In most cases, selling to a potential buyer from the neighbourhood does not bring you the best possible return on your property. At first, the idea seems logical: why commission an estate agent if my neighbour is prepared to buy my house right away? In reality, however, you are missing out on opportunities that the open market provides. If you don’t even know the value of your property and also keep the number of potential buyers artificially low, it is very likely that you are selling below the market value. Your local professional estate agent can get a better return for you!
It is certainly true that, since the introduction of the new law governing estate-agent commission in Germany (“Gesetz über die Verteilung der Maklerkosten bei der Vermittlung von Kaufverträgen über Wohnungen und Einfamilienhäuser”), sellers do have to pay to engage the services of an estate agent. Yet sellers are also the ones who profit considerably from the added value that these services generate. You might object by saying that you have already found a buyer and perhaps even received an offer that meets your desired sale price. How could an estate agent do better, you would say: where is the added value?
Limiting yourself to just a few potential buyers weakens your negotiating position
Herein lies the problem. It might sound like a great deal if your neighbour maybe even offers a little more than what he paid for his own house of a similar size 10 years ago. Perhaps you also find your neighbour’s plans for the property sensible and appealing – he wants his daughter and her young family to move into your house soon, so that he can have his daughter and grandchildren living close by. This example reveals that in a situation such as this, you might already find it difficult to deny your neighbour his wish, even if you receive a better offer from another neighbour soon thereafter.
A professional approach using a qualified estate agent strengthens your negotiating position
The problem is this: you do not have an exact idea of the price your property could actually achieve on the open market. This is where an estate agent comes into their own. As a professional, the first thing they will do when commissioned to sell your property for you is to undertake a proper valuation. Thanks to the estate agent’s precise knowledge of the market and with the careful application of the appropriate valuation procedure, they will establish the exact market value of your property. This is then used to set the offer price. All further steps in the sales process – as carried out by a professional estate agent – serve to find as many serious potential buyers for you as possible and ultimately get you the optimal sale price. Ultimately, the more potential buyers there are who wish to purchase your property, the better the outcome for you. This is because greater competition among potential buyers strengthens your position in the price negotiations. Can you see the benefit to you – compared to unquestioningly accepting the first offer your neighbour makes you? It is fundamentally the case that you will make a greater return on the sale of your property when you engage the services of an estate agent. Even once their commission has been paid. And if, once you have offers from other potential buyers on the table, your neighbour still wants to buy and puts in a competitive bid – well, there is absolutely nothing to stop you from selling to him.
Do you want to find out if your property is worth more than your neighbour is offering for it? Then get in touch with us today. We will be happy to help you with the sale.
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Legal note: This article does not constitute tax or legal advice in individual cases. Please have the facts of your specific individual case clarified by a lawyer and/or tax advisor.
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