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Selling your house privately to cut costs

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Are you thinking about selling your house privately to save money? We all know that buying and selling property can become expensive when you take estate agency fees into account. This is why more and more of us are choosing to go it alone and sell our houses privately. This can save a great deal of money, but is it worth it or does it involve a lot of extra work?

Estimates from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) suggest that around 5% of house sales are carried out privately. Many of these home owners have become bored of agents who leave much of the ground work to them, but still expect to receive large commission payments. You know your property and the local area better than anyone else, so you’re probably best placed to sell it effectively.

Selling your house privately and save money

By selling your property through a traditional estate agent, you’ll pay a percentage of the sale price in commission. This could run into thousands of pounds; money which could be used to redecorate your new property. Often the agents will still leave you to do a lot of the work, including viewings and chasing up feedback. If you choose to sell the property yourself you won’t have this commission to pay at the end.

Marketing the property

A house can’t just sell itself, so it’s still important to market it in the correct way. There are a growing number of internet sites dedicated to private house sales, including Tepilo, PropertyBroker and HouseWeb. These operate in much the same way as the sites that agents use. However, you won’t have to pay a commission. Some of the sites can be used for free, whereas others will charge a small one off payment to cover administration costs. The package will often include a for sale board.

selling your house privately to cut costs

Not all buyers use the internet, so you need to adopt other practices to cover these. You can try the classified listings in the local newspapers and free publications, such as FreeAds and Loot. Some of these will also have online versions. If you don’t have a for sale board through an online property site, you can have your own produced or simply put up a sign in the window. Other marketing opportunities include for sale boards in local shops and community buildings.

Deciding on a value

When you market your property through an agent, they will usually decide on an asking price. To settle on the price you want, you should research the local market and see what similar properties are asking, as well as what homes have sold for recently. You need to be realistic and not price yourself out of the market. Buyers who are on a strict budget won’t consider viewing properties that are out of their price range. There also needs to be a degree of flexibility in case you get an offer below the asking price.

Conducting viewings

It’s important when you carry out viewings that you don’t put yourself at any risk. Never do viewings alone and always ask for contact details of the people coming to look at the property.

Getting an offer

Once you reach the offer stage and you accept it, the process proceeds in the same way it would if an agent was involved. You’ll need to find a solicitor to carry out the legal side and the buyer will organise surveys and valuations to be carried out. The only difference is you won’t have the hefty commission to pay once the sale is completed.

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About Catherine Stern

About Catherine Stern

Catherine Stern is a freelance writer with a background in marketing and PR. She currently writes web content on a range of subjects, from finance and business to travel and home improvements. As a working single mum of two young boys she understands the pressures that today’s working parents face and the topics they want to read about.

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