Reader's Question: What are the benefits of holding an auction over putting my house up for sale? Are there benefits in selling without an agent?
Andrew's Answer: A‘Under the hammer’ auctions tend to be either a great success, where buyers fight over the home and top dollar or at least a price near to your target figure is achieved, or you fail to secure an offer, but the interest generated leads to a sale very soon after. But the worst case scenario is that auction day arrives and, other than your mates and neighbours, it’s a no-show.
Many agents are pro-auction, but it depends on market conditions, your suburb and your home. Confused? Here are some simple basic guidelines.
■ Go auction – If market demand is high for homes like yours, if most homes are sold via auctions in your suburb, if you need an urgent sale, and if the property is owned by a ‘group’ and negotiations need to be open to avoid disputes.
■ No auction – If there’s low-to-average demand, if most property is not sold via this way locally, and if you want a more discreet sale.
Is selling without an agent worth the saving? This is so hard to quantify. Agents will of course say this is not possible, but thanks to the internet and their fees, it can seem a reasonable alternative. However, the saving itself may become irrelevant if you fail to sell or sell for a lower price.
In reality, many sellers are uneasy handling such a big transaction with tricky negotiations without a third party. Try it if the market is strong for homes like yours, if you are comfortable with the negotiations and inspections, plus have the time and ability to research.