Is it time to embrace private selling?

As more companies dealing in private sales enters the market, homeowners are being tempted by the low-cost offering. But is it as easy as they make out?

Selling a home is relatively easy, so why not embrace the new offerings. That is the view of Nathan Dautovich, a representative from Property Guys, which helps home owners privately list and sell their homes.

“There’s definitely a little bit of work for home sellers,” he tells CREW. “It’s about four to six hours a week. Other than that, we set it up in a way that we maximize the exposure. Our clients have access to the data and to lawyers. “They have to do the showings, but aside from that, there’s not much time sacrifice.”

Dautovich says that Property Guys helps its clients in any way it can: listing the property on MLS and on the company’s website, they provide signs and an online marketing campaign. “We do all the same things as a traditional Realtor, plus quite a bit more,” he says.

Most of the sales of which he is a part don’t have an agent involved at all, he adds.“Every buyer has the internet and is looking for properties every day. So they’re more willing to set up a sale with the seller privately.”

However, Janette Graf-King, a Realtor with Re/Max, tells CREW that companies that facilitate private sales are not as user-friendly – or as cost effective – as they seem.

“You get what you pay for,” she says. “If you get an experienced agent who knows how to negotiate, who spends money on advertising, who can do the open houses, who ensures they have a legitimate buyer, then you’re way better off than selling by owner.”

She also points to the liability issue - private sellers often don’t know what to look for when drafting and reviewing the legal documents. She also says that negotiating for yourself is harder than most people think; even she won’t sell her own properties.

“When I work for a client, I work with my brain,” she says. “But when you work for yourself, you work with your heart.”

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