Selling a house without an estate agent?

Selling a house isn’t the straightforward business we’d like it to be, but help is at hand.


There are definite advantages to employing somebody to take care of the sticky business end of selling your house. It leaves you ready for a nice lump sum at the conclusion, without too much involvement on your behalf.

But all that work comes at a cost, and it’s money you could keep for yourself. And why wouldn’t you want to, when it often runs into the thousands?

We’re going to take a quick look at what’s involved when selling a house privately, and if it’s the right option for you.

Sell your house yourself — and save money

The only real reason anyone would want to jump through all the necessary hoops of selling their own house is when they see how much it can cost—and how much they can save.

For example:

Estate agent fees run between 0.75% and 3%. The UK average is currently at 1.42%. Given that figure, here’s what it’ll cost to sell your house, using the average estate agent fee, at the following prices:


£100k property
£1,420 (from 1%–3%: minimum £1,000 – maximum £3,000)
£150k property
£2,130 (from 1%–3%: minimum £1,500 – maximum £4,500)
£200k property
£2,840 (from 1%–3%: minimum £2,000 – maximum £6,000)
£300k property
£4,260 (from 1%–3%: minimum £3,000 – maximum £9,000)
£500k property
£7,100 (from 1%–3%: minimum £5,000 – maximum £15,000)


You can see how fees vary from agent to agent—you could be paying them anything from £1,000 to £15,000.

It’s understandable why so many sellers prefer to do the work themselves and keep hold of the money. A couple of grand in your pocket instead of theirs is not something to be taken lightly.

Is selling your house privately right for you?

What is the market like?

Do some market analysis, look online to find out how recently properties have sold & how may are currently are on the market. Check when properties were first marketed as this will give you an indication of whether the market is sticky or lively. If the market is lively and properties are selling, then that’s a great start. You could find it easier to find buyers and to sell without too much trouble at all.

Are there buyers already available?

Speak to local estate agents, even though you aren't necessarily planning on using them to sell your home they are great at extracting information about your local housing market.

If the houses of a similar value to yours are going under offer quite quickly then this may mean you will get a similar amount of interest in yours.

What complications are involved—if any?

People shy away from problems. If there are legal hurdles to clear, then it can easily sway your buyers to a simpler alternative. Consider complicated freehold or leasehold arrangements, buyer chains, outstanding maintenance or complicated management legislation. Most are these are rectifiable with some nifty handiwork to take care of any maintenance or for the legal issues seek out the pro's and get a solicitors opinion.

Have you got time?

Selling your house will take time and effort. If you’re already up to your ears in life and all its commitments, maybe the help an agent can bring is a good idea and worth the extra? However if you work from home or are more flexible with your time, it could be a great opportunity to handle those viewings and show off parts of the house an estate agent might miss.


Simplified steps to selling your house

Make your house more sell-able

Before you decide how much your house is worth, take a step back and be realistic. You’re emotionally attached to the property and there is nothing wrong with that, its your home after all. However in order to get the most value you need to see it as your purchaser would and you need to be critical of your own home.

From now on—it’s just a property. It’s a building that somebody else is going to strip out and make their own. What you need to do is make it as easy as possible for them to see how they’re going to do that.

If you’re living in the property, use this as an opportunity to de clutter and don't just hide things in cupboards. You need to give the illusion to buyers that you live in the home and lack of storage is not one of the reasons you ares selling. Remember rooms feel larger when they are tidier.

Give it a lick of paint. Front doors are so often forgotten but they are the first impression and don't afraid to be bold, this is one place in your home you can be adventurous. Inside neutralise the decor in especially dark places in your home. What we will say, is avoid magnolia & avocado green—that hasn’t been a thing for years.

Decide on an asking price

Do your research use Habitats handy online valuation tool to help you, it looks at sold prices of similar properties within the vicinity of your property. It will give you a minimum, estimated & maximum value. If you’d like a professional valuation, contact your local estate agent for a free no obligation valuation.

The more you research, the fairer idea you’ll get about what your property is worth.

Advertising your property

Habitats unique property marketing & sale management platform allows you complete control to market your property as you wish. Order one of our stylish For Sale signs, great at attracting the attention of passers by.

Market to a local, regional & national audience with paid access to the property portals & the thousands of buyers that visit their sites each day.

Tell your neighbours about your imminent listing with our 20/20 New to Market flyer. The majority of buyers move to somewhere within 6 miles of their current home, your buyer could be living round the corner from you.

Social media has become a great place for your property to be found and Habitats will advertise your property on Facebook for FREE. Not bad considering Facebook is used on average by 800 million people in 70 different countries each month!


Managing viewings

Managing your own viewings is a fantastic opportunity to show off everything you love about your home and what makes it so special. You're more likely to point the less than obvious points that an estate agent might miss.

Make sure you plan your viewing with a family member and do a couple of test runs before the actual viewing, having your sales patter ready will make you're more confident when the viewing actually takes place. Stay focused on your viewings and try to read the profile of the buyer, some buyers might want to sit down for a cuppa with you but don't be offended if the buyer is in a rush, after all if they like what they see they can always come back for a second viewing when they have more time.

Negotiations

If you have done your research correctly then you should have a figure in mind just below your asking price that you are willing to move down to should the right buyer come along. This will enable you to think on your feet when it comes to negotiating, make sure you have included your mortgage costs as well as any moving costs as that will obviously impact how much you are able to accept. 

Turning down an offer is part of the process; don’t be afraid to do it if you have to. If you have plenty of viewings lined up, it’s okay to ask anyone making an offer to wait until you’ve seen everyone. But don't wait too long, more often than not the first offers are usually the best especially when the property is new to the market.

Be friendly, fair and helpful. Being approachable is key if you’d like your buyers to work with you to develop a fair negotiation. Remember at all times this is an emotional purchase from both sides but you need to focus and think with your head and not your heart.

Accepting the offer

Once you’ve come to a satisfactory conclusion, make sure the offers & counter offers have been made in writing. The Habitats platform enables you to keep a track of any offers you may have received, rejected or accepted and once agreed enables you to create a memorandum of sale which you'll need to send to your solicitor (you have sourced a solicitor or conveyancer, right?).

Taking care of the official paperwork

With the paperwork sorted (and any possible re-negotiations managed with just as much tact as before), you can exchange. 

And that’s that! Congratulate yourself, and start to plan what you’ll do with the extra thousands you’ve saved, down to all of your hard work and effort.

What are the range of house selling options?

Selling privately

If you choose to sell your house without an agent, you can save the most money. But it also means the most work. That’s where Habitats can help. We make selling a property privately a simple and straightforward process. This is our industry, so we’ve got all the tools you need and expert advice whenever you need it—all without the upfront fees or commission. Pay only for the products you need to market your property giving you complete control and transparency.

An online agent

An online agent will handle the entire process for you and charge you a up front fee irrespective of whether the property is sold or not. They also offer professional services.

A high street estate agent

Your local estate agent will be the most expensive option, but they’ll also do the most work. They have local area knowledge and expertise. They understand how far they can push a sale for the maximum return and provide professional services. Whilst expensive they only charge on completion of a sale.


The choice is all yours. Take back control.