This article is based on Australian real estate private sale conditions but is likely to be very similar to the situations that fsbo's encounter the world over.
The article isn't about agent happy endings despite the title, it's not that kind of fairy tale that I want to talk about. Rather, I want to expose the fairytales that pass for advice between agents and would be private sellers.
The simplest way to do this is to simulate a brief question and answer session that might take place when you're speaking with an agent about selling your own home privately. It's not a real conversation so much as a debunking of myths perpetuated by agents for years.
Myths designed to stop you from doing the unthinkable i. e selling privately with zero commission.
It's a long set of conversations that take place between an agent and a seller before the prospect decides how she is going to sell. . . . and who she'll sell with. Because it's several conversations I'll split it into parts so it's easier for the reader to digest.
This is Part 1.
The agent , for the purposes of our illustration is an Australian real estate agent who was born in the West Indies and is of Indian extraction. His name is Lemme Kanhai. His ethnicity has no bearing on the interlude and I apologise for any offence, as none is intended. I just think his name may be instructive to the reader. His full name is Lemme Foolyah Kanhai.
So let us begin our imaginary conversation between Lemme and his female potential real estate listing prospect whose name is Selma Ownhowse.
Selma Ownhowse: Hello Lemme, I asked you to stop by today to see if you'd be interested in helping me to sell my house at the same time as I attempt to do so by myself. If you sell it I pay you and if I sell it there's no compensation ok?
Lemme Foolyah Kanhai: No of course not, that never works and besides my boss would never allow it.
Selma Ownhowse: But why ever not?
Lemme Foolyah Kanhai: Because all the buyers will just go straight to you to avoid a commission so they might get a lower sale price from you
Selma Ownhowse: I don't understand? Last week you told me that I had no hope of finding buyers and that only agents could do that. You said to me. . . and I remember clearly. . . you said “Selma, where do you suppose people go when they're looking for a house ?. . . why, to agents of course!" Now you seem to be saying that I will monopolise the sale Lemme and take your clients from you. That just doesn't make sense. You can't have it both ways Lemme. Either private sales works and we can compete for the commission prize or it doesn't work and therefore I'm no threat to you. Which is it Lemme?
Lemme Foolyah Kanhai: Um, like I said, my boss wouldn't allow it. We only sign up exclusives so we're sure to get paid for our work.
Selma Ownhowse: But that takes away all my own rights. . . how is that fair and equitable? You mean to tell me that I don't even have the right to sell my own house Lemme?
Lemme Foolyah Kanhai: Actually Selma, you do have a perfect right to advertise it and even sell it. . . . it's, it's, well it's just that we take a full commission if you do so.
Selma Ownhowse: So you mean to say that I can sell it by myself if I employ you as an agent?
Lemme Foolyah Kanhai Yes
Selma Ownhowse: But if I succeed, you'll still charge me the full commission?
Lemme Foolyah Kanhai Um. . . yeah.
Selma Ownhowse: But that's not only ridiculous, it's grossly unfair. I'm inclined to say forget it Lemme, but here's the deal. You go and ask your boss if we can have an arrangement where you sell it or I sell it, winner take all. Ask him and then get back to me. Tell him I don't mind paying the full commission to your agency so long as you find the buyer, not me. With that, the conversation between Selma and Lemme ended for the day. Lemme went back to his boss and popped the question? The answer and some more interesting repartee between Selma and Lemme in the next installment.
Morale to the story:
Agents want to have their cake and eat it. Agents detest private sellers. . Agents will talk any sort of nonsense to convince you that you can't or shouldn't sell privately. Think and decide for yourself. Don't necessarily take my advice. . . . or the agents either. Just be discerning, rational and weigh up the pros and cons. Do however develop a healthy BS detector.
Part2 - coming soon. .
houses for sale
Australian real estate private sale specialty site. Find real estate in Australia that's for sale by owner.
PropertyNow owns a network of real estate websites which cater to private sales and places it's clients on many of the country's largest real estate portals at the same time. More importantly it's done for a very conservative fee and zero commission
The business is PropertyNow and it operates to market property throughout the country. Andrews contact details are below
Phone - 0408 000 552 ( international mobile 61 408 000 552 ) skype ID = andy. blachut