Are you thinking about selling your home and wondering whether you need an estate agent? This article will guide you on the advantages and disadvantages of selling your home privately without using an estate agent. Further, it will provide tips on selling your home yourself.
What do estate agents do?
The main job of an estate agent is to market and promote your home for sale. Estate agents help you with coming down to a value to sell your home at. Further, the estate agent will conduct viewings, represent you in the negotiation process with potential buyers, and collaborate with all the parties involved (i.e. mortgage lender, conveyancer, and buyer).
Many estate agents also offer in-house services. It is best to avoid them.
How much does an estate agent cost?
Estate agents work primarily in two ways. They will either work on a percentage commission basis or a fixed fee basis. Percentage based commission can vary anywhere between 1% to 3% of the final selling price. You will be paying the estate agent a few good thousand pounds.
Should you axe the estate agent?
This is a tough question. It can save you a good thousand pounds if you sell your home without an estate agent. However, there are afew essential things you should consider before you make a decision.
- Do you have a good amount of free time on your hands? You will need time to market your home for sale, arrange viewings, and collaborate with potential buyers. If you do not have time available, then it is best to hire an estate agent.
- Is there someone willing to purchase the house from you? In this case, selling your home yourself may be a good option.
- Are you willing to work hard, are organised, and patient? If you are not aware of what you are doing, it will make the conveyancing process all the more difficult and cause delays.
What are the advantages?
- Save money – The most significant advantages of not using an estate agent is that you will save a good thousand pounds.
- Cut the middleman – Estate agents have a personal interest which they will always be looking out for. You can take them out of the picture and deal with the buyers yourself.
What are the disadvantages?
- Marketing – Not only will you have to spend on marketing your home, but you will also not have access to specialist property portals where most people look to buy new homes. This will significantly affect the pool of potential buyers.
- Local market knowledge – As a layperson, you are unlikely to be aware or have firsthand knowledge of the local market. This can lead to you undervaluing, or overvaluing your home, resulting in a severe loss to you.
- Negotiations – Generally, estate agents are experienced negotiator in the property business and can help you achieve a better selling price.
- Arrange viewings – If you do not have the time, you will not be able to arrange viewings.
- Protection against fraud – Most estate agents have checks in place to protect their customers against fraud. If you want to sell your home yourself, then you may be leaving yourself more exposed to fraudsters.
What are the steps of selling your home yourself?
Decide an asking price
If you are not using an estate agent, it will be best to survey the market first and do your research before determining the asking price. You do not want to undervalue or overvalue your home. You can get 3 or 4 estate agents to value your home. By doing so, you will get a clearer idea of what your home is likely to sell for.
Your asking price should be 5% to 10% more than the price you want to sell your home fall to allow room for negotiation.
Get your home “sale ready”
Firstly, you should consider the exterior look of your home. You might want to get a fresh lick of paint and tidy up the front garden if there is one.
Secondly, you should consider the interior. You want your home to be clean, tidy and inviting. If there is anything that needs repairing, you should get them done as it will not only add more value to your home, it will also make your home more saleable.
Get all the documents in order
To avoid any unnecessary delays in the conveyancing process, you should gather all the essential documents before finding a buyer. Please read our article to know more about which documents you will need when selling your home.
You will be at a disadvantage if you do not use an estate agent as you will not have access to the specialist property portals or websites which only allow estate agents to list properties for sale. So you need to market your home as much as possible. The larger the pool of potential buyers, the better chance you have of getting a good sale price.
You must invest in a high quality “For Sale” sign. Additionally, you want to reach out to your neighbours and let them know that your home is for sale. Further, consider taking out an advert in the local newspaper and putting leaflets in shops or at people’s doors.
Arrange for viewings
You will have to be available when potential buyers want to come around for viewing of your home. If you are not available, you can ask a friend or family member to do it for you. You can also organise an open day where people can come round to view your home.
Negotiate the offer price
You should always add 5% to 10% to the amount you want to sell your home for. This allows room for negotiation when the buyer asks for a discount or asks you to lower the price.
If you want to turn down an offer, do so in a cordial manner. This way, there will always be some room in case the buyer returns with a revised offer.
Accept an offer
You should ask the buyer to send written confirmation via email or post. However, this will not make you legally bound to complete the sale. You will not be legally bound to carry out the sale till the time you exchange contracts.
Instruct a conveyancer
You will need a conveyancer to handle the legal side of the sale on your behalf. You will either need a solicitor or a licensed conveyancer. Please read our article to find out more about whether you need a solicitor or a licensed conveyancer.