Homeowners go private to avoid fees

PRIVATE SALE: Hamish Anderson says it is time-consuming to hold open homes himself but worth it to avoid real estate commission fees.
PRIVATE SALE: Hamish Anderson says it is time-consuming to hold open homes himself but worth it to avoid real estate commission fees.

Some Wellington homeowners are turning to private sales in a patchy market to avoid thousands of dollars in real estate fees - with mixed results.

In one month of marketing a two-bedroom Mt Victoria investment apartment as a private sale on Trade Me, Scott Bawden's ad had 1300 views, attracted 20 calls and 12 people had made appointments to view the property. With its central location, selling the property was proving easy - but buying a bigger house in the same suburb was tough.

"I have one offer in hand, one coming in tonight and expecting one tomorrow. I was expecting the interest because we've been looking for property ourselves and big family homes have been on the market in Mt Victoria for only three or four days before they're sold.

"As a buyer it has been frustrating because it is mostly tenders and agents don't give you a very good steer on prices."

Hamish Anderson had been marketing his mother's Karori property himself with only a $600 advertising budget spent on Trade Me, a newspaper ad and a sign in the front lawn.

In three weeks about 15 groups had come through the open homes he held at the three-bedroom Makara Rd property, desirable for its location, additional guest room, open fireplace, high stud and extensive decking. "I was hoping there would be more interest actually, given what some of the agents had been telling me about there being not much stock on the market but a lot of buyers.

"I was thinking we would have maybe twice the amount of people coming through but overall I think it's probably about right."

Though it was time-consuming holding open homes himself, Anderson said it was worth it to save about $20,000 in real estate agent commission fees.

Further out from the CBD, a Wellington property investor who did not want to be named said the market was the slowest he had seen in the 25 years he had been buying and selling rentals.

"The market is pretty flat, there is not much happening - five years ago I sold two different houses in about four days each and all I did was put one ad in the newspaper."

He had been marketing a three- bedroom Johnsonville home since April that had attracted two offers - both of which he rejected as too low. Two or three interested parties viewed it each week. "I thought there would be more interest than I got."

REINZ Wellington spokesman and Tommy's agent Euon Murrell said property prices in Wellington were steady and buyers were not rushing to make decisions.

"Some locations are hotter than other parts of Wellington. Central, there is high demand and not a huge number of listings for a good range of buyers.

"The Miramar area is pretty good, Pukerua Bay not so much. With government cutbacks people do not have a huge amount of confidence in the future - they're being cautious."

Contact Jazial Crossley
Business reporter
Email: jazial.crossley@dompost.co.nz
Twitter: @msbananapeel

The Dominion Post