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How to sell your house without an estate agent

Find out how to sell your house without an estate agent.

Estate agents might be the traditional tool that people use to sell their homes, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re the best in every situation.

For one, estate agency fees can be high, running from 1.8 to 3.0 per cent of the sale value of the home, excluding VAT.

On a £500,000 property, you could pay more than £15,000 to an estate agent, excluding the 20 per cent value-added tax.

And second, estate agents can sometimes fail to shift your home, perhaps because they don’t understand the market for your particular type of property.

If you’re planning on a private sale, take a look at what you need to do to sell your home.

Make The House Sellable

When people look around your home, they want to be able to imagine themselves living there.

If it’s full of clutter or has eccentric decor, then they’ll struggle to see it as a blank canvas – something that they can make their own.

Property gurus recommend that people focus on the most critical parts of the house, like the kitchen and bathroom first, to make it more sellable.

Usually, there’s no need for a full re-fit. Just a quick tidy up will suffice. If there are broken features, they need fixing or replacing.

And a fresh lick of paint can often transform old cabinets into something that looks new or refurbished.

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Set A Price

The next step in selling a house without an estate agent is to set a price.

Often estate agents will try to win business by flattering homeowners by valuing their homes at a higher price than the market.

The problem is that in today’s world, thanks to the power of the internet, it’s almost impossible to ask for more than the going market rate.

The market is the market: people can quickly find a cheaper-priced alternative.

When setting a price, look at the price history of similar properties that have sold in your area.

The price you can get will probably be the same as comparable properties, plus inflation for the time that elapsed since the last sale.

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Write A House Description

Your house description should be a sales pitch, highlight the reasons why a person might want to live in your property.

The trick, however, is to be concise and to the point.

People, in general, know what they want from a property, and they want to check that your house meets all their requirements quickly.

Long, flowery paragraphs probably won’t give your audience the description that they want.

Hire A Professional Photographer

You could take your own photos to save on costs, but it’s likely to backfire.

If you don’t understand composition, lighting and setting, you’re unlikely to take great snaps and, consequently, may understate the appeal of your property.

Most buyers decide whether to look around your home based on the photos they can see online.

If those photos are poor quality, you’re likely to attract less interest.

Hiring a professional photographer helps you get around this problem.

It’s a small investment with a potentially significant return.

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List Your Property On These Websites

When it comes to selling your property over the internet without an estate agent, you’ve got several options.

The first is to use “for sale by the owner” websites. The following sites are useful for this purpose:

  • Thehouseshop.com
  • Houseladder.co.uk
  • 4sale-byowner.uk

These websites don’t charge estate agent fees.

Instead, they make their money through targeted advertising and additional services.

The second option is to sell privately, doing all your advertising and viewings yourself.

You can use social media tools like Twitter and Facebook to reach potential buyers.

You can also advertise at your local supermarket and the local paper.

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Set Up A Viewing Diary With Calendly

Once people find your home for sale, whether online or in print, they’ll want to book a viewing.

You could handle all of the administration by hand, but it’s often better to use a tool like Calendly that does it all for you.

With Calendly, you tell the app when you’re available for viewings, and it’ll do the rest for you.

You can share links on Calendly via email or integrate it with your website (if you decide to create a website to showcase your home).

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Negotiate A Price

Before going into any property price negotiation, it’s vital to have a minimum price in mind, below which you won’t sell.

Buyers will often try to get a discount off the asking price – something common in the property market.

If a buyer wants to go lower than you’re willing to accept, be friendly and politely decline the offer.

Often buyers will reconsider how much they’re willing to pay and offer more if they really want your house. Being friendly keeps the lines of communication open.

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Accept Offer

You can accept an offer at any point in the negotiation process, but remember, nothing is legally binding until the exchange of contracts.

Often this process can take several weeks or months.

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Tell Your Solicitor To Sort Out The Paperwork

Once you’ve accepted an offer, you need to tell a solicitor or conveyancer to sort out all the legal stuff.

Unfortunately, the legal aspect of property-selling is not something you can do yourself.

If you’re struggling to find a solicitor or conveyancer to take over the legal aspect of your sale, be sure to check clc-uk.org for a list of local conveyancers, and the Law Society website for a list of suitable legal professionals.

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Prepare For Renegotiations

Renegotiations are frequent in the property market.

Usually, they result from survey reports.

Sometimes a survey will throw up a concern that you need to address before the buyer is willing to pay the asking price.

Buyers may feel like the original asking price is unfair if they discover structural problems or cracks in the ceilings.

If all this seems costly and hard work, the alternative is to get a free valuation from a home buyer such as BPC.

We will give you a fair market value and purchase your home quickly.

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Get a free valuation