We're all convinced we're in a buyer's market now. Fine. So we're saying that property buyers can make the rules and enjoy the dropping prices while the vast supply of sellers scurry to attract the few buyers out there.
We do however tend to think that all sellers have to sell. Sure there are plenty of people in trouble out there that has to sell urgently, but there are even more, that want to sell but doesn't have to sell. Let's just ponder this for a second: I see properties up for sale everywhere I drive sporting a large number of real estate agents' 'For Sale' boards outside. This morning I counted seven of these boards outside the home of Mrs Wazowski, my neighbour that is selling her place -a jagged little forest of boards with Estate Agents' mugshots greeting me when I leave my driveway.
This forest of smiling Estate Agents staring at the passer-by actually tells us three important things about Mrs Wazowski's situation:
1) She is set on selling. Other than the unaesthetic driveway a seller like Mrs Wazowski needs to swallow, one would not have an army of Estate Agents and their clients tread mud into your living room every Sunday because you want to 'test the market'
2) She has been set on selling...and this has been the case for some time now. Most people would initially get one or two estate agents to market their property. After a while, another agent will spot the boards outside and list the property as well, adding his/her own board to the growing little forest on the front lawn. Thus - many boards, lots of time passed.
3) She is not accepting the offers the agents bring to the table. With seven or more estate agents marketing a specific property one will get a couple of offers. But since the boards are staying, we have to assume none of them made Mrs Wazowski smile. The problem is that after Mr Agent took his cut, Mrz Wazowski will not get enough money in her pocket to cover her new townhouse as well as her extended visit to family in Poland.
This brings Mrs Wazowski and Mr Agent to a type of 'stale mate'. Many sellers out there are exactly at this point, they really want to sell but they do not have to sell as a matter of life or death. Like Mrs. Wazowski they have thrown themselves at Real Estate agents and is now patiently sitting back, waiting, for as long as it takes to sell at a price they are still comfortable with after Mr Agent took his cut. The chances of this happening are small as everyone knows, and the Mrs Wazowski's out there normally just tend to postpone that trip to Poland until they get the Offer price they want.
Many of these sellers do not yet know how the Private Sale option can break this stale mate, arguing that they would rather not pay a listing fee to a company like MyRoof or Private Property or any of these online Private Sale guys, as a sale is not guaranteed. The argument that these sellers tend to forget is that they are set on selling, and since their only current exposure to the market is via an agent their imminent sale will cost them money. Lots of it.
Selling privately online will give Mrs Wazowski two options she does not have with real estate agents: She can either sell faster or save a lot of money or benefit by a mixture of both. In Mrs Wazowski's case, she can play for both. Since she is not in that big a hurry she can decide to list her property for the same amount as the Estate Agents do, and pay herself the commission so to speak, and when she starts getting a bit more anxious to sell, she can start dropping her online price, sell faster and still get the same amount in her own pocket as by selling through the agent. If the small cost of listing online still bugs her, she can always just add it to her selling price and earn it back....no one will notice :)