SHOULD I SELL MY HOUSE PRIVATELY?
If you're thinking of selling your house privately to avoid paying real estate agent commission, make sure you understand what your legal obligations are first. There much to consider and coordinate.
This is a summary of what these include and what other responsibilities you will need to manage when selling your house yourself.
YOUR LEGAL RESPONSIBILITIES IF SELLING PRIVATELY
The consequences of not fully understanding the information contained in legal documents can be far reaching. For example, information omissions, clauses and amendments, errors, unmet deadlines and unverified property-specific information. Anti-money laundering administration and Covid-19 requirements are also now required.
If you withhold information or (unknowingly) misrepresent particulars about your property that buyers should be made aware of, you may put yourself at risk of legal action.
If choosing to sell your house privately, be warned that legal responsibilities, (mis)information, documentation collation and interpretation are your responsibility. There is no come back if it goes wrong.
WHAT'S SO HARD ABOUT SELLING A HOUSE PRIVATELY?
Managing buyer conditions and/or barriers to purchase within the required timeframe
When selling a house, the part of the process that is most demanding is the period between the date the sale and purchase agreement is signed and the unconditional date.
For example, for real estate agents to complete a sale, they have to manage a buyer's situation and problem solve - quickly.
This can involve engaging with banks/mortgage brokers, insurance companies, EQC, building inspectors, valuers, accountants, lawyers, LINZ, builders, surveyors - all on the vendor's behalf.
If real estate agents didn't coordinate this, many property sales would fall over.
Savvy buyers and going off the boil
Property buyers are savvy, seek due diligence and expect a quick turnaround time for information they have requested. If it's not provided quickly, they can go off the boil.
Be mindful that yours is not the only house they will be looking at. Timeliness is as important as quality.
Selling a house requires 'expedited project management'
REAL ESTATE AGENTS AND LAWYERS USE REAL ESTATE AGENTS
If selling a house was straight forward, lawyers, real estate agents and all the professionals who understand due diligence wouldn't list their properties for sale with real estate agents - but they do.
Over the years a number of people have contacted us for vetted real estate agents following an unsuccessful private sale - disillusioned and desperate to sell at almost any price. It never has to be like this.
We have found that private home sellers aim for a minimum sale price whereas competent real estate agents focus on "how much can we get?"
WILL SELLING PRIVATELY SAVE YOU MONEY?
The financial value of a vetted, competent real estate agent can equate to tens of thousands more in a sale price, compared to any commission you were trying to save.
Before you decide whether to sell your house privately or not, find out what real estate costs are and how you can keep commission and other fees to a minimum. Obtaining a free property appraisal first might help you make that decision.
Negotiating a prime sale price is not every real estate agent's forte. If you do decide to use an agent, use a vetted one - it's the safest way to choose a real estate agent - and Agent Finder NZ offers this as a completely free service.
A successful real estate outcome has a lot to do with a planned, coordinated and managed legal process by a competent, licensed real estate agent.
Article Updated: May 13, 2020 by Trish Willis | About