Alanah Eriksen is the New Zealand Herald's deputy chief of staff

House buyers flock to tweets

Annabel and Elton McAleer, pictured with 3-month-old Frankie and 23-month-old Enzo, are making the most of Twitter and Facebook. Photo / Sarah Ivey
Annabel and Elton McAleer, pictured with 3-month-old Frankie and 23-month-old Enzo, are making the most of Twitter and Facebook. Photo / Sarah Ivey

Their property has seen two busy open homes and 3000 views on Trade Me, all without the help of a real estate agent.

Annabel and Elton McAleer listed their three-bedroom duplex at 2/80A Captain Scott Rd in Glen Eden, Auckland last Wednesday night. Within 24 hours, 1700 people had viewed it online.

Using the hashtag "#sexydecks" because of the big, sunny, split-level deck, the couple are promoting the home through Twitter under @captainscottnz, and have also set up a Facebook page. The 80sq m house has a valuation of $320,000.

A real estate agent would cost between $16,000 and $20,000, which Mrs McAleer said was too much for something they believe they can do themselves.

"We had one agent who felt sure he had a buyer for this place. He thought it was just perfect for a couple that he knew of and he wanted to show them through. Obviously if he did that, that would be his client and we would pay his fee.

And I just thought, 'that's an afternoon's work, for potentially $16,000 to $20,000'."

A marketing company has taken photos and put an advertisement in a local newspaper. It is up to the McAleers to take potential buyers through open homes and take pre-auction offers. They wrote their own ad for Trade Me.

A licensed auctioneer will perform an auction at the property next weekend. Open homes last weekend saw a steady stream of people through and the couple are expecting more this weekend.

The idea to sell themselves came during the couple's six-month hunt for their new property, also in Glen Eden.

"We saw over 60 homes, five of which we went for but lost through quick sales or auctions," Mr McAleer said.

"We learned a lot about the process of buying and selling and began toying with the idea of selling privately ... in the current market there are so many buyers and so few houses that we figured we could sell without need of an agent."

They believe real estate agents are missing out not using social media tools.

The couple are moving because Mr McAleer, 41, needs more office space for his business, which sells products to the print industry.

Mrs McAleer, 37, said one of the best things about selling privately was that they could tell potential buyers everything they had liked about living at the property, "like the antenatal class we loved, or the local swimming pool".

- NZ Herald

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