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Auckland woman ditches real estate agent in favour of DIY house sale

Private house sales are taking a hit as prices flatten in the Auckland property market.

The proportion of Auckland homes listed for private sale on Trade Me dropped from 4.6 per cent in September 2015 to 3.3 per cent for the same month this year.

However, there are still a number of Aucklanders willing to bypass professional agents after being burnt in the past.

Auckland resident Christine Primrose has decided to sell her Titirangi home privately.

Primose successfully sold her first home privately following a bad experience with a real estate agent, she said.

The Auckland woman said she initially listed her second house with another agency, but decided to do it alone after an unsuccessful auction set her back $600.

If you do your homework, then it's a really simple process to sell privately, she said.

"We've had more interest since we have gone on our own. But we've also had three sales fall through for different reasons."

Primrose said she gets phone numbers from interested buyers and checks they are valid before arranging viewings.

"I don't let people in off the streets," she said.

Home sellers can save an average of $30,000 in real estate commissions in Auckland by selling privately.

However, Real Estate Institute of New Zealand chief executive Bindi Norwell said there were numerous benefits of working with real estate agents.

"We always recommend people use a licensed agent, gain an independent valuation and don't sign anything that hasn't been approved by your legal adviser," she said.

"Should people choose to undertake a private sale, our advice is don't be afraid to walk away if you feel uncomfortable with the process – it's your house and your call."

Nationally, about one in 10 houses was listed for private sale on Trade Me.

Head of Trade Me Property Nigel Jeffries said people generally opt for a real estate agent due to the enormity of house buying.

"The reason we see a chunky proportion of agent listings on Trade Me is because selling a house is not the same as selling furniture or even a car.

"It is likely to be the most expensive transaction that most people are ever going to make. It has some complexities and a bunch of legal considerations – for this reason many people choose to appoint a licensed real estate agent."

Even with Trade Me figures showing a greater proportion of people using agents, business was slowing as house sales plummeted in Auckland.

Almost 16,000 real estate sales people had just 5428 residential property sales between them in September, data showed.

That meant two out of three agents went through the month without a pay cheque.

Real Estate Institute statistics for September show the number of properties sold dropped 26.2 per cent, year-on-year.

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