When the market is slow, some sellers may be tempted to handle their sale themselves in order to save money. But is this a false economy? The recent demise of Purplebricks here in Australia suggests that when it comes to selling your most valuable asset, you’re better off paying for the skills and experience of a real estate agent.

Purplebricks appeared in Australia in 2016, and offered a budget alternative to traditional real estate agents. Until recently, they offered a flat-fee service of $8,500 (auction), paid in two parts. This fee included approximately $4,400 for marketing costs, with sellers paying the balance upon the successful sale of the home. The cost covered internet listings, a For Sale sign, marketing materials and agent services. It might also include negotiation, open homes and auctions.

This so-called ‘disrupter’ ultimately failed to make progress in the Australian real estate market. I think part of the reason was that the model relied on agents who lacked the local expertise and market knowledge of a traditional, established professional. Here are three reasons I believe you need the support of a local agent, particularly in a slow market:

To reach the widest possible pool of buyers

Generating interest in your home is not easy. So you are much better off having an agent who knows your area well, and may already be in touch with the perfect buyer.

Choosing an agent from a well-established, large brand is also beneficial. It means your property will appear on their dedicated website and will be marketed to their huge database of home buyers. Along with these benefits, a good agent will have a lot of informal networks and an active social media profile. All these factors are invaluable when attracting potential buyers to your home.

To negotiate with buyers

This is arguably the most important element of a sale. And it takes a surprising amount of time, energy and perseverance.

Negotiating successfully with buyers is a skill that agents develop over time. As is working out the true price of a property, which comes through talking to both buyers and sellers. Appointing an agent who has negotiated on many similar properties in your area and has no emotional connection to the property is essential to reach a sales price that everyone agrees on.

To know how to close a sale

In a booming market, it was easier to sell your own home, although you may not have achieved the best price. Many new agents also joined the industry and enjoyed quick success.

In the current market, closing a sale is tough. A local, established agent will attract buyers and get your house sold. It’s also worth remembering that if you sell your home via a traditional agent, you only pay their commission if they sell your home. Plus, their commission is based on their sales price. This understandably gives agents strong incentive to get the best possible price for the listing. And it’s another area where online or DIY real estate services just can’t compete.

Talk to me

As a local, long-established agent in Thornleigh, Pennant Hills, Normanhurst and Westleigh, I have access to a wide database of potential buyers. I also have many informal contacts and buyers ready and waiting for the right property.

The risks are high when selling a home on your own. When it comes to your biggest asset, it’s better to have the advice, advocacy and experience of a professional behind you.

As a local agent who lives and works in Thornleigh, I have sold through both booming markets and subdued ones. Getting the best possible result for my clients is not a responsibility I take lightly.

Please give me a call today if you are thinking of putting your home on the market and would like to talk through your options.

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