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More people turning to private sales to save coin amid hot housing market

As the housing market continues to heat up, more people are turning to private sales.

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Kristen O’Meara says she had people calling her late at night and showing up at her house unexpectedly. Source: 1 NEWS

Selling or buying a house privately could mean more money in seller’s pockets but it's not always an easy option.

For Kristen O'Meara, selling her house without a real estate agent was a bigger job than she expected.

“There are people who would ring in the middle of the night, come to your door and ask if they can come through and look at the house… people that waste your time,” O'Meara told 1 NEWS.

And when it came to negotiating a price, she said it was difficult to say no.

“It's hard telling people your offer isn’t quite good enough, you felt like you were letting down people - a lot more personal than an agent.

But, O'Meara says, the savings were significant.

“I did save around $30,000 which is huge, especially in this market."

She's one of many New Zealanders opting to buy or sell privately.

Brothers Ryan and Todd Rankin-Hurst started their private listing company in 2017.

“We’ve seen an increase of 72 per cent of private sale listings on our platform in the second half of 2020. Registered users have also gone up 95 per cent,” they told 1 NEWS.

“People are best to sell their own property because they know their property the best,” they said.

It's not just listings on the rise, private sale website Home Sell told 1 NEWS it's seen a 10 per cent increase in actual sales, while the Real Estate Institute (REINZ) says 15 per cent of total house sales last year were private.

But the institute says using an agent would get the best price.

“We looked at median house selling privately versus through an agent, shown as 15 per cent premium overall using an agent which is quite significant,” says Bindi Norwell of REINZ.

“They'll bring expertise such as marketing expertise, negotiation, but also legislative requirements,” Norwell said.