Expert Tips from Black Label Properties: Should I Sell my Property Privately or via an Agent?

Thinking about selling your property privately rather than using an agent? There are several things you need to do to prepare so that the process is stress-free, safe and affordable. Black Label Properties has published a detailed guide to the pros and cons of selling your property without an agent, which takes you through the process step-by-step. View the guide here.

“Many property owners realise how many things they need to organise when they decide to sell property independently. We recommend that you first clearly define your own goals and think carefully about the reasons why you want to sell now. Once this has been clarified, the property can be evaluated by one or more reputable agents to determine the real market value. The last step is the most important – with a well-planned marketing strategy, the seller will get the best possible price for the property,” says Achim Amann, co-owner of Black Label Properties.

Here’s what you need to consider:

  1. Step 1 – Defining your goals. Why are you selling the property now? Do you have a new job in another state or abroad? Are you about to retire or already retired and want to have free money? Do you want to make a profit by selling your property and reinvesting it in new property? Are there alternatives to selling your home such as refinancing, renting, reconstruction etc? Take time to consider the options and be clear about your personal goals. Sometimes, they can contradict one another! How can you reconcile them?
  2. Step 2 – Determine the market value of the property. A professional assessment by a local agent is always advisable. It is customary to get two to three reviews in writing from different brokers – this service is free in Berlin. Ask them to contact other sellers in your area so you can speak to them. Consider their local market knowledge and reputation, references on real estate portals, online reviews and whether they have a professional website. “Openly discuss the arguments and recommendations of the different brokers. Make sure that the broker who has given you the highest price is absolutely correct. Who are your potential customers? Can you sell your home internationally and how do you market it? Online, international brokers, newspaper ads, videos, virtual tours etc. “Every broker has his/her own experience, which can lead to very different valuations,” adds Achim Amann.
  3. Step 3 – Consider the formalities surrounding the sale of the property. First, the documents have to be updated and prepared. It is important to analyse everything as accurately as possible. The seller should know his home well, including its vulnerabilities because prospective buyers will also scrutinise everything and look for reasons to reduce the price or abandon the sale. Only when you have been through everything, and are clear about the benefits of the sale, should you put the property on the market.

“Did you know that all agreements on property sales are only binding after the documents have been signed with the notary? The seller can still sell the property to someone else or sometimes the buyer cancels at short notice. As an international broker, we work with reservations and down payments, so there is a small hurdle for the buyer who wants to get out of the buying process last minute! Getting the keys is the easy part – the seller has to make sure that all the bills have been paid, and if the property has been rented, that the tenant has had his deposit refunded. Also, that any taxes related to the flat have been taken care of by the buyer to avoid any future hassle. There may be house costs or communal fees to pay. All these little things should be fixed in the sales contract to protect the seller. This is crucial if the seller isn’t local and doesn’t speak the language. It is very important that the seller has an agent who he can trust to check these things for him.”

Still not sure whether to sell your home privately or via an agent? More advice here.

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