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Can I Sell My House Without an Estate Agent?

Well, you have decided to put your house on the market and you have read plenty about the cost of using an estate agent, so no doubt the thought has crossed your mind about trying to sell your house yourself and to cut out the ‘middle man’. Is this really possible?

The most recent figures published by the Land Registry for June 2018 reveal that the average price of a property today is £223,257 – and £481,556 in London. The average commission charged by estate agents is 1.5% plus VAT so this means a charge of £4,018 nationwide and £8,668 in the capital – and that is a lot of money.

The answer to the question is most definitely ‘yes’, a property owner can sell their own property. In fact there are two ways to avoid these high estate agents’ charges – DIY or working with an online agency that charges a flat fee.

What’s the Secret to Selling Your Home?

The secret to success is you do decide to ‘fly solo’ is good planning of your marketing campaign and time. You must appreciate that to sell your house yourself will take up lots of time, so if you don’t think you will have this, it is worth considering the second option.

Before You Start

For a few weeks before you begin, it is essential to prepare your house to go on the market. Do this before anything as it will impact valuations and good photographs will be needed. If you need any inspiration on any of the points in this tick list, have a look at a couple of magazines with ideas on creating a beautiful home.

  • Do you have a grand entrance? Make sure your front garden looks clean and tidy and the paintwork on the house and garage looks good. Tidy dustbins away. First impressions really count.
  • Check that your back garden looks tidy too with nicely cut lawn and neatly trimmed bushes.
  • Make sure you have completed all those little DIY jobs that you have been promising to do for months.
  • If you have a ‘statement’ wall in any room, paint it over with a quiet neutral tone.
  • Have a major de-clutter campaign! Tackle each room in turn and clear away all the clutter – kitchens and bathrooms are particularly important rooms and kitchen work tops the most important area. De-cluttering your home will make it look much more spacious.
  • Give your home a good spring clean too so that it looks inviting.

An Accurate Valuation – the Next Important Step

The first essential thing to do is to get an accurate valuation of your property. If you try selling your house too cheaply, it will certainly sell fast but you will have lost out
financially and if you aim too high with the price, it is likely that you will have little interest shown and the property is likely to just stick on the market for months – and this in itself is off putting for house buyers.

There are several ways to get a valuation. Is there a similar property for sale in the same road? What is he asking price? There are several websites that can be used to ascertain the value and some estate agents offer a free valuation. It is cheeky, but there is no reason why you cannot ask any estate agent to give you a valuation and just say you are pondering what to do!

The most important point is not to rely on one valuation, get several so you can accurately pinpoint the value of your property.

Get an Energy Performance Certificate

It is a good idea to get an Energy Performance Certificate early on as it can take a little time to process. These certificates are available from a registered energy assessor.

At this stage it is worth contacting your solicitor to tell him your house selling plans.

Really Good Photographs Needed

This next task is definitely weather dependent as any property looks nicer if there is a blue sky and sunshine. A comprehensive selection of really good photographs is essential for both inside and out. Take your time and take plenty so that you can select the very best to use.

It could well be worth investing in the help of a home staging company as this can gain you an extra 5-8% on your property price.

Prepare Your Advertising Campaign

Good advertising is essential and must be well planned – which will take time and effort. Attention to detail is essential too.

The marketing world has changed dramatically in the last few years and most buyers now search online. There are several sites that will advertise your property free of charge and this is the perfect way to access a large number of potential buyers. These companies often advertise on multiple sites and some even provide a ‘for sale’ board’ for your front garden! Others will make a floor plan.

Ready for Viewing

Before welcoming your first buyers, it is a good idea to think about all the positive points of your house so that you can highlight these.

Make sure you have done your homework and know about any building or road plans for the area plus and new facilities that are planned such as a medical centre or sports facility. Check that you know about local schools and other facilities for children.

You can arrange viewings for a day and time that is suitable to both you and the buyer. It is a good idea to have someone else in the house when you conduct viewings.

Negotiate the Price

Give some thought in advance to the question ‘what is the lowest price you will accept’? Don’t be tempted to accept an offer that is too low as you know that your asking price is a fair one that you have carefully researched!

Once you and the buyer are happy with the price, you must contact your solicitor who will guide you through the property sale.

It’s now that you may miss your estate agent. Dealing with buyers, chains and moving dates can be a nightmare but good, honest communication is usually the key to a successful sale.

This content has been provided to us by Chris Stevens. Whilst believed to be factually correct, we cannot accept responsibility for content contained within it.

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About the author

Starting his career in Estate Agency, Jeff quickly moved up the ranks to manage his own office for Halifax Property Services. Co-founding Speed Property Buyers in 2008, he has applied this knowledge and overseen rapid expansion of the business.