When it comes to selling a house, there are lots of different routes that you can go down. Estate agencies, auction houses, and cash buyers are but a few ways people can achieve the all-important sale. But what about forgoing all the other methods and selling your house privately instead?
Selling your home privately is becoming an ever-increasingly popular choice amongst sellers across the UK. Rather than selling their property through an estate agent, many people are now choosing to save money on the fees and instead undertake the task of selling their homes on their own.
There are multiple reasons why people may decide to do this, it could be to save money by cutting down on estate agent fees or maybe they have already found a buyer for their property, and they wish to cut out the middleman.
In this blog post, we will be looking at what a private house sale means, how you can achieve this, as well as the pros and cons of selling your property on your own.
Looking for a quick answer? Check out our drop-down menu below!
- What does it mean to sell a house privately?
- Pros and cons of selling your home without an estate agent
- Step-by-step guide to selling your home privately
- How long does it take to sell your house privately?
- Is it worth selling a house without an estate agent?
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What does it mean to sell a house privately?
To sell a house privately means that you will be selling without an estate agent. This means that the entire house selling process will fall on your shoulders, from finding potential buyers, to advertising the property, hosting viewings, setting an asking price, handling negotiations and getting an energy performance certificate.
The only time when you would need to get another party involved in the private house sale is once you have accepted an offer and you need to instruct a solicitor or conveyancer to sort through the legal side of things.
Pros and cons of selling your home without an estate agent
As with any house selling decision, selling a house privately comes with both pros and cons. If you are considering selling without an agent, then below are some of the reasons why as a homeowner, selling a house privately may be the right choice for you.
- The biggest advantage to selling your house without an estate agent is that it is a fairly inexpensive selling soloution. The cost of advertising your property is relatively small, and you won’t have to worry about estate agents’ fees.
- If you are selling your house privately without an estate agent to a relative or a friend, then you will not need to find a buyer.
- You are your own priority. When you sell with an agent, they will have multiple sales to be getting on with at the same time, but when you sell your own home, you won’t have to compete with other sellers.
- Another advantage to selling your home without an estate agent is that you will be able to start the selling process as soon as you wish to.
- If you are selling privately then any mistakes that you make will fall solely onto your shoulders.
- Unless you already know someone or have a friend or family member, you may struggle to find a buyer as you will not have access to an estate agents list of clients. This can have a knock-on effect on the sale, leading to a longer sell time and reduced interest.
- Learning how to sell without the help of an estate agent will require a lot of effort and can be a difficult skill to master.
- Arranging property viewings is another downside to selling a house without an agent.
Step-by-step guide to selling your home privately
Now that you have weighed up the pros and the cons to selling your property without using an estate agent, it is time to decide whether or not it is the right choice for you. Below we have outlined the process of selling a house privately without using a traditional estate agent:
1.Set your asking price
Setting your asking price is one of the most important parts of the house selling process so it is critical that you be as through as you can be in the research that you do. Because you will not have an agent to do the valuation of the property for you, you will need to use online valuation tools to settle on an asking price.
According to Thisismoney, properties that are priced correctly the first time around are twice as likely to find a buyer than those who overprice their homes and then reduce.
You can also use property portals and price indexes to keep an eye on changes in price on the open market. Another handy tip is to invite a few local estate agents out to give you a rough valuation of the property as whilst you do not have to use them, many will offer a free valuation.
2.Prepare your property
If you have decided to sell your property privately, then you will need to prepare your home for sale. As it will be a private sale, you will not have an estate agent there to talk the house up for you, so it is up to have your home looking its best. People looking to buy your home will be searching for as many faults as possible, so by reducing the amount of flaws for them to pick at you will increase your chance of reaching your asking price.
3.List the property
As you are selling without the help of an estate agent, you will be in charge of advertising your property. There are a few ways that you can go about doing this, whether it is advertising in the local paper, community magazines, in regional newsletters or online. In order to catch the attention of people passing by your property you should put up a for sale outside. As you are selling privately you may have to make this yourself. You will also need to be sure that you create a floor plan to include alongside your advertisement.
Whilst there is nothing wrong with the traditional means of advertising your property, it is wise to look at advertising online and on social media as well. According to research done by hip-consultant, around 95% of people start their property journey online. It is worth noting that as you will not be using an agent, you will be unable to list your home on property portals such as Rightmove or Zoopla. However, there are plenty of free sites that are aimed at private sellers that you will be able to advertise on.
4.Arrange property viewings
Should you choose to sell your home privately, it will be up to you to conduct house viewings and to show potential buyers around your home. This can be a time-consuming process as it involves taking time off from work, arranging when is best with potential buyers
Viewings are a real make or break moment in the selling process, if buyers don’t like what they see they could be put off so it is crucial that you have your house looking pristine on every viewing, not just the first couple.
More than likely your buyer may try and negotiate on the price. When you go into negotiations you need to be prepared for what this will entail, you need to be aware of exactly how much your property is worth, all of its flaws and amenities. You should always try and negotiate in person where possible as it is easier to get a better understanding of the buyer.
Once they have made an offer that you are happy with, you are ready to move onto the final step in the process!
Whilst you have been able to sell your home without the help of an estate agent, now it is the time to bring in backup. It is at this point in the sale that you will need to bring in either a solicitor or a conveyancer to help you progress the legal side of your property sale. When it comes to choosing a solicitor, you will need to think carefully, look over the reviews checking to see the speed at which they can progress the sale, how much experience they have and what their customer service is like.
How long does it take to sell your house privately?
There is no real timescale for how long a private house sale should take as you will still more than likely be selling on the open market. If you are selling on the housing market, the average sale time is between 2-3 months. The factors that will affect your private house sale are:
- Property market trends, are prices high or low?
- Your property is priced too high
- The desirability of the area you are selling in
- The condition and size of your property
Is it worth selling a house without an estate agent?
Selling a property without an estate agent’s help can be worth it, but it depends entirely upon you and your personal circumstance. If you have a background in sales or feel confident in your ability to sell then it may be the selling method for you, however you need to be aware that whilst the savings that you can make may be sizeable, it is time-consuming.
However, if you are not sure that you up to the commitments and challenges that selling a house privately brings, then you may be better off leaving the property sale to an estate agent.
This covers everything you need to know about selling your house privately, if you have any questions, queries or insight please feel free to get in touch!