Do I really need a real estate agent? Success story – Shayle Woods

Our success story this week is a story about taking control of the sale of your own property. Shayle Woods shares her experience and has some tips on what to do and what not not to do if you decide to go it alone.


Kevin:  I guess one of the most common questions I’m asked from time to time is, “Do I really need a real estate agent?” I’m going to share a story with you now, someone who decided that she’d like to sell her property on her own. There are a number of ways for you to do that.
No stranger to our show, of course, Wendy McDonald – who we’ve spoken to on the show before – is from a website called She helped Shayle Woods do just that, sell her own place.
Shayle joins me. Hi, Shayle.
Shayle:  Good morning, Kevin.
Kevin:  First of all, tell me, why did you decide to sell on your own?
Shayle:  Cost was a real factor for us – and time. I have the time to do it and I believe I have the experience after having bought many properties over the last 30 years or so. So we decided to try doing it ourselves.
Kevin:  As I mentioned in the intro, too, there are number of websites now that will help you do that, that have all the tools for you to do that. What were some of the lessons you learned along the way?
Shayle:  On selling it myself?
Kevin:  Yes, on selling it yourself.
Shayle:  Research, research, research.
Kevin:  Know what it’s worth, you mean?
Shayle:  Know what it’s worth, know what the target market is, know what’s available on the market.
Kevin:  Know your competition. Was it difficult for you to remove yourself from being the owner to being the seller? In other words, were you emotionally attached to the property and the price?
Shayle:  No, not at all. I actually made the decision to be very open to the market, to what the real value on the market is. No, I made this as a financial and business decision.
Kevin:  As I understand, the property is not yet sold; it’s still on the market. Tell me how it’s progressing and what sort of reaction are you getting from buyers?
Shayle:  We’re getting a great reaction from buyers. We’ve only been on the market for about ten days. We’ve held two open homes so far, and we’ve had a fantastic response. We’ve done professional signs, and we’re considering doing an open home listing in the local paper, which also attracts a lot of people.
Kevin:  How did you get the people to the open house? Was it through the website?
Shayle:  It was through the website and the signs. We’re getting about 50/50 feedback on both. I had professional signs made with a photo of the house on the sign, and we have that out on the main road.
Kevin:  Are you encouraging people to come in off the sign to you directly? Are you living in the property, or are you living away from the property?
Shayle:  We’re living away from the property, but my phone number is on it, and we’re getting a great response just from people passing by.
Kevin:  Are you picking up that people are thinking because it’s a private sale, they’ll probably get it a little bit less?
Shayle:  Most people don’t even realize that it’s a private sale. In fact, most of the comments are am I an independent real estate agent? I always say, of course, “No, I’m not. I’m the owner.” It seems to give people more confidence, because they know that I’ve designed the house myself, that I’ve been there project managing it the whole way through, and because we build a quality product, I’m finding they’re mainly impressed.
Kevin:  Are you keeping track of these people? How are you following up? Are you following up as you would imagine a real estate agent would?
Shayle:  Yes, I am. I ring them within two days of them visiting the property. A lot of people are just starting out on their journey of looking for the right property to buy. Some have been ready, and some aren’t.
Kevin:  Tell me about contracts and things like that. How have you overcome some of that? Because there are some things you have to be very careful when you’re selling a property.
Shayle:  Yes, absolutely. It’s part of having a good team around you. We’ve used a particular company for our conveyancing solicitor for the last six or eight properties, so we’re very happy with them. I went to them first and had them draw the contract up.
They went through with me the order of signing a contract, so I have the contract there ready with me at the house every time I do an open home for anybody who is interested, so they can take it straight back to their solicitor first.
Kevin:  As you can see, there is a lot of work. We are, unfortunately, out of time, Shayle, but I thank you.
I just want to mention here that, obviously, selling your home yourself is not an easy thing to do, you need to research it, as Shayle has said. It’s interesting, too, to note Shayle, I think it’s about 95% of people who actually attempt to sell their own place end up getting a real estate agent.
I’d like to come back and talk to you at the end of this process just to find out how it actually went for you, if you come back and join us then.
Shayle:  That would be terrific, Kevin. Thank you.
Kevin:  Wonderful. My guest has been Shayle Woods, and Shayle is selling her own property and doing it with the help of another regular guest on our show, Wendy Macdonald from We will track this through. We’ll come back and let you know in the weeks ahead what exactly does happen as Shayle attempts to sell her property.

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