If you currently have a real estate agent working to sell your house, it is important that you understand the contract you have signed with that agent before you take steps to sell your house yourself.
Below are some suggestions, however Airlisting advises that you seek further advice and confirm all your expectations with your old, or current, real estate agent in writing.
So how do you check whether you’re safe to sell your property or not?
If you have recently had your home for sale through a real estate agent, find the initial contract between you and the agent, or give them a call. Have a look to see if you ticked “Open Listing”, “Sole Agency” or “Exclusive Agency” or in Victoria it will be “General Authority” or “Exclusive Authority”. The most common is Exclusive.
If you did sign up to an “Exclusive Agency” listing with your old agent, check the date that the appointment goes until. If you have finished your term of appointment, and you did not reappoint this agent, you should be able to sell your own property without having to pay the agent’s commission as long as you do not sell it to a buyer that the agent introduced you to during the time that they were your agent. Also, usually when the exclusive appointment ends, your listing becomes an “open listing”. This means that the old agent could still introduce buyers and if you sell to a buyer introduced to you by the agent, they may be entitled to a commission.
Airlisting’s suggestion is to notify your real estate agent in writing that you wish to terminate the appointment as soon as possible and for them to confirm with you, in writing, the date that the appointment will be completed. We suggest also asking the old real estate agency to send you any photos or videos you paid for, as you should be able to use these for your listing on Airlisting.
There are two other options you can choose when selling yourself:
- Open agency – this is where you pick one or multiple real estate agents to sell your home. Open agency usually means that any real estate agent you allow to sell your property would be entitled to the full commission if they introduce you to the buyer who ends up buying your place. If you find your own buyer and sell without the agent though, you would not have to pay the commission.
- Sole agency – this is similar to Open agency except it means you choose only 1 agent to allow to sell your home. If they introduce the buyer who buys your home, you must pay them full commission. If you find your own buyer, you would not have to pay them a commission.
Our suggestion is to initially list only on Airlisting and see how you go. You can always take down your listing and appoint a real estate agent or opt to go with an Open or Sole agency at a later date. Any photos, video or valuation you pay for through Airlisting are yours to be taken with you if you end up opting to go with a real estate agent. And the Airlisting settlement fee is not usually payable until your property is sold and settled anyway. If you remove your listing from Airlisting without selling and without finding your end buyer through the platform, you will not pay us this fee.
Plus, we think you’ll be very happy with the result you achieve on Airlisting and with the amount you’ll end up saving by not paying a commission.
Are you ever sold your home yourself after having a real estate agent complete their exclusivity period without getting you the result? We’d love to hear about your experiences. Feel free to comment below.