Many people assume they must enlist the services of an estate agent to sell their property. But with the average agent fee reaching 1.53% of the sale price in October 2019 and some vendors being charged as much as 3.97% in premium locations, an increasing number of people are choosing to strike out on their own.
It is possible to sell your home privately or through a property auction instead of taking the traditional route of hiring an estate agent to do the job for you. In this guide, we’ll look at what private sale options are available, and consider the benefits and potential pitfalls to help you decide if selling a property without an estate agent is the right choice for you.
What Is a Private House Sale?
If you choose to sell your home privately, you will sell directly to the buyer — be that an individual purchaser, property development company or a cash buying service. There is no need to pay for the services of an estate agent, which could save you thousands of pounds in fees.
Is a Private House Sale a Good Idea?
If the property market is booming, with houses moving fast and plenty of potential buyers, selling your home without an estate agent can be a great idea.
However, it may not be the right choice for everyone. Going solo means a lot more effort is required from you to make sure the property sells. You’ll have to make sure you market the property effectively, schedule and conduct all viewings and coordinate the sale process once a purchase is agreed. Whether this effort is worth the savings made on estate agent fees is a personal choice and may depend on how easy your property is to sell.
If you decide to sell your property to a house buying service, the process will be quick and painless with a lot of the effort made by the purchaser. You’ll still avoid agent fees and will walk away with a sum of cash in as little as seven days.
Top Tips for Selling Property without an Estate Agent
If you do decide to go it alone, make the process as easy as possible by following a few simple steps.
Make the House Attractive to Buyers
We’re not talking about major renovation works here, but if you’re taking on the task of selling a property, make it as easy to do so as possible by presenting the house well.
If there are minor jobs — such as leaky taps or peeling wallpaper — that can be remedied quickly and at a low cost, get them fixed. Make sure the property is clean, tidy and clutter-free when viewings take place. Time visits with care. If the garden captures the early evening sun beautifully, encourage potential buyers to view when the property is looking its best.
Set a Realistic Price
Price may be the part that is most intimidating for a seller who is not a property professional. How do you know what the property is worth without an estate agent telling you? Simple. Take a look on websites such as Rightmove and find out how much similar properties are being marketed at. It’s important to also look up the recent sale prices for properties in your area as the asking price and the realistic sale price may differ significantly. Estate agents tend to give optimistic valuations to encourage vendors to sign with them.
Advertise with Care
When writing a property description and displaying photographs, it’s important to show the property at its best without being misleading about what’s on offer. Keep the description concise and consider the target market when choosing the tone and wording of the ad. Use a good quality camera and take plenty of shots from different angles and at varying times of the day. Choose the images that make the property look most attractive without suggesting it has something to offer it does not. There’s no point enticing potential buyers to view who will be instantly put off by the tiny garden made to look acres wide in the advert.
Place ads in local magazines, directories and newspapers. There may be interested parties further afield, but the chances are most potential buyers will be those already living in and around the area — unless you have a particularly grand or unique property to sell.
Negotiate the Sale
An estate agent acts as an intermediary between potential buyers and the vendor. They ensure negotiations on price and other matters don’t get personal and remain professional. Without an agent to manage the negotiation, you’ll have to take charge.
Regardless of how unreasonable requests from the buyer may seem, it’s important to stay calm and professional to secure a sale. Decide your limitations and deal-breakers before entering negotiations. Is there a deadline by which the sale absolutely must take place? How much are you willing to move on price?
If you choose to sell to a cash buying service, the process is straightforward and quick. The House Buyer Bureau’s online cash offer enquiry form takes just 60 seconds to complete. Once we receive your form, one of our friendly team will get in touch to make a cash offer (subject to a property valuation).
Instruct a Solicitor
Whether you agree to a sale with a private individual or a house buying service, you will need to instruct a solicitor or licensed surveyor once a formal offer is accepted.
The solicitor will walk you through the process of exchanging contracts and completing the sale.
Selling a property without an estate agent can save thousands of pounds in fees. At the House Buying Bureau, we have made the process as quick and easy as possible. Once a formal offer is agreed, the cash can be in your bank account in as little as seven days. Contact our friendly team of experts today to discuss your requirements or take the first step to sell your house by filling in our 60-second online enquiry form.