Buyers, not vendors, the winners in DIY sales

Only buyers benefit from vendors who choose not to use an agent, one senior industry source has said.

Potential buyers expect vendors who pursue the ‘DIY method’ to drop their prices, RE/MAX WA Regional Owner Geoff Baldwin has said.

“In my 26 years’ experience, the general reaction from a private seller is to discount the price at least by the amount they would have paid to an agent and hence, more often than not, it is the buyer who ends up with the advantage, not them,” he said.

Mr Baldwin told Real Estate Business that sellers need to be warned about selling the roof over their heads.

“If a property owner can successfully sell their own property and achieve maximum price with no hassles then I would be the last one to discourage that,” he said. “However there are major pitfalls that people need to consider if they do decide on the DIY option.”

“The first thing a private seller should do is to see their listing through the eyes of an interested buyer and understand that the buyer realises that a fee is not being paid and will target that amount on top of any other price reduction they may be seeking.

“In addition to this, a private seller rarely has the skills to unemotionally negotiate on their own home with a hard-nosed buyer; they will often have difficulty qualifying a buyer’s financial capacity; and they are not in a position to handle subject to sale offers or other challenges that often arise during the process.”

Mr Baldwin also warns that half-hearted attempts will only hurt the sale price in the long-run, even if an agent does get involved.

“Often private sellers will say that they are giving it a go themselves for a few weeks. However, the first few weeks a property is on the market are always the most critical to optimise the sale price.”

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