Swap keys, save sale costs

Wednesday 17 April 2019

Swapping house keys could be a way for investors to avoid much of the hefty costs involved in the traditional sale process.

By The Landlord

Complaints about the costs involved with buying and selling properties are all too common but now there could be a novel way to avoid the expense.

A new web-based platform, called Hermitty, offers New Zealanders the chance to swap, rather than sell, their property - and it can help them save thousands of dollars on their significant life purchases.

Operating in a way similar to a dating app, people can list their property for free on the Hermitty website and then search and show interest in other properties by “liking” them.

Once properties have been mutually “liked” by other property owners, a one-off fee is paid to start a conversation.

This allows the visitor to message as many other property owners as they like and to control the marketing of their property.

Hermitty founder Chris Mackenzie says he was prompted to set up the platform after switching his own home when it was up for sale and finding it to be the easiest sale process he had been through.

He and his co-founder, Nic Foote, realised that this happens a lot and that there are a multitude of reasons where it makes sense for New Zealanders to switch homes.

These could include a shift in region, wanting to secure more desirable school zones or a change in circumstances that necessitates a downsize or upsize.

“We wanted to create a community that would facilitate bringing New Zealanders who are looking for a new home together, with a focus on swapping not selling.”

But one of the big attractions of the platform is that the one-off fee (of $98 plus GST) is considerably cheaper than the costs involved in the traditional sales process.

That’s because the commission fee on a home valued at the national median house price of $550,000 is between $17,000 and $25,000.

Mackenzie says the Hermitty platform empowers property owners to change house easily, saving stress and expense in the process.

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