Many home owners who are looking to sell their houses on the property market are disillusioned by traditional high street estate agents. And who can blame them, to an extent? Although there are high quality agencies out there, some of the prices seem to go up and up, and the service, at times, can be incredibly questionable. Ever felt like you could probably do their job, by yourself, and better? You aren’t alone in that.
There is a general state of distrust amongst home owners when it comes to estate agents in the industry, and that can’t be disputed. However, is it really possible to go it alone and sell without instructing a professional agent to do it for you, or help along the way?
If you’re sat asking yourself this very question, then read on to find out more, as we share our eleven top tips on how to sell your property, without instructing an estate agent.
Can I Really Sell my Property Without an Estate Agent’s Services? Some Background Information
Before really delving into the thick of things, and starting on the sharing of our eleven top tips to sell your home without instructing an agent, there are some things we think should be considered.
- It all starts by trying to make your home “sellable”, which in reality, isn’t so difficult if you know how.
- You’ll also need to be able to take good photographs of the property. Again, not so difficult if you look into how.
- The house will also have to be valued to an appropriate sale price.
- In each listing, you must be able to describe all of the benefits of the interior and location of your home, in order to ensure that potential buyers find it appealing.
- You should also be thoroughly prepared to conduct all viewings, and negotiate well on price.
- In a poll conducted in October 2018, estate agents were one of the lowest ranking professions when it came to trust, with only 30% of subjects voting positively in their favour.
- Saving on estate agency fees can, to be frank, save you a heck of a lot of money. Estate agent fees tend to range between 1% and 3%, and that’s not even including the VAT added on top of that.
So what are our eleven top tips to avoid having to pay estate agent fees and sell privately on your own? Read on to discover more.
Tip One: Make Sure Your Home is Sellable
As we mentioned above, ensuring your home is sellable is vital in ensuring the success of the sale of your property.
- One of the first things you should consider, is the first impression that potential buyers will be getting of your property.
- Did you know that one of the main reasons why property doesn’t sell, is because the house in question is not shown off to its’ best?
- It might surprise you to hear that the vast majority of estate agents, despite knowing how important this is, do not offer this information and advice up front. This is unless, of course, they are prompted.
- We’re talking about selling privately, today. Which means that you would have to think about this of your own accord.
- Making your house as sellable as possible isn’t too difficult to do, but does require work. You’ll have to consider things such as updating your décor, decluttering the property in its’ entirety, and making any necessary repairs.
- Furthermore, remember this fact – buyers want to be able to see the function of a room. They aren’t interested in storage space.
- It’s often said that the kitchen is the heart of the home – and houses can’t function without a bathroom. This is why, more often than not, these two rooms can entirely make or break the success of the sale of a home.
- There are cheaper ways of improving and repairing these spaces in your home, without having to renovate them entirely.
- If some of your doors and cabinets are looking a little worse for wear, simply patching them up and painting them is often more than enough to make your property more sellable, and seem more appealing to potential buyers. Even if the buyers see that they’d possibly like to change it themselves in the future, it’ll be liveable for now at the very least.
- So, let’s talk decorating. If you’re thinking about painting your home ready to sell, then we would advise you opt for neutral colours. A neutral colour pallet will not only make a space look brighter and bigger, but will also help potential buyers to imagine their own lives in your home. It provides them with a blank canvas to work with in terms of décor, making your property all the more sellable, and appealing.
Tip Two: Take High Quality, Well Presented Pictures of Your Home
Taking the right pictures of your home will not only promote the physicality of the property, but effectively, a lifestyle choice too.
- By this point, you should have decluttered your home, made any necessary repairs, and decorated accordingly. As we said above, you’ve made your home “sellable”. Now is the right time to take pictures of your home ready for listing.
- Potential buyers like to see plenty of images of your home, so at the very least you should provide the front exterior, the back exterior, along with one or more images of every room inside the house.
- Kerb appeal is everything when it comes to selling property, so ensure that the exterior of your property is given as much attention as the interior also. This means doing things such as sorting out the garden, clearing path ways, repointing brick work and even repainting your front door.
- If you do happen to have any nice views or surroundings from your windows, then be sure to document these as well. They can add to the selling points of the property overall. Remember, that it’s not just a house you’re selling, but a lifestyle too.
- Remember this: no photo at all is better than one which puts your home in a bad light. If your photos aren’t good, then don’t bother sharing them. Basically, make sure they are good.
- If you’re really not very good at photography, and online tips aren’t even doing you any favours, then do consider hiring a professional photographer to take them for you. It could be the difference between selling, and not selling your home.
Tip Three: Value Your House and Set the Correct Price
This is normally the stage at which you’d find yourself needing the help of an estate agent.
- However, sometimes, even estate agents get this wrong, either accidentally, or they value the property intentionally highly in order to gain your business more easily. This technique, is anything but in your best interests as a seller.
- This is, without doubt, one of the estate agent “tactics” which make home owners mistrustful of using estate agencies in the first place. it’s a manipulative tactic used to flatter owners.
- One of the positives to doing your research and valuing the property of your own accord, is that you don’t run the risk of being swindled by these particular types of agents.
There are two main ways of valuing your home as an independent seller, both of which we’ll be covering below.
Gathering Price Comparisons from Online Property Portals
The first method of valuing your own property is by comparing other similar properties on online portals such as Right Move and Zoopla.
- By using these leading UK portals, you will be able to evaluate comparable properties to your own.
- You can even look at historical sales to give you an idea of what price similar properties have sold for. Look at houses similar to yours in structure and appearance, as well as being close geographically.
- For example, compare a one bedroom flat, with other nearby one bedroom flats, and so on.
- Compare these similar properties that are on the market for sale, to yours. However, do be careful and check which date these were listed on.
- If a property has been on the market months and not sold, then don’t use it. If this is the situation, then usually the property in question will have been put on the market for an unrealistic asking price, or the house itself is in a poor state.
- Remember, all of this goes back to the selling price, so it’s crucially important you get it right.
Using a Local Estate Agent to Value Your Property
The second method of valuing your property ready for independent sale, is having it done by more than one local estate agency.
- Some estate agents will do this, free of charge, without any sort of commitment to you having to use them in order to sell your home.
- Using local experts should give you a better idea of how much your property is worth on the current open market. After all, they should know best, right?
- We do recommend asking several estate agencies to do this though, just to ensure none of them are using the technique of manipulation in order to acquire your business. They don’t know you’re going to be going onwards selling independently, after all!
- As well as valuing your property, they’ll also be able to give you an idea of what to expect from the general market, and what it is like at current.
- Plus, you never know! You might actually decide you like one of these agents, their principles, and their prices, and decide to go through them instead.
Tip Four: Describe Your Property Well
To attract buyers, you’ll want to make sure you describe your property well in its’ listing.
- The whole point is to entice buyers.
- Avoid using long winded paragraphs because these aren’t exactly enticing.
- You should include all relevant details include address and postcode.
- You should characterise the property in the description, for example, “idyllic two bedroomed cottage with land”.
- You should also include a floorplan to give an idea of measurements.
- If you need inspiration, take a look at Right Move and other online portals for good quality listings.
Tip Five: Choose Your Month of Sale Carefully
The month you choose to sell your home can have a positive or negative impact on the overall sale.
- The best months to sell your property are well known as the months from the end of February, up until the end of June.
- The worst months to sell your property are well known as January, August, and December.
- If you can, waiting for the better months to sell your property is a good idea. Selling in a bad month could leave you having your property listing on the market for months on end, and buyers are put off by stale listings.
Tip Six: List Your Property in the Right Places
In order to have your property seen by the right buyers, you have to list it in the right places.
- The leading online portals such as Right Move and Zoopla are an absolute must.
- You will have to pay a fee in order to list your property on these websites, but a standard package listing isn’t usually too pricy. It’s definitely cheaper than instructing an estate agent!
- Did you know you can also use social media to list your property? You’d be surprised at how much sites like Twitter and Facebook can help to sell a property.
- You don’t have to do everything online, and can also opt to advertise in magazines and newspapers.
Tip Seven: Arranging Viewings
This is another one of the areas in which estate agents would perhaps usually come into play.
- Be sure to be as flexible as possible when it comes to viewings. Make it easy for potential buyers to see your home!
- Know your stuff – about the property and the local area.
- Be friendly, but professional. Remember, it is a business transaction after all.
Tip Eight: Negotiate Well on Price
You’ll also have to negotiate well on price, by yourself.
- Without an estate agent, you’ll have to be willing to negotiate directly.
- Keep a clear head, and don’t be intimidated by the negotiating process.
- There’s nothing wrong with turning down an offer, but doing it politely is key. Keep the door open should that person wish to come back with a higher offer.
Tip Nine: Accepting an Offer
Once you’ve received an appropriate offer, you’ll want to accept it.
- Initially, verbal agreement is fine. But then written confirmation or an email should follow suit.
- Remember that this isn’t legally binding, until the exchange of contracts.
Tip Ten: Instruct a Solicitor
This is something you have to do whether you’re selling independently, or through an agent.
- Do not do this as a DIY.
- Ensure you do your research in order to find the best in the biz.
- Remember, you don’t have to use a solicitor. So long as they’re a licensed conveyancer with a good reputation, you’re in good hands.
Tip Eleven: Completion!
Hurrah! You’re finally there. Your solicitor will help you through the legal process up until completion. Then all you have to do, is move house! Stressful, we know, but easy in comparison to everything you’ve done so far.
Thanks for reading today. We hope we’ve helped you to understand how it is indeed possible to sell your property without an agent, and do it well.