A Complete Guide to Selling Your House Without an Estate Agent

Homeowners currently looking to sell their property could not have chosen a better time than now to do so. House prices are constantly increasing and more money is being provided by the government to improve mortgage lending. Therefore, it is more of a seller’s property market than it has been for a while. To get the most out of selling your house, you should consider skipping the services of an estate agent and make the sale yourself. You’ll be saving quite a bundle on estate agents’ fees as a result. If you are ready to take the first step to completing the sale of your house yourself, it is important to know what you’re getting into, from start to finish.

What You Need To Know About Selling Your House without an Estate Agent

In the past, selling a house without an estate agent was unthinkable. An estate agent needed to be contacted after the decision to sell had been made, because he or she had the necessary access to ready buyers and could take care of the viewings and sales process. Nowadays however, a real estate agent is just one way to sell your house and the option to sell without an agent is one many homeowners are choosing.

Involving an estate agent in the sale of a house can be quite costly and time consuming. For instance, the initial market price set by an estate agent for your house might be very different (i.e. lower) from the price the house eventually gets sold for. This, after being on the market for the months, having spent time and money to keep the house in perfect condition to show to countless viewers.

However, skipping an estate agent will save you a small fortune. Estate agents charge anywhere between 0.75 % and 3.5% of the property price, costing you thousands of pounds. The internet offers plenty of ways for you to sell your house by yourself when you advertise online. Buyers first search the internet and peruse big property portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla when looking for a new property. Sadly, private sellers cannot advertise directly on these sites. ‘For sale by owner’ websites offer plenty of opportunities to advertise your property.

Selling Your Home Online

There’s a wide range of choices available when it comes to selling your own home online. There are sites that offer a simple listing, while others provide a more comprehensive service, including taking pictures, arranging viewings and helping with negotiations. Fees for such sites range from £40 to £600, depending on the one you choose.

The internet offers the most effective marketing medium for attracting interested house buyers to your property. According to research, most first time buyers begin their search for property online. By taking advantage of the internet, you can easily (and cheaply) reach over three million prospective buyers for your property. Selling your home online means that you are responsible for showing potential buyers around your home, which could be a big advantage. This is because you know your house better than any estate agent and are in the best position to sell it.

As soon as you have decided on how much you are willing to sell for – and have a good set of clear and attractive photographs of your property – your next step should be to sign up with a ‘private sale’ website. By doing so, you can increase the number of potential buyers your property is marketed to and achieve your aim of finding a buyer privately and keeping any sale proceeds for yourself.

Risks Involved In Selling Without an Estate Agent

Selling your house without an estate agent might not be as easy as you think. If you are going to take the plunge selling by yourself, you need to know the risks involved and decide if they are worth taking. Firstly, consider the location of the house you want to sell. How close do you live to it and how fast can you get there to show potential buyers around? Advertising could be as simple as putting a ‘For Sale’ board outside in the hopes of attracting passers by, but your pool of buyers would be relatively small.

Most house-hunters start their search online, and estate agents can help you list your home on some of the biggest property websites online. In addition, an estate agent will ensure that your house is marketed at the right price, and not at an overvalued or an undervalued price. They have more experience in terms of negotiating a good deal on fittings and contents of your house, or providing answers to questions regarding any work that needs to be done on the house, while helping to share costs between you and the buyer.

What’s The Process of Selling Your House without a Realtor?

  • Get a Valuation

Getting a valuation is the first step to selling your house without an estate agent. This means working out the right valuation for your house or deciding (within reason) how much you would like it to sell for. Researching the price of land and homes in your area can provide you with an idea of your home’s worth. Even when you aren’t using an estate agent, you can still get free valuations from some in your local area, who would be happy to help you work out a price.

  • Advertise your home

The next step is to advertise your property, using an online company for a fixed fee or for free. Online companies offer most of the services traditional estate agents offer, including free valuation or providing a ‘For sale’ board outside your house. To advertise for free, take some great pictures of your house, making sure to highlight the best features, whether it is a bungalow, cottage or semi-detached house. Then, write a catchy and concise description to accompany it and list it on free websites or in supermarkets.

  • Get an Energy Performance Certificate

Before putting your property on the market, ensure you can provide an Energy Performance Certificate for it. It makes sense to do this before you advertise your home for sale. A registered energy assessor can do the necessary assessments for you and you can find one on the EPC register website.

  • Organise Viewings

Potential buyers who make contact with you to express an interest in your house, need to see for themselves what they want to buy. Simply agree on a convenient time for them to view your house. You will need to discuss all the different aspects of your house and answer questions about why you want to move, so be prepared for that. It is also important to have someone else present for security reasons.

  • Handle Price Negotiations

Before starting the negotiation stage with a buyer, the lowest price you’re willing to drop to should already be decided by you. However impatient you might get to complete the sale, it is recommended that you do not drop below that price. Even after you have turned down a low offer, there is always the chance to reconsider and accept the price, if no other buyers come your way. After a buyer has been secured, a solicitor can be contacted to help you complete the sale.

How to Sell your House Fast

If you are selling your house yourself, preparing the right way can make a big difference in how quickly it gets off the market. In other words, increase the selling points of your house to make the sale as fast and as easy as possible. Generally, repairs are important and will either make or break your sale. Begin with minor repairs such as:

  • Replacing cracked floors or counter tiles
  • Fixing leaky faucets
  • Replacing burnt-out light bulbs
  • Patching holes in walls
  • Painting walls in a neutral colour
  • Repairing kitchen drawers that jam or doors that don’t close properly

A storage room is an excellent option to consider if you are still living in the house during viewings. Less furniture in a room naturally improves the look, so remove unnecessary pieces and store them away. Make your dining room appear larger by removing extra chairs. Each room only needs just enough furniture to show what it is used for.

Even though kitchens and bathrooms are the rooms that typically sell houses, don’t renovate unless you are prepared to do a thorough job. Simply tidy it up, replace the damaged bits and paint over old and worn out wood panelling.

You can certainly set your home up for a quick sale, even when you are working without an estate agent. Attracting buyers is a straightforward process that involves setting the right price and fixing your house to give an excellent first impression. With careful planning and professional presentation, you can turn your home into an irresistible and marketable piece of property.

Published on 31st October 2017

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