Private Listings VS Going with an Agent

Dec 5, 2018 | All, Industry

Selling property has become quite complicated. Deciding on whether you should sell privately or go with an esteemed estate agent can be the difference between a successful or a bad sale.

Developments in technology are increasingly cutting out the middlemen in most industries. So it’s no surprise that this is becoming commonplace in the real estate industry, too.

Private sales are certainly possible and they are sometimes more favourable for the seller. But they also come with complications. It takes a lot of work, a lot of experience and a lot of skill to sell property well, and without the right training, tools and commitment, it’s extremely difficult to successfully navigate the market.

There are several pros and cons for both options, at PropertyFox, we look at selling your home privately vs using an estate agent.

Private Listing

Some consider whether an agent’s presence is beneficial or not. With a private listing, you are opting to sell the property on your own. This is often known as “For Sale by Owner”. Selling your property yourself may seem like a more cost-effective solution. But there are several important considerations you need to make before going ahead.

Here is a look at the pros and cons of a private listing


  • Selling your property privately can save you commission fees charged by an agent.
  • You will also have full control of the process, which will provide you with direct contact with buyers.
  • With a private listing you have the freedom to market the property as you like and using the various channels of your choice.
  • You can devote your full attention to the sale of your home.
  • You can also assess potential buyers’ reactions to your property first hand without having to hear second hand what your agent wants you to hear.


  • Although you may save on commission fees, it does not always get a better result. Whilst using an agent may cost more it will most likely result in a higher sale price for the property and more money in your pocket.
  • Sometimes private sellers lack knowledge and time when it comes to the sale of their property. Selling your home as a “For Sale by Owner” is a difficult process as you will not be aware of industry legislation, documentation and procedures.
  • You will not have access to all the tools and websites needed to effectively market your property. Agents have access to websites that are not available to the “For Sale by Owner” market. Agents also have access to video tools, photographers and other listing tools which present the property in the best light.
  • Without the right tools, you may underprice or overprice the property.

Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent is a licensed institution that aids in the process of selling or buying a property. Sellers might be better off – both financially and emotionally – paying a reasonable commission to a qualified professional and enjoying a hassle-free experience.

As South Africans we’ve only ever had two options when it comes to selling a house: sell through an agent or sell it yourself.

The former can be quite costly, often having to pay commissions of between 5-7% (ex VAT) for the process. At PropertyFox, we have managed to keep our low commission fee of 1.5% consistent, this, in turn, has saved our customers up to 80% in fees.

Here is a look at the pros and cons of selling with an agent


  • Real estate agencies have years of experience in marketing property. By leveraging this experience and key marketing tools you will potentially generate more interest and a higher sale price for the property.
  • An agency also has several potential buyers on their database because of recent inquiries for other properties. This provides an instant list of potential buyers for your property.
  • An agent will provide an expert opinion of what the property is worth through a thorough Property Valuation. This is based on their experience and knowledge of past sales to ensure your property is priced at market rate.
  • Real estate agencies are educated in all areas of the sales process and hence can help to secure a higher price for your property. They are also highly trained in negotiation to ensure you receive the best possible price for your property.
  • An agent will coordinate the entire process, from marketing the property, through to conducting open for inspections and handling paperwork and documentation upon an agreement of sale.
  • As some of the major real estate sites do not allow consumers to advertise direct, you will gain maximum exposure for your property by using an agent.


  • On occasion, consumers are subject to dealing with agents who are working for the buyer rather than the seller. It is therefore important to make sure you choose the right agent to sell your property.
  • Once you have signed an agreement, the agent has the authority to represent the sale of your property for a period. Should you be dissatisfied with their service you will be bound to the terms of the agreement for the period specified in the contract.

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