21. Selling without a real estate agent?

A key part of our financial plan was to sell our flat. Therefore I’m really happy to announce that after a rocky period with listening to a lot of ‘experts’ the flat has been sold without a real estate agent.

It all started a long time ago when I contacted a “few” agents. They were all pretty interested in selling the flat and they were best equipped to do it fast and professionally. Or so they told me anyway. Until I started to dig a bit further and compare what they were all selling.

First of all, in my opinion, their fee is not small. I don’t mind paying for professional help but knowing that anyone can be an estate agent you really need to be careful who you trust.

Secondly the cost of the real estate agent is generally paid for by the seller. Most of them want a % of the sale price which means that even if they sell your property for a little bit less than you think it’s worth, they still make a substantial amount. So they all started to tell me that our property was not much as high as we thought. mmmhhhh.

Selling without real estate agent

What does a real estate agent promise?

In my experience, they promise

  • that they will sell the house fast because they have a database of potential buyers. And not just any database, no no … they actually have checked these people out and know they can afford to pay our asking price. Which means they will only show our property to people that want a flat in this neighbourhood and have the money right there in their pocket.
  • they know the area as they have been working this particular area for a long time and know what every property is worth.
  • a plethora of channels which are all integrated in their systems and processes to ensure the sale of our property.
  • They can assist with the financing for the buyer as they have excellent deals with financial institutions.
  • They have an expert legal department that will guide us with all the documents and contracts. Even after signing the contracts we will still help you.
  • Sign now and we will sell your property fast!

That all sounds just too good to be true doesn’t it. A bit like the anti-wrinkle cream ads.

selling without a real estate agent

Do It Yourself.

In my experience, selling a house without a real estate agent can be worth your while. Let’s break it down.

Look on the internet for properties that have sold or are being sold in your area. Ask your neighbours. Investigate the price per m² in your area.

They use the internet just like we can all use it. There is the real database of potential buyers. Here in Spain there are 2 key websites buyers and sellers use (at the moment); idealista.com & fotocasa.es.

In my eyes, another key part of selling is great but realistic photos of the property together with a text selling the best features of the property. And … don’t only focus on the digital sales but put a few proper “For Sale” signs on your property.

We started without a real estate agent. We were getting lots of people through the door but none of them wanted to put an offer in. So we got nervous and we signed a contract with one. They got us lots of people through the door … but none put an offer in. Out of all the variables, the only variable they could offer as a solution was … that we had to lower the price. Of course it’s easier to sell something in a 30% sale than for the real price.

Anyway, we didn’t extend the contract with them and a few weeks later … we were lucky enough to find that one person that really loved our property and was willing to pay the real price for it. I did all the paperwork and legwork myself and you know what … it’s really not that hard.

selling without estate agent

PS: here the pics of our previous property

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