As a real estate agency, we are repeatedly asked why it is necessary for people to have an agent to sell their property. It undeniably appears illogical for people to need one and we understand the reasons why. There is an enormous demand for housing in all Berlin districts and when this is combined with free property valuations and advertisements in the various real estate portals, one can clearly identify why using a real estate agent appears a waste of a person’s time and money.
I wrote my MBA dissertation at Henley Business School (UK) in 2008 on exactly this topic. Of course a lot has changed since then. Nevertheless, much of my research remains valid. It is indeed true that many owners can easily sell their house and “spare” working with an agent. It is even scientifically proven that the nature and amount of compensation of brokerage services stands in disagreement with the performance from the perspective of many buyers and sellers. This is often the main reason for many owners to sell their home without a broker. The second reason is the unclear performance of the broker and the hard-to-recognise added value for a seller. The third reason is the expectation that by saving the brokerage commission, you can get more money for the house than you would with a broker.
The most important thing when selling your home is establishing your personal goals. This has less to do with to do with the real estate market, and more to do with the stage you are at in your life, your financial circumstances and your post-sale plans.
What are the reasons for selling and what do you want to do afterwards?
You should invest a substantial amount of your time time thinking about these questions so that you are clear about your specific personal goals. You may find however that your goals will contradict each other. How can you reconcile these?
We recommend you contact two to three local real estate agents for a professional valuation of your property. This is – at least in Berlin – free of charge. Make sure however to only contact those with good references, a good reputation (see Internet entries, press, etc.) and a professional website, and pay particular attention to their local market knowledge.
The agent should ideally have more than one employee, have their own office and have already made sales in your area. The agent should take the time to acknowledge everything in your apartment or house. The valuations of your property should be made in writing and justified. Additionally, make sure to ask the agent to contact other sellers in your area so you can gain from their experiences too.
After you have several valuations, you should have an initial idea of your property’s market value. Please note however that your property’s value is not necessarily the value determined by the agent with the highest evaluation of your house or apartment. Even if this seems the most accurate price to you, make sure to go through the advice of the other agents. What have been identified as its main selling points? Who are your potential buyers? How exactly have these factors been explained to you and can you understand them? Each broker has their own experiences and these can also lead to very different evaluation outcomes.
This is a very important step. It is at this point at which things are often overlooked which can later cost you money and become a much larger nuisance than they have to be. It is therefore important to analyse everything as accurately as possible and be realistic with your considerations. Potential buyers will scrutinize everything and look for reasons to reduce the purchase price or not to buy. So that you are prepared, go through all of the reasons why one should “not buy” your property. Only when you have considered all of these reasons, are clear about why you are selling and can take action to make it happen yourself, should you become active as a private seller.
When selling a house you will need the following documents (this list is exemplary and may vary from property to property):
The following points are exemplary and the order must not be followed chronologically:
Where do your buyers come from and how do they find your property?