With or without an estate agent? Selling a house & apartment + checklist

Selling privately or with an estate agent? Selling your home is undoubtedly a major step in the life of any property owner. One of the fundamental decisions you will need to make is whether to sell privately or use the services of a real estate agent. This decision depends on a number of factors, particularly your available time and personal preferences. In this article, we take a look at the pros and cons of both options to help you make a decision. No time and looking for a good broker right away? Don’t hesitate, write to me or give me a call: Contact.

Selling an apartment privately or with an estate agent?

Let’s start with the most important question for salespeople. Both are possible, it depends on your time. Let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages.

Selling an apartment without an estate agent: the DIY challenge

Can you sell an apartment without an estate agent?

If you decide to sell your apartment without the help of an estate agent, you will need to be prepared for an intensive and time-consuming phase of work on your own. The process includes steps such as valuing the condominium, determining an offer price, compiling documents and records, creating an appealing exposé and taking photos. You will also need to familiarize yourself with online portals, communicate with potential buyers, distinguish between genuine interested parties and the curious, and conduct preliminary discussions.

You have time (and nerves) for the preparation and sales process

However, this is just the beginning. You will also need to carry out credit checks to ensure that potential buyers are able to finance the purchase. There will also be a large number of viewings, which can be time-consuming. Finally, you will also need to engage in negotiations, which may continue until the purchase contract is signed and the notary appointment is held.

Decide to sell without an estate agent if:

  • You have sufficient time and patience for the entire preparation and sales process.
  • You are prepared to deal intensively with the real estate market and the legal aspects of the sale.

Selling an apartment with an estate agent: professional support

Should I hire a real estate agent?

Alternatively, you have the option of hiring a real estate agent to sell your home. This can be an extremely beneficial choice, especially if you want to save time and avoid the stress that often comes with the selling process.

If you want to save time and spare your nerves, hire a real estate agent. It’s as simple as that.

By hiring an estate agent, you delegate most of the above tasks to a professional. The agent will evaluate the property, set the optimal asking price, create a professional exposé, take high-quality photos and present the apartment on various online portals. He or she will handle communication with interested parties, select only genuine potential buyers, carry out credit checks and organize viewings.

Decide on a broker if:

  • You want to save your valuable time and still secure professional expertise in the sales process.
  • You want to benefit from the market knowledge and negotiating skills of an experienced real estate agent.

Overall, there is no universal answer to the question of whether you should sell your home privately or use an estate agent. It all comes down to how much time, commitment and expertise you are able and willing to invest in the selling process. Regardless of your decision, it’s important that you do your research and choose the option that best suits your individual needs and goals.

Costs: buyer, seller and distribution

The costs for a real estate agent in Germany can vary, as they depend on various factors such as the region, the value of the property and the individual agreements with the agent. There are basically two types of estate agent commission:

  1. Buyer’s commission: This is paid by the buyer of the property
  2. Seller’s commission: This is paid by the seller of the property
  3. Cost sharing: Usually half of 3% to 7% of the purchase price in each case

Purchaser principle in brokerage law

Since December 23, 2020, the so-called buyer principle has been in force in Germany under real estate agent law. This means that the person who commissions the estate agent pays the commission. In the case of apartment sales, this usually means that the seller pays the commission. In the case of apartment rentals, the costs are usually borne by the person who commissions the estate agent, i.e. either the landlord or the tenant, depending on the agreement.

Commission is negotiable

The exact commission amounts are negotiable and there are also estate agents who work with fixed lump sums. The costs can also vary depending on the estate agent and the individual agreement. It is therefore advisable to find out the exact costs and conditions in advance and obtain several offers before deciding on an estate agent.

Checklist: Find a reputable broker

Use this checklist to find reputable real estate agents in your area. And if in doubt, as you know, just write to me or give me a call: Contact.

Aspects Recommendations
✅ Research and recommendations Research online and look for local advertisements. Get recommendations from friends, family and acquaintances.
✅ Experience and expertise Ask about the broker’s experience and how long they have been in the industry. Ask about similar transactions in the past.
✅ References and reviews Ask for references from past customers with similar transactions. Search online for customer reviews and feedback.
✅ Local market knowledge Make sure the agent knows the local real estate market well.
✅ Professionalism Pay attention to professional appearance, communication and punctuality.
✅ Services and benefits Clarify exactly what services the estate agent offers. Discuss the preparation of exposés, organization of viewings, etc.
✅ Transparency with fees Ask about the broker’s commission or fee structure. Ask for the costs to be set out in writing.
✅ High-quality network Ask about the estate agent’s network of prospective buyers and investors. This can make the sales process easier.
✅ Chemistry and trust Choose a broker with whom you have a good personal relationship and whom you can trust.
✅ Comparison and selection Obtain several offers from different estate agents and compare them. Make your decision based on facts and references.