Selling property without a real estate agent: typical mistakes you should avoid

Many real estate owners decide to sell their house or apartment themselves - often with the idea of saving the broker's commission and selling the property quickly. However, great care must be taken here, because things can go wrong without the appropriate know-how. We will show you the biggest mistakes in selling real estate without a real estate agent and how you can avoid them.

Bad preparation

Quickly post an ad on the Internet and see what happens: With this attitude you will most likely not find any prospective buyers or sell your property far below its value. A well thought-out plan must be drawn up before the sale advertisement is published. Preparatory measures include:
  • Obtain information about the regional real estate market and determine the value of the property.
  • Obtain all documents for the sale, e.g. copies of floor plan and site plan, extract from land register, energy certificate as well as calculations of living space and land plot.
  • Prepare the property for indoor and outdoor viewing
  • Plan a lot of time, especially for visits to the authorities, communication with potential buyers and visits.
Preparing answers to possible questions from prospective buyers

Determine the wrong value and selling price of the property

Many homeowners take the purchase price they once spent as the basis for their property valuation and hope to at least recover the sum invested at that time. In fact, this can be far below or above. Decisive for the amount of the selling price at the end are supply and demand at the time of the real estate sale. To foresee this requires a lot of experience. One basis for the selling price is the value of the property: in order to determine this, you can analyze the local property prices and comparable properties. However, a reliable and objective value can only be obtained from a trained and certified appraiser.

Unprofessional presentation of the property

Nobody wants to buy a property that already looks uncomfortable and untidy on the photos.  

Insufficient marketing of the property

Placing an online advertisement on one of the numerous real estate portals is usually not sufficient. Instead, use four or five portals and one or the other regional newspaper to expand your target group. In your neighborhood, you can use flyers and a "For Sale" sign to draw attention to your property for sale. Tell your acquaintances and colleagues about your sales project - this is not only free of charge, but also extremely efficient.

Bad communication with prospective buyers

In order to sell your apartment or house, potential buyers must be able to reach you by telephone, e-mail or, ideally, fax. If you miss a call, call back as soon as possible. If the caller or sender has to wait longer than a day for your answer, he may get the impression that you are not serious about the sale. But good communication also means transparency: Answer questions from interested parties to the best of your ability and prepare yourself in advance for possible questions.

Underestimate additional costs

If you sell your property privately, you will save the costs for the broker's commission. However, there are a number of additional expenses that amount to several thousand euros.

Leave the purchase contract to the notary

If you sell a property in Germany, the purchase contract must be certified by a notary public. However, the notary is only responsible for drafting the contract and making changes to the land register. The exact details of the sale and all (oral) agreements must be recorded by the contracting parties themselves in the contract - and in legal jargon. Therefore, check before the notary appointment whether all agreements are complete and correctly written.
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