Are you thinking about selling your home? Have you thought about trying to do it without the help of an agent?

More and more home-owners are deciding they can do without the services of a real estate agent and managing the sale of their property themselves, which can have multiple benefits for both vendor and buyer.

The first saving is, of course, on agent’s fees. In Sydney, agent’s fees can be significant. That said, an agent can also save you time and money through organising open inspections, newspaper advertising, signage etc.

They might arrange a cleaner to prepare your home, or a stylist to assist with preparing for open inspections. If you’re pushed for time and don’t want the stress of organising the sale, then an agent can give you real peace of mind and possibly a higher selling price in the end.

If, however, you have some spare time you can easily take care of these matters yourself. You need to consider advertising, cleaning your home, keeping it tidy and repairing any major problems before opening it for inspection.

Place a sign on your fence saying For Sale by Owner, or something similar, with a contact number and wait for the phone calls.

Make sure you familiarise yourself with basic sales contracts and know what your rights and responsibilities are. It is also advisable to consult with a lawyer to ensure that the sale is conducted fairly and legally.

Many successful property sales occur every year in Australia without the assistance of a real estate agent. All it takes is a little time, commitment and common sense.

There can be numerous problems with attempting to sell you own home. Firstly you have to cope with strangers tracking dirt through your home without an agent to act as a buffer.

Ben Treweeke at Raine and Horne Newtown believes that this buffer role is really important in protecting the owner from the brutally honest comments buyers make about a property during inspections.

It is difficult as an owner to listen to comments and not feel personally affronted. He also feels that some buyers are put off by the absence of an agent, and may not consider the property for that reason.

Treweeke denies that there has been a trend towards self-selling over the last few years. He believes there will always be a place for agents in the lives of people who do not have the time or the self-confidence to handle the selling process personally.

As he says, Selling is hard. It’s probably one of the most stressful jobs you can have. And basically we [agents] are taking on other people’s stress.

For this reason alone real estate agents are far from being an endangered species.

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