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Selling Property Privately

England and Wales

Written by Gavin Brazg - www.TheAdvisory.co.uk


First, let us make a few things perfectly clear about selling your home without an estate agent: 

  1. It can and is done all the time, all across the UK!
  1. It is not difficult to do and you don’t need any special expertise!
  1. Using an estate agent will not guarantee that you sell for more!

Many people feel strongly that most Estate Agents don’t deserve the fees they charge – We couldn’t agree more!

Property prices have risen dramatically over the last decade. 

Seeing as estate agency fees are based on the percentage of your sale price, Estate Agents are making a killing (over 4 billion last year).

   Are they working any harder for their money? 

   Are they providing consumers with a better service? 

The evidence presented earlier suggests that they are not.

The truth is, selling a property is not difficult. There’s certainly no mystery to it and you don’t need the sales skills of Arthur Daley to get the best possible price.

All you need to do is:

   Price the property competitively (use estate agents for this, they’re free)

   Present the property well (no one is going to pay you top dollar for a dump)

   Take your pick of the marketing options that are available to today’s private seller

   Find a decent conveyacer to take care of the legals & process the transaction

That is it! When you get these fundamentals right, property sells it’s self. Don’t let any estate agent scare you into believing otherwise.

Why Should You Sell Your Property Privately?

The main benefit is the 1000’s of pounds you save in Estate Agents fees.

To give yourself the absolute best chance selling privately we’d say that you should put aside a marketing budget of around 500 (it is of course possible to do it for less than this).  

Now, with the figure of 500 in mind, let’s look at the savings you’d make by selling your house privately:

Your Selling Price

Agent’s Fee @ 2%+VAT

What You Could Save

















When you consider the Estate Agents’ fee as a percentage of the actual profit you make from your sale (i.e. What you sell-for minus what you bought-for) you’ll you soon realize just how much you’re giving away?

More Benefits to Selling Houses Privately

By selling your property privately you can also look forward to:

   Taking control of your sale (being in the driving seat)

   Receiving direct and immediate feedback on all aspects of your sale

   Not having to rely on the word of your Agent for updates (there will be no Chinese whispers, brush-off’s, excuses or lies)

   Knowing that your sale is receiving the attention it deserves

   Probably achieving the highest possible sale price

That last point deserves a fuller explanation. You see, for many Estate Agents, a sale is a sale. They get paid no matter what price is finally agreed. 

The harsh reality of estate agency is that the effort involved in negotiating an extra 5,000 -10,000 for you will only and an extra 100 – 200 on to the estate agent’s bill.

It’s not much of an incentive for an Estate Agent to go the extra mile and fight for your best price once an adequate offer has been presented.

The recent bestseller by Steven J. Levitt (winner of the “John Bates Clark Medal”, awarded to the best American economist under 40) on modern economics called "Freakonomics" has even shown scientific proof of this.


Why isn’t Everyone Selling their Homes Privately?

This is a good question to answer. Our experiences tell us that:

   Most people just assume that using an Estate Agent is the easiest thing to do. 

   Some simply don’t have the confidence to take responsibility for their own sale.

   Some are frustrated by the lack of sound private property selling advice. 

   Some believe that the salesmanship of an Estate Agent will secure them a better price.

If you’re deciding whether to sell your home on your own, here’s a much overlooked property truism about salesmanship that’s worth bearing in mind: 

“Even if an Estate Agent convinces a buyer to overpay for a property, the buyer’s mortgage valuation always stops the sale from going through at an inflated price!”

When a mortgage lender’s valuation does not confirm a buyer’s offer, it’s immediately obvious to everyone that the house is overvalued.

Nobody likes to overpay!

The most common result of a “down-valuation” is that your buyer’s mortgage application is refused. 

Refused mortgage application = No sale + A waste of your time!

There’s nothing for you to do but lower your price because otherwise buyers will keep dropping-out at the mortgage valuation stage. 


Selling Property Privately is a Growing Trend

Every day, more and more homeowners are waking up to the idea that you don’t need to pay an estate agent to sell a property.

All it takes is:

   A little common sense

   Decent organizational skills

   The desire to save a large percentage of your sale profits

Figures from the Office of Fair Trading show that 1 in 10 homeowners now take a stab at selling their homes privately. 

The OFT interviewed a sample of these private property sellers and their findings were striking:

   91% reported the whole process ran extremely smoothly. Most said they would do it again.

Compare that to findings from Which? that we mentioned earlier:

   50% of sellers who used Estate Agents were dissatisfied with the service they received.

There has also been a recent study by the “Interactive in Media Retail Group”, IMRG (The global e-retailing industry body) on the rise of the private house sale.

They forecast that by 2010 nearly half (that’s 700,000) of all property sold in the UK each year will be without the help of a traditional Estate Agent.

Now, that’s got to be bad news for the element of rogue estate agents out there! 

Whichever way you decide to sell, we wish you good luck. Just remember, in property the true spoils go to those that plan their attack.

For further information on Estate Agents click here.




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