An experienced real estate agent can save time, trouble, and probably costs when selling a house. But if you have enough time and are flexible, you can also sell your property privately. But there are a few essential things to consider.
Of course, as a real estate agent, I usually recommend that you use a professional when selling a property. This costs money but should be worthwhile at the end of the day. If you still want to try it yourself, I would like to give you the following eleven tips.
1. Define a strategy
Without a plan and strategy to go into the house, sales can only go wrong.
Take the time for a project and answer the following questions: Who is my target group? How do I reach them? How do I prepare the house and the information about my offer? How much money do I want to make, where is my pain threshold?
Do not underestimate the amount of time you need, and you can’t do it in two weeks. Even if you agree with a buyer and have a notary contract in your hands, it often takes eight weeks until the money is in your account; the whole process can quickly take half a year.
2. Provide complete documentation
Before you start, you should have all the necessary documents in hand. In addition to the extract from the land register and insurance policies, the building file, public notices, and, last but not least, an energy performance certificate are also included.
3. Find the right offer price
Someone who starts with a price that is too high will often end up with less than someone who started with a more realistic demand. If you have to give in on the price, you quickly end up in a downward spiral.
Take a close look at the market, analyze comparable objects. The property market report and other real estate market report also provide clues. In case of doubt, you can commission an independent appraiser.
4. Present it professionally
Bring your house into a proper condition, eliminate defects. If the house is empty or poorly furnished, a “homestay” can be worthwhile to create a positive image.
There are professional helpers for this as well. And present your property skilfully: with professional photos, possibly supplemented by aerial shots or a 360-degree tour.
5. Stay on the ground with the exposé
When describing the property, you should not raise too high expectations. If the first impression differs too much from the paper form, disappointment is inevitable; you will hardly ever get to the end.
6. Secure your privacy
With the descriptions, the photos, and possibly maps, you should be careful not to give the exact location or even address. Otherwise, you will have to reckon with curious neighbors or even more unwelcome visitors.
7. Make yourself available
If the property is on the market, you should be easily accessible at reasonable times. This does not have to be around the clock, but an answering machine should be available in any case. And always get back to us quickly; prospective buyers are usually very impatient.
Count on dubious offers
If your house is even remotely interesting, you must expect a bombardment of contacts. For example, through estate agents, who sometimes disguise themselves as prospective private buyers, take photos and put the property on the net themselves. I know extreme cases, where a house suddenly appeared three times on the Internet, at three different prices, from three various providers.
Therefore, you should take a close look at the people you are talking to, ask them. Otherwise, you run the risk of the sales process being taken out of your hands. This is one of the reasons why estate agents have such a modest reputation.
9. Plan the viewing appointments
There are good, and there are lousy viewing times. Set your appointments during daylight, ideally in good weather. And of course, the house should be tidy and well ventilated.
10. Be prepared for tough price negotiations
As a private person, you will rarely negotiate such high sums as you would for a house sale. So think about how far you want to go before you make a deal.
If you are afraid of being pushed down too quickly, you should call in an intermediary who has experience in this – perhaps also from your circle of acquaintances.
11. Be careful
Never, never, make a notary appointment without having seen proof of financing first. Serious buyers bring this from their bank.
My conclusion will not surprise you: An excellent real estate agent can save you from many pitfalls and take some of the hassles off your hands.
Many things – from photos, home staging, and arranging appointments to credit checks – are done by a real estate agent at a high level. He knows the local conditions and the right contacts.