Is selling a house without an Estate Agent a viable option?
Selling a house without an estate agent can be done fairly quickly, but is it a matter of saving pennies but costing pounds?
Property values fell sharply during the years after the banking crash of 2008, leaving thousands of homeowners owing debt than their home was worth. Many people were motivated by this to save money during the house selling process by going it alone, without the expert services of an experienced estate agent.
There is nothing legally preventing you from selling a house without an estate agent, marketing your home privately and dealing with the myriad of issues related to the house selling process yourself. However, it’s important to understand what you’re getting yourself into before you take the plunge by selling your home yourself. Estate agents bring experience, know-how and a network of buyers and contacts to the table – as well as the time required to maximise the value of property. If you possess all these attributes, great; but if you don’t, you should consider if a private sale is a false economy.
If you are seriously considering selling without an estate agent, there are factors that you need to take into account.
Is selling a house without an Estate Agent a viable option?
There is absolutely nothing stopping you from selling your property online. In fact, there are several excellent online services and free tools available to help you do so. However, you should still have an understanding of how property sales operate, the specifics of your local market and the legal issues involved.
The decision to sell your house online could save you money, as much as two percent of the final sale price. So, if you sell for £200,000 using online resources alone, you stand to save £4,000 – minus the cost of listing your property on a property website such as Rightmove. You may also save time, as there will be no need to communicate with a third party over various issues related to the process; you’ll be in charge of marketing, and you’ll also be the one making the decisions.
Selling your house online means you will need to take your photographs, compile your listing, manage the property viewing process, organise a Home Information Pack and deal with price negotiations. These are stressful, time-consuming tasks, so it may be worth talking to someone who has gone through the process before you make your final decision.
What should I do if I can’t sell my house?
The usual cost of an Internet property listing is only £100 to £500, so cutting your losses and switching to an estate agent shouldn’t be a financial disaster. However, before you do that, you may want to search for online property forums and discussion boards, as they can often put you in touch with people looking for a property just like yours.
It’s also important not to disregard the offline world just because you have decided on selling a house without an Estate Agent. Flyers, word of mouth, newspaper listings and open house events can all work hand-in-hand with your digital marketing strategy – finding you serious buyers far more quickly.
If you have exhausted all your marketing options, searching ‘can’t sell my house’ on a major search engine will provide you with a list of so-called ‘buy my house’ companies. If you are determined to avoid estate agents and the charges they bring, these services could be the answer. They have relationships with buyers and investors throughout the UK and beyond, and they will deal with the entire house buying process on your behalf. Find a company that doesn’t charge you upfront fees for their services, and you could save yourself a small fortune while securing the quick sale you’re seeking.
Selling your house privately
Whether or not you should consider selling your home privately, selling a house without an Estate Agent, will depend on your personal circumstances. If money is tight and you need every penny to go towards the settling of your mortgage or the purchase of your next home, you might want to consider selling privately. However, you should prepare yourself for a stressful and time-consuming process.
If you live in an area that is in high demand amongst buyers, a private sale may not be a risky proposition. However, if your location is affected by stagnating property values, the most cost-effective move you can make is to hire a professional. Estate agents and property specialists will be able to use their contacts in the industry to widen the reach of your property listing, and that could be the difference between achieving a lower-than-average price and selling it at a premium.
Fortunately, there are several guides to negotiating the property market without an estate agent; just perform a web search using the term ‘sell my house privately’ to get started.
Can I sell my house and rent it back?
A lot of people decide to free up the capital locked away in their home’s value by signing up to so-called equity release programmes. In some cases, this means sacrificing a portion of your home’s equity in exchange for a lump sum of cash. However, it can also mean selling your home in its entirety and being allowed to live in it for a period afterwards.
There are lots of companies in the UK currently offering ‘sell my house and rent it back’ services, but you should do your homework before deciding which of them to use – or indeed whether it’s the right move for you. If you choose to sell your home and immediately rent it back, then deal with a reputable company. Strict regulations govern the conduct of companies offering such services, for example;
- Companies must check if you can afford the repayments? They should also inform you of how a sale could affect any benefits you’re claiming.
- An independent third party must conduct the valuation for your home.
- A statutory cooling-off period of 14 days is required.
- You must be given a five-year lease on your property on a fixed-term basis.
Should I sell my house myself?
When deciding ‘should I sell my house’, you should be honest with yourself about how much free time you have to devote to the process. You should also be reasonably knowledgeable about the law and the processes involved. If you have the time and know-how, and your home is in an area that is in high demand amongst buyers, you might be able to save the cost of estate agents’ fee without reducing your property’s price potential.
Should I sell my house quickly?
If you are in need of a quick sale, and you live in an area in reasonably high demand amongst buyers, you can sell your home quickly by setting your asking price at the lower end of average sale prices in your area. You will have to live with the fact that you could be losing money in doing this. Alternatively, you could enlist the services of a ‘buy my house’ service. Search for ‘sell my house quickly’ or “sell my house” using an Internet search engine such as Google, and you will be able to peruse the leading companies in the UK. However, you should check that no upfront fees are required. The company you choose should make you an offer that is fair and reflects the current state of the market. Some house buying specialists have paid on average 94 percent of the value of the homes they buy. If you are fortunate, you could receive this or even more.
How do I sell my house myself?
The nuts and bolts for the sale of a house are quite simple, as there are dozens of online property directories available. You can list your home for sale on the likes of Zoopla and Rightmove for around £100, but you’ll need to take photographs and write some engaging descriptions of the rooms in your home. You can employ the services of a solicitor or conveyancer to deal with the legal issues involved, or there are some in-depth online articles on the subject if you want to process the entire sale yourself. Of course, you will need to manage property viewings and price negotiations yourself, but if you have the time and a reasonable knowledge of how property transaction works, this shouldn’t be a problem. There is an enormous amount of advice and guidance online, and you can find it by performing a web search using the term ‘selling a house without an Estate Agent!’