According to recent research produced by Ask Susan, a homeowner surrenders an average of 1.8% of sale price of their homes to an agent. This fee is for valuation, listing online and in branch, photographs and for providing a sale board. So for example, if the sale price of a house is £500,000, the agent gets £9000.
Quite understandably, many sellers have begun to wonder if they could just do away with these agents and sell their homes themselves. In this article, we explain to you how you can sell your house by yourself without necessarily including an agent in the equation.
Steps to sell your house without an agent
1. Prepare your house for sale
The very first thing that you need to do before you list up your property for sale is to make it attractive to potential buyers. Declutter your home, paint your garage door, rearrange kitchen cabinets and bedroom closets, and repair all the broken mirrors and windows and doors. The idea is to make your home really sparkling.
2. Get a valuation
After prepping your house for sale, the next step is to come up with a reasonable valuation of your house. Now this is a tricky part. If you overprice your house, you risk scaring away buyer and if you under-price it, it is you to lose. Fortunately, there are websites which can help you value your house. Research the price of homes in your neighbourhood using websites like Rightmove and Zoopla. There are also some estate agents who offer obligation-free valuation. Contact a couple of agents in your area to find out if they can help.
3. Advertise your property for sale
Now, you need to put word out about your property. You will need to come up with a catchy description of your house to entice would-be buyers. After that, advertise your house. Some sites like House Ladder and Property Sell let you list your house freely. This enables you to expose the property to a large online audience. However, other sites charge a fee but these will advertise big photos of your property. They will even put a For Sale sign at the front of your garden.
You could also use FSBO (For Sale By Owner) websites like houseweb.co.uk to list your home. HouseWeb charges £129 for a full advert with 6 colour photos as well as exposure on more than 350 websites. Other good places to advertise your home are Twitter and Facebook.
4. Arranging viewings
At this point, you can now invite potential buyers to see the home. If you are not home and a buyer wants to view the house, you can ask a family member or a close friend to show them through the house. If you can’t, ask potential buyers to view the house on weekends or in the evenings. But you will need to be wary of letting a stranger through your doors. In that case, it would be better to ask a friend or a family member to be available during the viewing.
5. Price negotiation
Decide beforehand on the minimum price that you are willing to take for your house. This will ensure that you are not intimated by the prospect of haggling over a price. Once you have your figure, do not go below it no matter what. If you cannot reach an agreement over the price, just wait for the next buyer. But do not be arrogant even if you turn down a buyer’s offer. Being courteous and friendly can encourage a buyer to come back if they change their mind.
6. Enlist the help of a solicitor
If you reach an agreement over the price of the property, the next thing is to instruct a conveyancer or a solicitor to handle the legal paper work, and to redeem any mortgage or secured loans you may have on the property. Take your time and research well to find a good conveyancer. If you have a friend or a family member who recently sold a house, ask them to recommend a good conveyancer to you. Visit the Council of Licensed Conveyancers website (clc-uk.org) to find a conveyancer in your neighbourhood.
Estate agents are quite expensive when you sell a house through them. Their fee, which is a percentage of the price of your house, can be quite steep. But they do what you can do yourself, if only you took your time. Begin by preparing your property for sale, set a price for your home, advertise it actively and then arrange viewings. After that, it is negotiation time. You will have sold your house without involving an agent.