If you’re a homeowner that is looking to sell your house or flat, you might be wondering about your options for finding a buyer. There are typically four ways that you can sell, including trying to do it yourself – but there are some pitfalls you need to know about to avoid if you decide to try selling your home privately without the assistance of a property professional.
Options for finding a buyer for your home
When it’s time to sell your home, these are the typical options: use an estate agent, use a property auction, use a fast cash buyer, or try selling the home on your own.
Estate agents can help remove a lot of the stress from selling your property because they’ll handle the advertising and viewings, where people come to visit the house or flat. Auctioneers similarly will take on the work of marketing your home ahead of the auction date.
Alternatively, you might consider selling your home to a fast cash buying business such as LDN Properties. These companies can give homeowners competitive and speedy cash payments for selling their flats or houses, no matter their size or condition. It can be a great way to achieve a fast sale, and the trustworthy fast home buyers won’t charge you any fees, which means you get to keep all of the proceeds from selling your house.
A fourth option is selling your home privately, which means you will be responsible for every step of the process from listing the house for sale through to finalising it. Before you decide on this option you should be aware that there are several benefits but also some disadvantages.
Benefits of selling your home privately
Perhaps one of the leading benefits of deciding to sell your home privately is the fact that you won’t have to pay an estate agent or auctioneer commission for finding you a buyer. When you sell your home using these services, they may charge you potentially high fees for their work that can reduce the total net profit that you can make from selling your home.
If there’s a high demand in the housing market in your area, then you might want to consider selling privately because there will likely be many people interested in buying your property. In such situations it might not make sense to enlist the help of an auctioneer or estate agent to try finding a buyer, as there could be several potential buyers already interested in your home.
And if you already have identified a buyer for your house or flat then you should also consider privately, because you’ve already solved the biggest problem when selling your home. With a buyer in place you can proceed to the legal paperwork and other final steps of the sale.
Potential pitfalls from selling your property privately
Although there can be certain benefits of selling your house or flat privately, there can also be some disadvantages that might make the idea less enticing depending on your situation.
For example, if the demand for homes in your area is currently low then you might struggle to find a buyer on your own. You would have to pay for advertising of your property, and the onus would be solely on you to generate interest in the home at a difficult selling time. In contrast, an estate agent might be able to rely on their extensive experience to advertise your property more effectively and find buyers that you wouldn’t necessarily be able to reach.
And when you sell privately you’ll also have to handle all the viewings for potential buyers, which can be stressful, inconvenient, and time-consuming to organise yourself. But when you sell through an estate agent they will typically take care of all this work.
Another potential downside of selling your home alone is the fact you will be solely responsible for any legal issues that might crop up in the sale – everything from having to deal with a confusing leasehold situation through to unexpected problems when trying to complete the sale and exchange contracts. When you work with a property auctioneer, estate agent, or fast cash buyer, they typically have a team of professionals who can help out in these situations and prevent problems from occurring, or know how to resolve them swiftly and fully. But when you sell privately you’ll be liable for dealing with any and all legal hurdles that might arise.
The steps involved with a private sale of your home
If you have reviewed the potential pros and cons of selling your home privately and have decided to proceed with this option, it’s useful to know the steps that you’ll have to take.
There are many resources online that can be incredibly useful for homeowners looking to make a private sale. For example, the Citizens Advice network of charities has a comprehensive list of important tips about selling your property, covering every step of the process.
One of the first decisions that you’ll have to make is what sale price to ask for your home, which can be the determining factor between getting offers and your home remaining unsold. One tip for coming up with a price is to check local property listings in the newspaper, online, or in estate agent offices to see the value of homes similar to yours for sale, or that have recently sold. This should give you a good general idea of what price you could ask for your home.
Next, you will want to advertise that your house or flat is for sale so that people can find out about it. Your options here include using property sales websites (Zoopla and rightmove are two popular choices) and paying the local newspaper to place a listing in the property sales section.
If you are uncertain about how to write the text for such a listing, you should browse existing home sales listings. This should give you an idea about the key information that you should include in your advertisement, as well as the facts that you can omit from your listing. You want to interest people into calling you for a viewing by promoting your home’s best features.
Viewings give people the opportunity to tour your home and decide whether they would like to make an offer to buy it. Arrange these at a time that works for you, and ensure that your home is clean and tidy so that the exterior and interior look as inviting as possible to potential buyers.
Should you receive an offer on your home, the final step will be the complete the necessary legal paperwork, which includes exchanging contracts and having the buyer pay you the proceeds. Unless you are a solicitor or other legal professional, it’s highly suggested that you pay for someone who works in this area to oversee this crucial final stage of the selling process.
Selling your home privately can create some challenges but is sometimes worth it
As described above, when you sell your home, doing so privately can be beneficial because it can help you to reduce the costs of selling and increase your overall net profit.
But there are several complications to remember that might make selling privately more hassle than it is worth, including the work involved with trying to advertise your property and find people interested in making an offer. You should review all aspects and steps of the selling process to determine whether you are comfortable with the time and effort involved with finding a buyer on your own, and if not then you should consider another method for selling your home.