How to Sell Your House Yourself
Estate agents often come top of the lists of most-hated professions, but you can bypass their services altogether and
How much could I save by selling myself?
Estate agents charge anything from 1% to 3.5% of the price of a property when they sell it for you. Online estate agents charge even less, around half a per cent. Even so, dispensing with their services could save you thousands of pounds. Bear in mind that you are getting a service for that money. Estate agents can save you time and stress and are convenient, and could sell your house faster than you could do yourself. They help in agreeing your on home’s sales price, take all the bother of advertising off your shoulders and negotiate a sale on your behalf.
How do I decide on a price?
Research and more research. If you price your home too high it won’t sell, too low and you lose out.
Where do I advertise
Everywhere you can. After all, you are entering the market cold, whereas the estate agent has a file full of people interested in buying.
Advertise your property in a good-quality local newspaper. If you place an advertisement in a national daily or a Sunday newspaper that has a good property section, make it stand out from the crowd - the majority of classified ads will be from agents and make boring reading. Use a photo if possible. An ad costs from about £4 to £15 per line in a newspaper with a large circulation. Some of the Sunday papers might offer a discount if you run it on a weekday as well.
Property websites are fast becoming popular and offer you a wider audience than the traditional estate agents’ window. You can find a list of links to the leading sites in our Direct Property Sales section (www.uknetguide.co.uk/Homes_and_Gardens/Property/Direct_Sales.html). Most will allow you to upload photos of your property too. A photo says a thousand words so make sure you use them. The fees range from £30 to under £100.
Sellers Landlords & Estate Agents can list their property FREE and reach over 400,000+ buyers and tenants every month with Houseladder.
A “For Sale” board
Most buyers are local, and you don’t want to miss out on important passing interest. If you want to design your own, a local a sign maker will make you a double-sided board complete with post for about £30, or it's an easy job to do yourself. Keep the message simple - 'viewing by appointment only' and your mobile telephone number should be enough. There are size restrictions for boards – they can be no bigger than 80cm by 60cm. If you live in central London or a conservation area, check with the planning department to see if there are any restrictions as you could be fined for displaying a board without permission.
Targeting your local area is another way to drum up interest in your house. If your PC skills are not up to much, get some help from a small printing company. You provide the text, and for about £40 you will get a bespoke leaflet with artwork, output on an ink-jet printer.
What do I say about my house?
Be honest and informative in your description. Measure the size of rooms accurately and avoid the clichés of estate-agent jargon – it’s probably one of the things that put you off using them in the first place. It is an offence for estate agents to mislead in describing a property, so you should follow the same rules. Say if your home is leasehold or freehold and the length of the lease. Think about what attracted you to the property when you bought it.
What happens next?
Be professional and prepared. A mobile number on your advertising gives you a little more security. When you get calls, have your questions ready. Do they know the area? What exactly are they looking for? Do they have a property to sell? How quickly can they move? How long have they been looking? Do they have finance in place? This gives you vital information about any potential buyer and how serious they are, before they come round.
How do I arrange viewings?
Viewings are always by appointment only. Have someone with you when giving viewings. You then have a valuable second opinion on the potential purchaser. Have any relevant paperwork to hand: utility bills, service charges, any planning permission statements, certificates for major works such as damp proofing. This proves to the purchaser that you are serious about selling. Take a telephone number and do a follow-up call with the viewer. Feedback is important and gives valuable clues to the strengths and weaknesses of your property.
I’ve had an offer!
There’s still a long way to go. Your previous research should have given you the information on the local property market to know what a true price for your house is. Be realistic, but don’t be cowed. Remember that many offers that go through estate agents change several times. If you cannot get the right price for your property – walk away.
We’ve agreed a price – what next?
Now the real stress starts. Tell your
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