“If you get an experienced agent who knows how to negotiate, who spends money on advertising, who can do the open houses, who ensures they have a legitimate buyer, then you’re way better off than selling by owner,” Janette Graf-King, a real estate agent with Re/Max, says. “You get what you pay for.”
But Nathan Dautovich, a sales representative with Property Guys, which helps home owners privately list and sell their homes, argues that buyers themselves are driving growth in those types of listings as a way streamlining the sales process.
“Every buyer has the Internet and is looking for properties every day,” says Dautovich. “So they’re more willing to set up a sale with the seller privately.”
It’s a new twist on the marketing message traditional agents have fought against since the emergence of for-sale-by owner realties across key Canadian markets. Agents have been quick to point out the hassle and stress sellers face in going it alone in terms of preparing a property for sale and, of course, managing the offer/bid process.
But that process may not be onerous enough to scare off ambitious sellers looking to connect with what Dautovich sees as the growing number of buyers looking to go the private route.
“There’s definitely a little bit of work for home sellers,” he tells REP. “It’s about four to six hours a week. Other than that, we set it up in a way that we maximize the exposure. Our clients have access to the data and to lawyers. They have to do the showings, but aside from that, there’s not much time sacrifice.”
Graf-King, meanwhile, points to the liability issue – private sellers often don’t know what to look for when drafting and reviewing the legal documents. She also says that negotiating for yourself is harder than most people think; even she won’t sell her own properties.
“When I work for a client, I work with my brain,” she says. “But when you work for yourself, you work with your heart.”
Agents are pointing to the value they offer in refuting a surprising claim; namely, buyers are more attracted to private listings than traditional ones.