Selling your house independently without an estate agent is an increasingly popular option for many motivated home sellers. There are certainly challenges involved, but the potential to save significant money makes it an attractive proposition worth consideration.
This guide walks you through the key steps for selling without an estate agent, from why you might do it to the options available. Let’s examine the specifics.
Why would I sell my house without an estate agent?
The main appeal of a private home sale is straightforward: you stand to save a significant sum in estate agent fees. With agents charging anywhere from 1-2% on the final sold price, that can mean thousands kept in your pocket rather than paid in commission.
Beyond the financial incentives, you may simply relish the challenge and independence of handling this major life event yourself. Perhaps you believe you can market the property effectively within your community through social media, online listings and word-of-mouth.
Whatever your motivations as a seller, going it alone puts you fully in control while cutting costs on third parties. Though it requires effort, an FSBO (For Sale By Owner) route maximises your sale proceeds.
What are the pros and cons of using an estate agent?
As with anything, there are specific pros and cons to consider before you decide whether it’s worth using an estate agent or selling the property yourself.
- Agents have extensive experience with the home-selling process, including marketing strategies, negotiation tactics and aspects of the legal process. They know how to effectively sell properties and help you find the right people to help, be it conveyancers or removal teams.
- Agents have invaluable local market knowledge on everything from pricing to competition to buyer demand. This helps sell for the best price.
- Relationships with other agents and large buyer networks help reach more qualified purchasers more quickly.
- Agents handle critical selling tasks like listings and viewings, drumming up buyer interest and securing strong offers. This workload is lifted from the seller.
- Estate agent commissions are very substantial, usually ranging from 1-2% of the final sale price. This adds up to thousands paid out.
- Some sellers feel agents are not fully earning their keep and are dissatisfied with the level of service provided.
- There is variation in agent skill level and agency quality, and they don’t need to be regulated (although some choose self-regulation with entities like ARLA). Yet, you’ll likely pay the same commissions regardless of the expertise and resources available.
- Using an estate agent means relinquishing control over key parts of the sales process. Some sellers prefer managing the sale from start to finish.
Is it normal to sell my house without an estate agent?
Selling privately without an estate agent used to be quite rare, but these days, it’s much more common to go the “For Sale By Owner” route. Over the last several years, the percentage of UK homes sold privately has steadily increased.
That’s a big enough share that selling without an estate agent can’t be considered some odd fringe path; lots of savvy sellers decide to market their own property and handle the sales process from start to finish. Tens upon tens of thousands navigate these solo sales annually. And with more DIY resources available on sites across the web, more first-timers are dipping into private sales too.
So no, selling your home yourself doesn’t put you in some tiny outlier category. Sure, enlisting an estate agent is still what most people do – you can’t dismiss decades of convention overnight. But private sales have carved out legitimate space. It’s seen now as a feasible way forward, albeit one still requiring diligence and persistent effort to cross the finish line. Handing the reins over has clear appeal. But for some, going agent-free promises freedom worth the work.
What should I know before I sell my house without an estate agent?
Jumping into a sale without an estate agent with starry eyes on the savings and both feet on the gas is a recipe for stress. Instead, shift gears and educate yourself first. You’ll need working knowledge of the full sales spectrum – from paperwork filing to fielding offers and everything in between.
Don’t know a freehold from a leasehold? Then, it’s best to brush up now before listings go live. Sure, you can learn as you go. But assumption-making without a firm footing will lead to stumbling blocks.
Do your due diligence on pricing, marketing, viewer vetting and negotiation no-nos. Arm yourself with every how-to, tip, template and checklist you can collect across the web. Only with eyes wide open can you then act and be more ready to handle all that comes with a private sale.
Key factors for selling a house without an estate agent
So, what should you consider before selling your house without any help from an estate agent?
- Make your house as sellable as possible by decluttering, doing minor fixes and creating an aspirational feel.
- Research sold prices of comparable properties to set a competitive yet realistic asking price. Property portals like RightMove or Zoopla are good places to start.
- Write a brief, appealing property description focused on what makes the house shine. Take photos and get a floor plan, too.
- Take well-lit, lifestyle-oriented photos showcasing the most appealing communal spaces and exterior angles.
- Advertise with online agents and social media, remembering traditional approaches like local papers too.
- Arrange showings at convenient times, enlist help if needed, and ensure proper safety precautions.
- Decide your minimum acceptable price beforehand, negotiate firmly yet amiably and keep communication open.
- Consider potential purchasers’ situations when offers are made. Long chains are at more risk of a sale collapsing further down the line.
- Accept an offer verbally and by email or post initially, remembering nothing’s binding until the exchange of contracts.
- Research thoroughly to instruct a licensed, reputable and affordable solicitor or conveyancer.
- If renegotiations happen post-survey, review the report before deciding whether to split costs or stand firm.
Bear these tips in mind when selling without an estate agent. This way, you can give yourself the best chance for a smooth sale with minimal hiccups along the way.
What are my options?
It’s one thing to understand what’s required to sell a house without an estate agent, but it’s another to know where to do it. Fortunately, there are options, some of which can take away all of the stress and speed up the sale.
Social media/word of mouth
Make Facebook posts and Instagram stories sharing that your home is for sale, including photos, details and your contact info. Tell all your friends, family, coworkers, neighbours and community groups that you’re selling privately. Leverage all your personal connections, both online and offline, to spread the word about your listing.
Online estate agents allow you to list your property on major portal sites while handling viewings and negotiations yourself. For a flat fee significantly lower than traditional agents (some also claim to be free, although there’s a lot of work involved for the seller), they will market the listing and provide guidance. But you avoid paying commissions on the sale price. This middle ground takes some legwork off your plate.
Property Rescue offers a compelling alternative to using an estate agent for selling your property, especially when speed and simplicity are paramount. Unlike traditional estate agents, we buy your property directly, eliminating the need for listings, viewings and negotiations with multiple potential buyers.
This direct approach significantly reduces the time from listing to sale, making it ideal if you require a quick and certain transaction, such as in cases of financial difficulty or personal circumstances like separation. Moreover, Property Rescue’s solicitors can handle all legalities and paperwork for you, for free, offering a hassle-free, confidential sale process, without the uncertainties and delays often associated with estate agents – all within a timescale of your choosing.
Get a free, no-obligation offer for your home today.