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Putting your home on the market can be an expensive (and stressful!) process. And realtor fees are a big factor in the cost of moving. So it makes sense that this is why some people choose to go it alone by selling a home privately.
Why it might sound appealing Selling your home privately isn’t an entirely straightforward process. It’s important to fully understand what you’re getting into before you jump in.
What does it mean to sell a house between individuals?
In simple terms, selling a home privately means selling your home directly to a buyer without the help of a real estate agent. Estate agent fees can run into the thousands of pounds and that’s a lot of money in your pocket if you cut them out of the process.
Private selling generally works best in a buoyant market when you are more likely to sell your home quickly and for a good price. It can also be a good option if you already know someone who is interested in buying your home.
Is a private sale cheaper and will I get a better deal?
While selling your home privately can save you thousands of dollars in realtor fees, going it alone doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get the best price for your property. Additionally, there are marketing fees that you may still need to pay.
“The average homeowner will save around £3,200 on estate agent fees,” says Jonathan Rolande of House Buy Fast. “However, individuals cannot advertise on portals like Rightmove or Zoopla, so you could be missing out on thousands of potential buyers.” Fewer buyers usually mean lower bids – likely well below the £3,200 saved.
How much work is involved in selling my home privately?
If you plan to sell your home yourself, you will need to be organized. You need to spend a lot of time advertising the property. It’s important to create a floor plan and room-by-room guide when marketing your home. Getting your home appraised right is also essential.
‘You will need professional standard photos, legally compliant description and listings, valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). And you will have to answer all the calls and make the visits,” says Jonathan. All of this can be difficult to manage alongside work and family commitments. Be realistic about the time you have.
You’ll also need to be prepared for any tough conversations or negotiations with buyers along the way. “It doesn’t matter how skilled a negotiator you are. When it comes to managing your personal assets and making decisions about your family, it’s impossible not to get emotionally invested,” says Clare Andrews, Partner in residential real estate at Moore Barlow “Without an agent, the transaction can be more stressful than it should be.”
Keep in mind that you should always hire a lawyer or conveyancing agent to help you with the legal work involved. This includes works such as freehold or lease documents and title deeds.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of selling your house between individuals?
Advantages of selling a house between individuals:
- The amount you will save in realtor fees.
- Be able to manage house visits yourself. You may think you can represent your home better than a real estate agent.
Disadvantages of selling a house between individuals:
- Setting a fair price for your home can be tricky and you will need to do your research. The HomeOwners Alliance offers a free appraisal service to give you an idea of your home’s value.
- Getting buyers through the door can be a challenge. Be prepared to lower your asking price if necessary.
- Going it alone also increases the risk of being exposed to fraudsters. “Once you’ve accepted an offer, will you know how to screen the buyer to make sure they’re genuine?” Jonathan asks.
You need to weigh the pros of a private sale against the cons before deciding if this is the right path for you.
Is it worth it?
Selling a home privately can work brilliantly for some people. This is especially true when the property market is booming or someone has already expressed interest in buying the property. But it can be extremely time-consuming and stressful, so it’s not good for everyone. You must be wondering if real estate agents are worth it?
“Ultimately, real estate agents can help overcome obstacles in the road that can make the sometimes difficult and difficult process of moving a smooth process for you and your family,” says Dan Copley, consumer expert at Zoopla.
An alternative option – a compromise between the two – is to use an online real estate agency, such as Yopa or Purple Bricks. These online agents are much cheaper than traditional real estate agents (because they have less overhead), but they can also help you with advertising and property viewings, which makes the process of selling your home a bit easier to manage.