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Should you sell without an estate agent?

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Should you sell with or without a real estate agent

The pros and cons of selling your property with a real estate agent versus private sale.

Private sale

A private sale, sometimes referred to as ‘For Sale by Owner’, is when an owner sells their property without the help of a real estate agent. This can be appealing as it means you don’t have to pay an estate agent a commission, and you have full control over the process.

There are several online platforms around Australia that can assist you to do this for a flat fee, such as Buy My Place, Minus The Agent, No Agent Property, or Purple Bricks.

Private sale pros

Private sale cons

Avoid paying a commission fee - the big-ticket item for a private sale is skipping on professional commission.


Control the marketing process - you can use the channels of your choice and market your home as you like. You get to pick how and when you advertise, and to whom.


No third-party contracts - you don’t have any contracts to abide by if you disagree with the sales strategy as you have full control.

Selling property takes a lot of time - if you work, it may be difficult to follow up every lead you get during the week. You’ll also need to host, organise, promote and follow up on an open home schedule. You will need time to respond to any buyer questions and be on-call as the seller.

Less access to marketing tools - agents have access to websites that are not available outside of the industry. Agents also have relationships with photographers and stylists who can bring out your property’s full potential.

No negotiation buffers - this means you must rely on your own commercial acumen and negotiation savvy to ensure you get the best deal, which can be a fine art to perfect.

You must learn property legislation - even without an estate agent, you must know and follow industry legislation, documentation and procedures. This will include writing sales contracts.



Selling a home takes a lot of time, effort and know-how. Real estate agents are experts in the property market and come with a wealth of marketing, negotiating, industry knowledge and existing contacts, which can be incredibly helpful when selling your home. However, this expertise comes at a cost in the form of a commission.

This is a pre-determined one-off fee based on a percentage of the overall sale price of your property, payable to your real estate agent once your property sells. In Australia, this ranges from one to four percent of the sales price, based on your property location, type and value.

Agent pros 

Agent cons 

Utilise key industry knowledge - an agent will prepare all legal paperwork on your behalf, and ensure your sale follows the appropriate legalities. (Note: if selling via auction, the agent will still need to employ a conveyancer)
Save time - hiring someone else to manage the sale means you do not have to follow up leads, organise and manage open homes, create marketing material or work on legal paperwork. These things can be difficult to balance with full-time employment.
Access more marketing services - real
estate agencies have access to industry-only
advertising opportunities. Many agents will
also have a database of potential buyers
which they can leverage to sell your property.
Negotiation power - real estate agents
negotiate regularly which can help you to get
better offers.
Paying a commission - you can pay up to four percent of the selling price for the aid of a professional real estate agent. (Notealternative sales methods are becoming more popular - a number of new companies have entered the market that let you avoid paying an agent’s commission.
Less control - an agent takes responsibility out of your hands, but that also means they control the sales process.


What will an agent do?

  • Offer a recommendation on sales price and home value
  • Advise on and manage all marketing aspects, including preparation and placement of ads, floor plans and photography
  • Coordinate and manage open homes
  • Follow up on all leads
  • Represent you in sales negotiations
  • Prepare a Contract of Sale
  • Advise on conveyancing, legal and financial services
  • Finalise the sale

How to choose a real estate agent

It’s important to take time to carefully choose a real estate agent that you feel comfortable working with. Every real estate agent has different strategies and techniques, so it’s best to hold a meet and greet with a range of them before making your final choice.

There are several options for scoping out agents. You can visit local real estate websites to view current adverts, attend some local open homes to assess their style first-hand, and there are several online platforms that can help match you with the right person.

Once you've selected a real estate agent, it's best to prepare your interview questions ahead of your first meeting to be certain you don’t miss out on any crucial information. Check out our top 10 questions to ask your real estate agent.

If you’d like to read more about selling your property, download our free Home Seller’s Guide. You’ll need to enter your email address so we can send you this e-book, but we promise you won’t be spammed.

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