New Zealanders are proud of their DIY culture. Does it work for selling houses?
Since Trade Me began its property section in July 2005, private sales have averaged 10 percent of total listings through buoyant markets and downturns.
It seems there’s a steady stream of private sellers willing to give DIY real estate a go … and not pay a commission.
Selling your own house can be time-consuming and stressful. It requires good planning and attention to detail. Not everyone has the people skills for it. You may have to do leaflet drops and run open homes.
You’ll also need to be easy to contact and be available to show buyers around. These are the tasks you’d otherwise pay a real estate agent to do.
How much can you save?
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Sarah (not her real name) sold her house the DIY way. It wasn’t difficult but she puts this down to her circumstances: “Our house was in an area where all the properties were of the same period, style and size. We were able to go to other open homes in our street and see what their values were, which gave us a good idea about ours.”
For advertising, she placed an ad in the paper, listed the house on Trade Me Property and put up her own signs on the lawn. “The advertising cost us under $500.”
The house sold quickly, as had others in the area, and for higher than the listed price. “The negotiation was the hardest part, but you have to decide what your bottom line is. A real estate agent may have got more than we did but I doubt it would have been enough to make up for their costs. We wanted a fair sale for both parties and I think we achieved that.”