Updated 14 May 2022
Many homeowners believe that the first step to selling their property must be to contact an estate agent. However, the traditional on-market route to selling a house adds a hefty cost to the house sale process.
Selling a house privately is an alternative route that can help you avoid expenses such as estate agent’s fees, which can amount to roughly 3% of your house’s sale price. On a £288,000 home (the average house price in the UK in October 2021), that works out at £8,640.
Add conveyancing fees, the ongoing costs of mortgage repayments and property maintenance, not to mention home improvements and repairs, and it’s easy to understand why a private house sale can be a more attractive option to many sellers.
Selling a House Privately Checklist
A private house sale involves the homeowner selling their property directly to a buyer without engaging the services of an estate agent (thereby sidestepping their fees).
But what is the process when selling a house privately? The property experts at House Buyer Bureau have put together this handy checklist to help you understand how private house sales work and get you started.
1. Choose Whether to Go It Alone or Get Some Help
There are companies that can help you sell your home without an estate agent (allowing you to avoid the extra fees). A reputable house buying service such as House Buyer Bureau will buy your property directly from you for cash, and there are no fees to pay.
Our offer will be slightly below market value, but you’ll save thousands of pounds by not shelling out for many of the costs associated with an open market sale — check out our price comparison chart here. It’s a speedy, hassle-free option, and we can offer completion in as little as seven days.
You may prefer to handle the whole sale yourself. This can seem like an appealing idea in a buoyant market with plenty of buyers chasing a small number of properties for sale. But beware that going solo will involve a lot of time and effort as you’ll have no agent to advertise your home, conduct viewings or guide you through the sales process.
2. Decide on Your Asking Price
Setting a realistic asking price is key to securing a timely sale. Properties that are priced right in the first listing are twice as likely to find a buyer than those which are initially overpriced and then reduced.
To value your property accurately, research similar properties locally that have recently sold to gauge what is a fair asking price for your home. It’s also worth checking out similar properties that have been sitting on the market for a long time — are they priced competitively? Consider the condition of your house, the current market, local amenities and any unique selling points, such as a new designer kitchen or state-of-the-art garden studio.
3. Make Repairs and Home Improvements
Spending time and money on a house you don’t plan to live in may seem counterintuitive, but making a few improvements could mean the difference between a quick sale for a great price and a lengthy wait for a buyer who tries to beat you down.
There are some easy wins that could boost the appeal of your home without too much effort or expense. Make sure the property is clean and clutter-free before viewings. Check off small DIY tasks such as mending broken taps or painting shabby woodwork.
Consider the first impression potential buyers will have of your property — can you spruce up the front garden or paint the front door to add curb appeal?
Download our guide, “Home Improvements for a Quick Sale”
4. Advertise Your Property
If you’ve elected to sell your home privately, you’ll need to carefully consider how, where and when to advertise your home. While some people sell their homes to people relocating from far away, it’s more likely you’ll find a buyer locally. Place ads in local newspapers, community magazines, newsletters and other local publications with good circulation. Put up a “For Sale” sign to attract passers-by — you’ll have to create this yourself if you’re not using an agent. It may also be worth investing in professional photography and paying someone to create a floor plan for your adverts.
Research suggests that the number of people who start their property search online is as high as 95%. Marketing your home online is a must. There is an almost infinite choice of places to advertise online, from marketplaces such as Gumtree and local forums to established property sites. However, the major property portals will only host ads by estate agents that pay a monthly subscription fee.
Selling directly to a genuine house buying service will save you the considerable time and stress of marketing your own home. House Buyer Bureau buys property in any condition and location in the UK. We can make you a free cash offer almost immediately, so why not get in touch?
5. Conduct Property Viewings
Unless you have a highly desirable property and are selling in a very healthy property market, you’ll probably need to arrange dozens of viewings before finding the right buyer. Many people will ask for a second or even third viewing before they’re ready to make an offer.
Make sure the property is well presented inside and out before every viewing. Constant cleaning and tidying are time-consuming and far from fun, but a messy, dirty home will instantly turn-off many buyers.
6. Negotiate and Sell
Most buyers will try to negotiate on the asking price, especially in a buyers’ market.
Before entering negotiations, you must understand what the house is worth and the sale price you need to achieve to reach your goals — be that to upgrade to a larger property or fund a new business venture.
Once a sale is agreed upon, you’ll need to instruct a solicitor or conveyancer to guide the sales process towards an agreed completion date.
If you want to bypass the stress, time and hassle of marketing and selling your property, talk to us. We can make you a cash offer within 24 hours. If you decide to go ahead with the sale, our team of expert house buyers will take care of everything! There’s no hard sell and no obligation to buy until contracts are exchanged.
Is Selling a House Privately Right for You?
There are considerable savings to be made by ditching the estate agent and going it alone. But, how do you know if it’s the right choice for you?
- How much free time do you have?
Marketing and selling a house independently can take up considerable time, which you may struggle to find if your life is full and busy.
- Is it a buyers’ or a sellers’ market?
It will be quicker and easier to sell in a market where demand for properties outstrips supply.
- Are you selling a “problem” property?
- How fast do you need to sell your property?
If you need to sell your house fast, selling privately may not deliver the quick sale you need. Unless you sell to a quick house sale company like House Buyer Bureau — we can buy your property for cash in as little as 7 days!
- Do you already have a private buyer in mind?
If you know someone who is interested, be that an individual or a house buying company that you trust, you’re already halfway to a sale!
Get a Quick Sale by Selling Your House Privately
A private sale is a great way to reduce the costs — such as estate agent fees — associated with a traditional on-market sale. But there are potential pitfalls to going it alone.
Marketing properties is a professional skill, and it’s easy to miss out on great opportunities to engage with potential buyers. Furthermore, advertising (if you do it well) is extremely time-consuming, making it challenging for sellers who have work and family commitments.
Likewise, conducting viewings will take up hours of your time, potentially meaning cancelled social plans and time off work.
The negotiation stage is especially difficult for homeowners to manage effectively. Property professionals have no attachment to your home and a solid grasp of the market, putting them in an excellent position to negotiate objectively and knowledgeably. It can be easy for a homeowner to turn down a great offer due to personal conflicts or misunderstanding their property’s value.
Want to save yourself the time, hassle and stress of selling privately while still saving on estate agents fees?
House Buyer Bureau has the funds to buy your home directly from you for cash. We can offer completion in as little as seven days. There are no fees, no need for viewings, and we can even complete a FREE valuation remotely using your photos and videos.