Australians are turning to social media and online marketplaces to sell their homes

author-avatar By on May 10, 2021
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Australians are turning to social media and online marketplaces to sell their homes

With the property market booming, sellers are cutting out the middleman and listing their homes on free online marketplaces like Gumtree.

Real estate agents are busier than ever with property prices recently hitting a 32-year high, but an increasing number of Australians are bypassing them and selling their homes on their own. 

CEO of online classifieds platform WorkApp Shane Wallace said he had seen a dramatic increase in the number of people using the website to list their homes, with listings climbing daily. 

"I think a lot of people are looking to save on the sales commission and advertising fees – especially when they know the property will sell quickly anyway,” Mr Wallace said.

“We’re seeing houses snapped up within days. As soon as they go online there are buyers ready to go."

One of those sellers is Katrina Wilks, whose Northern Beaches home is listed on the platform for $1.2 million.

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Pictured: Katrina Wilks. Image supplied.

She told Savings.com.au she decided to list her home on WorkApp after a friend successfully sold their own property on the platform a couple months back. 

"She said it was really easy and not having to pay the fees and the styling upfront was great. She got a pretty quick sale and I thought I would give it a go," Ms Wilks said.

Hoping to get $1.5 million for the property, Ms Wilks says she's already received an offer.

"I have had about 30 phone calls inquiring about the property and I've shown almost half of that around the house," she said. 

"I was recently given an offer which my family and I are considering."

She says she's saved an estimated $70,000 in marketing fees and commission usually paid to a real estate agent, which she hopes to put towards the purchase of her next property.

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Image supplied.

"It's quite fun, I am basically cutting out the middleman where I could save thousands of dollars - the money of which for anyone could go towards the next mortgage," she said.

"The plan is for a sea change up the coast where I could get more bang for my buck when it comes to a house."

According to WorkApp, by going through one of the free platforms to sell their property, Sydneysiders are walking away with more than $24,000 off the median house price of $1,211,488. 

In Brisbane where commissions average 3%, savings on the median house price of $616,387 to the tune of $18,000 can be found. 

See also: What are the costs of selling a house?


Buying a home or looking to refinance? The table below features home loans with some of the lowest interest rates on the market for owner occupiers.


What should sellers keep in mind when selling without a real estate agent?

Despite the absence of a real estate agent, Mr Wallace said the sales process still goes through the normal legal avenues.

"The potential buyer deals directly with the seller through the platform. If they're successful, lawyers and conveyancers will get involved," he told Savings.com.au.

"People need to be aware that there will need to be conveyancers involved at the point of sale."

See also: What does a conveyancer do and do you need one?

He said sellers taking on the challenge of selling their home privately need to think like a real estate agent.

"It's important that the seller has dedicated times for inspections rather than a potential buyer showing up without notice," he said.

"Research is key. In this hot market, sellers need to be realistic about the value of their home."

Former CEO at the Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) Josh Callaghan told Savings.com.au in 2019 that while it's possible for private sellers to get a similar result to a real estate agent when the market is running hot, a good agent has years of expertise and a pool of potential buyers up their sleeve.

“Over years of operating within a specific location, an agent has accumulated a strong base of interested potential buyers that they can contact to attract more potential buyers to the open home," Mr Callaghan said. 

"They also use tactics like previews and special open nights to build momentum on the negotiations to optimise the sale price."

Even if sellers do manage to save money on marketing fees and commission, they could still stand to lose it if the transaction process gets complicated. 

“A saving in agency fees could easily be eroded by legal fees should the seller need to seek advice on accepting or inserting special terms to the contract."

Related: Early Match app review - Selling property without a real estate agent online


Image supplied.

Disclaimers

The entire market was not considered in selecting the above products. Rather, a cut-down portion of the market has been considered which includes retail products from at least the big four banks, the top 10 customer-owned institutions and Australia’s larger non-banks:

  • The big four banks are: ANZ, CBA, NAB and Westpac
  • The top 10 customer-owned Institutions are the ten largest mutual banks, credit unions and building societies in Australia, ranked by assets under management in November 2020. They are (in descending order): Great Southern Bank, Newcastle Permanent, Heritage Bank, Peoples’ Choice Credit Union, Teachers Mutual Bank, Greater Bank, IMB Bank, Beyond Bank, Bank Australia and P&N Bank.
  • The larger non-bank lenders are those who (in 2020) has more than $9 billion in Australian funded loans and advances. These groups are: Resimac, Pepper, Liberty and Firstmac.
  • If you click on a product link and you are referred to a Product or Service Provider’s web page, it is highly likely that a commercial relationship exists between that Product or Service Provider and Savings.com.au

Some providers' products may not be available in all states. To be considered, the product and rate must be clearly published on the product provider's web site.

In the interests of full disclosure, Savings.com.au, Performance Drive and Loans.com.au are part of the Firstmac Group. To read about how Savings.com.au manages potential conflicts of interest, along with how we get paid, please click through onto the web site links.

*The Comparison rate is based on a $150,000 loan over 25 years. Warning: this comparison rate is true only for this example and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or other loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate.

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author-avatar
Emma Duffy is Assistant Editor at Your Mortgage and  Your Investment Property Mag, which are part of the Savings Media Group. In this role, she manages a team of journalists and expert contributors committed to keeping readers informed about the latest home loan and finance news and trends, as well as providing in-depth property guides. She is also a finance journalist at Savings.com.au which she joined shortly after its launch in early 2019. Emma has a Bachelor in Journalism and has been published in several other publications and been featured on radio.

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