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After another announcement of a national lockdown, homeowners who were looking to sell their house were worried about what they could and couldn’t do regarding their house sale. We provided lots of information in our recent post, Lockdown 3.0 – can I still sell my house? But we wanted to delve a little deeper into another question that we’ve been receiving a lot recently. Can I sell my house without an estate agent? We Buy Any House have collected lots of helpful information to let you know your options when it comes to selling.
There are several things that an estate agent does to help you sell your house and knowing each of them will help you make a decision as to whether you can take this on yourself. Generally, an agent will –
Value your house for you.
As a homeowner, you’ll likely have an idea of your value, but be prepared for this to have changed especially with the past year of disruption and the country falling into a recession. When you sell with an estate agent, they will almost always slightly overvalue your house. Buyers who want to put an offer on a property will tend to come in under the asking price, so it can seem that overvaluing is a good option, however, it can backfire and cause you problems. Buyers can be put off by higher prices, especially if there are other properties similar to yours in the same area at a lower asking price, so you can risk pushing buyers away if you price too high.
Market and advertise.
This will involve taking photographs of your house, creating an enticing listing online for potential buyers to look at, which will in turn encourage them to book a viewing of your house. Currently, as we find ourselves in another lockdown, first viewings are recommended to be virtual – we’ve got more information about this in our blog post, how are house viewings turning virtual?
Host your viewings.
Usually, your estate agent will show your potential buyers around your house, but some homeowners do prefer to do this themselves. Now advice is, to wherever possible, limit the amount of people attending viewings, so hosting them yourself is a good idea if you’re able to and feel comfortable. If not, the other suggestion is to wait outside while your potential buyers look around, to reduce contact and keep you both safe.
Deal with negotiations.
As an estate agent will charge a percentage of your sale, they will generally do what they can to get you a higher offer from your buyer. This can, however, sometimes end badly, especially if they are too pushy and your buyer walks away.
Selling with an estate agent is what homeowners consider to be the only way to sell, but there are other methods. For some homeowners, whether they’ve had a bad experience with an agent previously or they just aren’t prepared to pay the fees, they want to know how much of an estate agents’ job they can do themselves.
What can I do myself?
From the list above, it can seem overwhelming but there are ways that you can take this into your own hands. If you want to sell without an agent, it’s worth identifying exactly why you want to avoid this. This will help create other sale opportunities and make things easier for you – for example, if you don’t want to sell with an agent because you need a faster sale, you could use a company like We Buy Any House that allow you to sell in as little as 7 days.
Depending on how long you’ve lived in the house and the changes that may have occurred, you can take the price that you paid when you moved in as a starting point for your value. If you’ve made changes to increase the value since then you can factor that in, or if there has been drops in your area you can also consider that.
If you’re really not sure where to start when it comes to valuing your house, you can pay for your own survey to confirm your value. There are several surveys that you can choose from, and you can find more about them here in our article about different homebuyers surveys.
Marketing and advertising your own house may seem impossible, but it’s actually easier than it seems if you’re prepared to put in the work. You will need to take advertising photos of your property, and make sure that they’re high-quality. This can put homeowners off as they think they have to be photographers to do this, but we’ve put together a helpful guide for you on how to take the best photos to help sell your house.
After you’ve taken your photos and you’re happy with them, you need to find somewhere to post them. There are online agents that you can use for this – make sure you do your research, but generally you will just need to pay an agreed amount and they will post your house listing on their site. This will help get you some exposure, and show your house where buyers are searching. This can sometimes take longer to get interested buyers in the door as there is no one pushing them to your house like an estate agent will, but for those who don’t want to use an agent, it provides a helpful alternative.
Hosting viewings is a relatively easy task to take on. The best way to hold a great house viewing is to remember why you bought the house in the first place and highlight those reasons to your potential buyer. Of course, you will need to make sure that you’re wearing appropriate face masks and keeping a safe distance from your buyers while showing them your house.
Negotiating is a scary task for some but knowing where to draw the line is the key to not pushing your potential buyer out of the door. As selling a house is a lengthy process, you’ll likely have been able to get a good idea of their personality. Be prepared to be flexible as it is a give and take game, and you will need to go into the negotiation with an open mind - both parties need to be happy with the final price.
What other ways can I sell?
Taking on the task of selling your house yourself is a huge one, so knowing what other options are out there before you commit to it is a great way to make sure you’re prepared and happy with the path that you take. Other selling options are –
Selling at an auction.
This is a popular choice for homeowners who want a quick, no-strings attached sale and aren’t relying on a certain amount from the sale. It’s especially helpful for those who have recently inherited a house and want to sell, without the hassle of hosting viewings. A sale at an auction is very fast but can be unpredictable, which is why it isn’t the first choice for every homeowner. For more information, read our blog post, should I sell my house at an auction?
Selling to a quick-sale company.
Quick-sale companies like We Buy Any House can give you a speedy sale without the worry of estate agents or the risks that an auction sale can have. With us, you can get a free cash offer and make a decision before moving forwards, giving you full control. Not only this, but we also take care of the legal fees – saving you having to pay for your sale!