Although most people hire an estate agent to help them sell their house, the numbers of those doing it themselves are increasing. The digital revolution has made it much easier to carry out many of the services agents provide. However there are lots to think about and not everybody will be confident enough to go it alone.
If you’d rather not take on the work of an estate agent or pay their fees, working with us is a good alternative. Not only are no agents involved, but we also cover the cost of valuations and solicitors.
Cutting down costs
The main reason people opt to do it themselves is to save money. Estate agent fees are usually between 1% and 2% of the sale value of a property. Other than stamp duty they are the largest cost involved in a housing transaction.
On a home of £300,000, the fees are likely to be between £3,000 and £6,000. The temptation to avoid those is understandable. But you will still need to pay for a qualified professional to carry out conveyancing, which is the legal process of transferring the ownership of a property.
You may also need to pay marketing costs, such as taking photos of your home and advertising it. You should also factor in how much of your time it will take and what value you place on that.
Is DIY right for you?
Some people fall into doing it themselves. If a relative is buying your home, or a stranger has expressed an interest in buying in the area, it’s sensible to carry on without an agent since much of their work is done.
However, there’s a lot to consider if you’re taking on the process from the beginning. Do you want to move quickly? Do you have enough knowledge of what’s required? Do you have the time to organise and carry it out? Are you happy conducting viewings of your home? Are you comfortable negotiating directly with people?
If you can, talk to others who have done it and ask how they found the experience. Also research your local market, if homes are selling quickly it’ll be easier to sell your house without an agent. In slower markets their skills often come to the fore. Either way you can always dip your toe in before opting for an agent if it doesn’t work out or turn to us for a fast, guaranteed sale.
Once you’ve decided to sell your home without an estate agent, following these steps will give you a good chance of success.
Assess the market:
- Decide when to put your home on the market. Spring is traditionally the time when most buyers are looking, but this can vary depending on the size and type of home you have. Also find out what the market is like in your local area and if there are any development plans that will impact the desirability of your home. For example, you may want to wait for a planning decision on a regeneration project before marketing your property, since this will influence how you position it.
- Work out what the asking price for your home should be. You can see how much homes in your area have recently sold for, which will also estimate your home’s value. If you are weighing up using the services of an agent they will give your home a market appraisal, including a recommended asking price.
Prepare your home:
- Fix problems and decorate rooms that are looking tired. Add simple touches such as pot plants, rugs and interesting lighting to bring character to a room.
- Commission an energy performance certificate. Each home sold must have one and buyers may ask to see it.
- Hire a photographer to take pictures of your home. If you take them yourself use the best equipment you can get hold of and consider how best to present each room. Making sure they’re tidy and full of natural light is a good place to start. Remember pictures have a huge influence on whether a potential buyer chooses to book a viewing.
- Measure your rooms and design a floor plan. You can either use the one you were given when you bought the house if nothing has changed, or create your own using one of several floor plan apps.
- Write a description of your home and all the rooms. Don’t feel you need to use generic estate agent jargon, instead focus on your target audience – do you have a family home or an apartment that would suit first time buyers? Imagine what would attract them to a property and bring that out in your description.
If you need help with photographs, designing floor plans or writing enticing descriptions you can hire relatively cost effective professionals on sites such as peopleperhour.
Spread the word:
- Post on social media and in local forums.
- List your homes on sites such as Gumtree and Facebook which has a home sales section in its Marketplace platform.
- Place adverts in local newspapers, newsletters and magazines.
- Put up your own ‘for sale’ sign.
Get ready for viewings:
- Not everybody is comfortable doing these, but remember you know more about your home and the local area than anybody else.
- Plan the route you’ll take during a viewing and try to end it in the most impressive part of your home.
- Book them for a time when you know you’ll have had a chance to tidy beforehand.
- On the tour accentuate the positives but don’t try to oversell your home, buyers are likely to see through this.
- Afterwards, let them wander around without you so they can discuss what they think and come back to you with questions.
Dealing with offers
Hopefully taking these steps will generate some offers for your home. Without an estate agent, you will have to conduct all the negotiations when you receive them.
You can ask people to send offers by email if you feel uneasy doing it face to face. Remember, you do not have to accept an offer even if it is for the asking price. You can say you are waiting to see if there is more interest and will bear the offer in mind.
Once you’ve accepted an offer you will need to let your solicitor know so they can start conveyancing.
However if you don’t manage to get any offer and don’t want to deal with estate agents due to fees. Take a look at how we can help you sell your home quickly.
Working with us
In many situations selling a house yourself isn’t feasible. Perhaps you need to move quickly or are selling after an inheritance or during a divorce, when you’re already overburdened with admin jobs. Perhaps you simply need access to funds as soon as possible.
In cases like these many people opt to work with us because of our experience buying houses in difficult circumstances. If you’d like to chat about what we can do for you to sell your house quickly, please get in touch.