Is it better to sell your property directly between individuals or by using the services of a real estate agency?

Vast subject … we will try to list the advantages and disadvantages of each solution to allow you to make the best decision.

As a preamble, it is important to specify that your servant is writing this article having practiced the 2 approaches (first of all the sale of an apartment on a personal basis via PAP and now I support other people in their sales project via my own real estate agency).

I’m going to kill the suspense right now: there isn’t one solution that is better than the other, it’s just up to everyone to choose the one that best matches their abilities, affinities, the time to devote to it, etc.

First, the sale between individuals .

We are not going to take a detour, the enormous advantage, a priori, is not to pay any commission to an intermediary … beware, this is an important point  : the commission is not the “net seller”(what is left after paying the fees (agency fees when we go through an agency)). Apart from certain die-hards who block in principle the fact of paying a commission, the most important thing for most of you is to adopt a “cold” and pragmatic approach: it is therefore the right thing to do. “Net seller” which is the most important and is essentially induced by the valuation of its property. Then for all that concerns the sale between individuals, these are only disadvantages since it is a question of doing oneself what the real estate agencies propose to do for you.

We are now going to discuss all the services that professionals provide for you and which therefore constitute the list of advantages of going through a real estate agency .

1. First, the estimate of the price of your apartment

This is a fundamental step for the successful sale of your property. Contrary to what one might think, selling an overpriced apartment leads to selling it at a lower price than positioning it directly at the right price: (1) serious potential buyers will not be interested in the property, (2) that will induce a waste of time and (3) you will have to resume marketing by lowering the price which is a very bad signal for buyers who are hunting down the goods for sale … they will feel that you cannot sell and will seek to negotiate sharply. The real estate agency knows the market since it supports sales throughout the year in your neighborhood and can therefore value the price as accurately as possible according to the market when you want to sell.

2. Then the marketing

Of course, there are websites and newspapers specializing in private sales, but the real estate agency, in addition to the media on which it communicates ( specialized websites, distribution of leaflets in neighborhood letter boxes ), has a huge advantage: the window on which it displays your apartment . We see in Paris that 80% of real estate transactions are done with people who already live in the neighborhood. That is to say, people who regularly wander in front of the windows of real estate agencies when they are looking for a property. For the remaining 20%, the advantage of having a real estate agency belonging to a network is to be able to offer your property for sale via all the agencies of the network (at national level).


3.  The means implemented by real estate agencies are

for some, also accessible to individuals but their cost will be offset by the “net seller” in the case of sales between individuals while, in the case of sale by real estate agency, it is the agency that supports and therefore no impact on the “net seller”. We are talking here, among other things, of soliciting the services of professional photographers and of making a video report of the property.

4.  Another advantage for selling through a real estate agency

Real meeting points between buyers and sellers , they also collect requests from potential buyers and centralize them in a buyers file . Thus, by going through a real estate agency, you benefit from access to the file of potential buyers who are looking for the same property as yours. In Paris, many transactions are carried out by this means even before requiring the massive distribution of advertisements. This is a real differentiation in favor of the real estate agency. Especially since the buyers listed in this file are often buyers who have missed a sale and are therefore more inclined to understand the need to buy at the price offered by professionals.

5. Come the visits

Here again, it is the job of the real estate agency to target potential buyers to exclude “tourists” who want to visit but do not really have a project or do not have the budget. This step is fundamental to avoid multiplying unnecessary visits (too often the case when you market your property yourself, you are too happy to have visits). I would like to draw your attention to a very important point: the quality of selection of potential buyers, particularly with regard to financing. Real estate agencies do a lot of upstream selection work that secures the seller on this point. On the particular side, loan refusal is a very frequent reason for aborted sales.

6.  Then the negotiation

Not everyone has the capacity and the appetite for this stage. In addition, when you sell your own property, it is sometimes irritating or even hurtful to hear all the arguments presented by some buyers in an attempt to negotiate the price. The “neutral” position of the real estate agent makes him a real asset in foiling a large part of buyers’ attempts at negotiation and thus preserving a better sale price and therefore a better “net seller” (don’t forget it is the crucial point !!)

7.  Finally the monitoring of the project and all that is necessary to secure the deadlines

Ensuring that the acquirer complies with its banking establishment solicitation obligations on time, following up the files with notaries are very important and potentially time-consuming aspects when you have to do it yourself.

In summary, the real estate agency offers a range of sometimes unique services that relieve the seller and secure the sale under good conditions  : better time but also better selling price which results in a “net seller” often higher than what can get an individual on his own . Certainly, a few with a keen sense of negotiation business accompanied by a great deal of rigor in management will also be able to get away with it… but for the great majority, requesting the services of a real estate agency remains the most effective solution.

Continue to form your own opinion by consulting the opinions of those who have trusted us and by deepening our offer.