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Selling a Residence - With an Estate Agent or by Oneself

Posted on 22Aug 2012

People want to buy a home on their own for several reasons, and the reasons for selling a residence are even more in number. When one is facing the latter situation, one has two general options to consider - whether to sell it by oneself, a practice that is gaining popularity, or to play it safe and prefer the classical approach and use the services of an estate agency. Both options have their pros and counts. Let's compare these two alternatives one vs. the other, so you can decide which one is more suitable for your needs.

Well, the main consideration of those who support people selling their own homes is the high commission (between 3 and 10 per cent) that estate agents withhold from the actual selling price. That is a considerable amount of money, which can be partly saved if the services of an agency are not used. However, owners selling by themselves have to bear in mind some additional expenses such as money for advertising and promoting of the property, lawyer's fees (because the deal cannot be legalized without one) and additional costs for document fees.

Time and effort
Depending on the personal preferences of the seller, he or she can have almost none to almost full participation in the selling process and respective access to the negotiations with the potential buyers. But overall, the main part of the boring paperwork and standardized procedures are carried out by the agent, which allows the seller to arrange his or her free time as he or she wishes. It is an entirely different case when the owner is selling by himself or herself. The amount of work and time needed are considerable - we are talking about months of little to no free time.

Fair price
Estate agents have much more knowledge on the subject of estimating the real market price of the residence and convincing the potential buyer to agree to it. If skipping the services of an agency, independent sellers almost always fail to set a reasonable price for the residence, and either sell under the real value or are stuck with no potential buyers for months.  

Control and choice
Estate agents often prefer to not inform the seller of every offer received because they count on getting higher offers at a later stage. This is not fair to the seller but sometimes it is in owner's favour. If the residence is sold by the owner he or she has the exclusive right to choose visiting times suitable only for him or herself, and even to sell only to a potential buyer they find nice and who they feel will take care of the residence.

There's no argument that an estate agent who sells houses and flats for a living will make a better and more professional presentation of the qualities of the residence and the advantages of the area than someone selling a property for the first time. Plus a potential buyer is much more willing to trust the explanations of a pro, even if they are not 100 per cent true. But on the other hand the owner can contribute to the negotiations with a personal approach because he or she has put all his or her passion and energy in that presentation.  

The owner has lived in the residence for a period of time and this house or flat has a sentimental value for him or her. The memories one has of the place could obscure one's ability to properly judge the advantages and disadvantages of the place. An agent might recommend some changes to the interior or exterior that will contribute to the successful sale at the higher possible price because he or she has no personal attachment to the place.   

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