Anyone and everyone can sell their home privately.
Here we tell you everything you need to know to get started.
What are private house sales?
Private house sales, otherwise known as For-Sale-By-Owner, peer-to-peer selling or direct selling, are when an owner decides to sell their home themselves, without the involvement of an estate agent.
A private sales approach allows the seller to keep control of their sale, from start to finish, and will save them a substantial amount of money in estate agency fees.
If you decide to sell your home yourself, you will need to create your property listing, with an accurate description, photos, floor plan and EPC, communicate with potential buyers and show them round your home, negotiate offers and arrange completion of the sale.
This may sound like quite a challenge, but modern technology has made it easier than ever before to market your own home and have a stress-free sale in no time at all.
Private House Sales Websites
The popularity of online property portals in recent years has skyrocketed, and currently almost 90% of all property searches are started online. As a private seller you will need to advertise your property on at least one of these valuable online resources.
Websites like The House Shop will allow you to list your home directly on their site, but will also distribute your property ad to a network of prominent property sites, such as Nestoria, Mitula and Home.co.uk - providing great value for money when it comes to exposure for your home.
One of the down-sides to peer-to-peer selling is that the two leading portals in the UK, Rightmove and Zoopla, will only allow estate agents to list properties on their sites – meaning that as a private seller, you will not be able to advertise on these key platforms.
If you are determined to have your home listed on these 2 key platforms, then an online estate agent provides the perfect middle-ground between the DIY approach of private house sales and the comprehensive service of a traditional estate agent. You can learn more about online estate agents and what they offer here.
How much will it cost?
Private house sales are typically the cheapest way to sell a home in the UK. A realistic estimate for the total cost of selling your home could be as little as £89.99, which would offer you 4 months listing on prominent property websites.
The House Shop offer all private sellers free listing for 14 days with their 2 week free trial offer, which allows you to try out the service before committing to anything.
So why are private sales so much cheaper than other sales methods? Put very simply, you will have to do more of the work yourself. Most private sales services will offer a range of optional extras to help guide you through the selling process and take some of the work out of your hands.
The great thing about these add-ons is that they allow you to take as much or as little help as you need.
Private House Sales Top Tips
Private House Sales Advice
There are many benefits when selling your own home without an estate agent, however there are some points to consider before embarking on a private house sale.
Firstly, you will need to make sure that your property advert shows off your home in the best possible light. Buyers will not be intereted in a home with terrible photographs and a vague description - this will be one of the biggest purchases of their lives, and they will want to know exactly what they are getting for their money. It is seriously worth considering hiring a professional photographer to take high quality photos of your home, many private house sales or For-Sale-By-Owner sites will offer professional photography as an optional extra. You will have to pay extra for professional photography, but in many ways it is well worth the price tag.
Secondly, you will have to conduct the viewings yourself and show potential buyers around your home. There is a fair argument to be made that you know your home better than anyone else - but make sure that you do not let your personal attachment to the home get in the way of the facts and figures. Buyers will want to know the square footage of the property, if any improvements or extensions have been added, whether the property is leasehold or freehold etc. so make sure you have done your research and have all the relevant paperwork to hand for buyers to look through.
Thirdly, when it comes to negotiating an offer, it would be wise to find a solicitor or conveyancer to help guide you through the finer points of the offer and contract. If you feel confident in your knowledge of the selling process (and your haggling skills) then it is perfectly legal for you to negotiate with buyers on your own, but you will still want to hire a lawyer or solicitor when it comes to drawing up contracts, exchanging and completing on the sale.