Peter Boehm, personal finance columnist for Yahoo!, says sellers can handle the property marketing and selling themselves, but must bear in mind certain pros and cons, according to the website.
This is because technology has “levelled the playing field”, allowing sellers to bypass traditional advertising routes in favour of cheaper options with easier access, such as offering 360 virtual tours.
“It’s no longer necessary to spend thousands of dollars on newspaper advertising, glossary brochures and magazine inserts – or maintain shop fronts like estate agent offices – to market a property, since this can be done relatively cheaply and with greater reach [online],” Boehm reportedly says.
According to the report, websites offering homes for sale directly from owners are gaining popularity.
“If we look at what’s happening in places like the US, Canada, Italy, Germany and Israel, between 25 per cent and 50 per cent of all property sold is done directly by sellers through do-it-yourself or FSBO websites,” Boehm reportedly says.
The benefits to sellers, if successful, are clear: while real estate agents charge commissions ranging between 2 and 3 per cent plus property marketing costs, a listing on a “for sale by owner” site is free in some cases, and ranges up to around $900, the news service says.
However, selling a property involves more than listing it on a site, and vendors need to realise what they are taking on if they go down the direct route, Boehm reportedly says. Obligations would include handling the sales process including viewings, property marketing, as well as making sure all the correct legal documents are in place, and negotiating on the sale price.