make a considerable difference to your final sale result, and is money well spent to maximise the return on what is likely to be your single most valuable asset.
Ensuring your property achieves its full potential is best left to a professional who intimately understands the property market and is experienced in fulfilling the myriad tasks and tactics specific to your property type and the local and current market conditions.
IT TAKES TIME AND SKILL
Selling a property involves much more than popping up a ‘for sale’ sign. It includes everything from: deciding the best method of sale and whether or not to list with a price, creating a compelling description of the property, organising attractive and professional photography, videography, and floorplans, booking a comprehensive marketing campaign, understanding what small renovations, repairs or styling will reap rewards, conducting open-home inspections, private inspections, previews and special open nights, forming a contract strategy to follow up potential buyers, navigating queries and offers in a timely fashion (at all hours of the day and night), and negotiating the contract which can involve managing multiple offers and counter offers. It’s unusual for a home owner to have all of these skills and to be able to manage this complex and time-consuming process as well as continue to manage their own busy life.
Marketing is crucial as it’s about getting as many eyeballs on your property as possible to raise awareness and interest in buying your home. After all, you can’t sell a secret, and you may find yourself alone come open day if you haven’t reached the right people with your marketing mix.
Real estate agents tend to have greater buying power with regards to marketing channels, due to the amount of marketing and promotion they conduct, meaning they can cast a wider net.
We’ve heard numerous stories where private sellers eventually seek the advice and support from an experienced real estate agent to find out where their marketing campaign went wrong and why they didn’t generate any genuine, qualified leads.
NETWORKS ARE VALUABLE
After years of operating within an area, real estate agents have accumulated a substantial database of clients and interested prospective buyers that they can tap into as soon as a property has been listed for sale – a valuable resource that a private seller generally does not have behind them when they are trying to sell their home.
NEGOTIATION IS AN ART
When it comes to negotiation, a real estate agent not only has an acute, up-to-date understanding of the local market to be able to pinpoint where your property sits within it, they also act as an important facilitator between the buyers and the seller. Real estate agents can be much more objective, rational and well informed when receiving feedback from prospective buyers. Ultimately, agents are experienced in navigating buyer objections and securing the best and highest price for the seller.
THERE ARE LEGAL RISKS
Engaging a real estate agent also ensures you minimise your exposure to risk and given it is a highly regulated industry, that your property is being sold in a legally compliant manner. Selling a house requires knowledge of various legislation, and an understanding of how to complete a contract of sale and other statutory disclosures.
IT’S WELL WORTH IT
Even in a seller’s market, selling a property is no walk in the park and is a big undertaking. If you take into account the time, energy, stress, and the real risk of underselling your most significant asset or breaching legislation if you attempt to sell your property yourself, most people would agree that engaging a real estate professional is well worth their fees.