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Private House Sales : A guide to selling your property

A private house sale, just like sale-by-owner, is where the owner sells a house without the help of an estate agent.

What Is A Private House Sale?

In some ways it’s a confusing term – all private property transactions are private sales.

But in the context of the property market, a private sale is where the owner does all the work involved in selling the house, such as setting the price, doing the advertising, and negotiating with potential buyers, not the estate agent.

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Benefits Of A Private House Sale

There are several benefits to a private house sale.

Save Money

The biggest reason why people decide to sell their homes privately is to save money.

In the UK, estate agents can charge anywhere from 1 to 3 per cent of the sale price of the home.

So if you sell a house for £150,000, the estate agent could demand anywhere from £1,500 to £4,500.

It’s not a huge amount compared to the total value of the home, but it is a lot of money when you consider the service you receive: some simple advertising.

Many websites that allow you to market your home will let you do so at a fraction of the price of a traditional estate agent: sometimes as little as £50 to £100.

Tap Into A Larger Market

Nearly three-quarters of people now search for their new home online.

By selling privately and advertising online, you can potentially reach a much larger audience for your property than an individual estate agent.

Gain Control

When you enter into an agreement with an estate agent, you have to trust them to market your home effectively.

You have no control over the process.

But when you sell your home privately, you’re in charge of all the transactions and marketing material.

If something’s not right, you can change it.

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Private House Sale Compared To Selling Through An Estate Agent

The differences between a private house sale and selling through an estate agent are substantial.

While there are benefits to selling yourself, there are also costs.

You have to get your property valued, market your property online, write about it, and organise viewings, all of which take time and money.

Step 1: Get Your Property Valued, e.g., Use A Free Online Valuation Tool

Traditionally, an estate agent would value your property and then put it up for sale.

But when you’re selling your house privately, you have to go through the valuation process yourself.

Choosing the correct valuation for your property is essential: too high, and you’ll fail to make a sale; too low, and you’ll miss out on potential revenue.

You can try to value your property yourself by looking at popular online property marketplaces, such as Rightmove, for similar properties in your area.

You can also look at sales price histories for homes in your area.

However, deciding on a price for your property using these methods can be tricky.

The good news is that technology and the internet may provide a cheaper, faster and more reliable alternative.

You can now use free online valuation tools which tell you the price of your property, based on a range of related parameters.

Some house price value calculators tell you the current likely value of your home, depending on its price in the past.

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Suppose you bought a house for £100,000 five years ago.

All you do is tell the house value calculator how much you paid, how long ago, and in what region of the UK, and it’ll spit out a figure it thinks reflects inflation and the general change in the house price index over the subsequent years.

Other valuation services work differently.

Instead of just typing in details into a few fields and then waiting for the calculator to spit out a number mechanistically, you give more detailed information (and usually your email address), and then a human or smart algorithm will crunch the data and send the results to your inbox.

Finally, some services are a hybrid between the previous two.

You enter in a series of details into a form, and then calculators try to figure out what your home is worth based on both house price increases and the features of your property.

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Step 2: Market Your Property

Photography

Photographs sell homes.

The better the photography, the more interest you’ll generate, and the more opportunities you’ll have to make a great impression.

Unless you’re a professional photographer, it’s best to avoid taking photos yourself.

Professional photographers understand lighting, setting, composition and all the other components that need to come together to showcase your home at its best.

Write About The Property

When selling a home privately, you need to write about your property.

If possible, keep your descriptions brief and concise, ensuring that you highlight the main features of your home that will interest buyers.

Facebook Page

Social media can be a great way to reach a broad audience of people and sell your home.

People on social media interested in buying property can view your Facebook page and then decide whether they want to book a viewing.

Website

Some owners like to create a bespoke website for their home to showcase everything it offers – primarily if online property portals don’t provide sufficient scope or space for all the details they want to include.

You can build websites for free using services like GoDaddy, Wix and WordPress.

Use Online Property Websites

Online property websites, such as Zoopla and Rightmove, get your house in front of a wider audience. You choose the list price, description and photographs.

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Step 3: Consider Alternatives To Selling Your Property Privately With A Home Buying Service

If you want to avoid the hassle of a private sale, there is another option: home buying services.

Home buying services are where a company buys your home for cash, often in as little as 48 hours, saving you considerable time and effort.

If you’re interested in using a home-buying service, get in touch with BPA today to find out more.

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Get a free valuation