The number of ways in which you can sell your property has grown in recent years. More and more often, homeowners are bypassing the traditional route of using high-street estate agents in favour of online house sales as well as a more independent option, by taking matters into their own hands and selling their home privately.
Private house sales differ from using an agent as you deal directly with the buyer yourself, however, this means taking on a lot of extra responsibilities to secure the sale. If you choose to sell your house privately, you will be involved at every stage, from advertising the property to conducting viewings as well as drawing up relevant documents, it requires a degree of proactivity and self-motivation.
However, if you have enough time to deal with all the admin side of things, private sales are a fantastic option, particularly if the property market is thriving.
As private property buyers, we buy independently on a regular basis, so let us inform you of the benefits and processes involved.
Estate agents charge a commission, which can be around 2% +VAT of your total sale
Selling your house can be stressful, but by avoiding middlemen, you’re in total control with full communication
More people now search for their next property online, no longer restricted to estate agents’ offices
The first step in selling your home privately is deciding how much it is worth. Try to keep emotions out of it and base your valuation on fact – look at similar properties available on the market in your area and determine if yours offers more or is more modern. However, don’t get hung up on what the properties are being advertised for; make sure you research sold prices too to see what people are actually willing to pay for similar properties in your area. A realistic asking price is better than an over-ambitious price if you want to sell your house fast. To make this process easier, on Rightmove.co.uk, (one of the most trusted property portals) you can find all properties in your area which are for sale and see recent sold prices. You can pull reports about house prices in your area and carry out a huge amount of due diligence in just one place.
Inviting over 2 or 3 local agents to value your house may give you a good indication of value as well, however, be aware that often these valuations tend to be on the high side as, understandably, they are trying to get your business.
Once you’re set on a price, it’s time to get your property ready for viewings. Make your house presentable by freshening up the paintwork, dealing with any broken fixtures and ensure everything is in working order. Avoid too many ‘personal touches’ around the property as buyers prefer a neutral environment, this includes not having any pets to welcome them on their visit! Furthermore, as most people view your home online before deciding to book a viewing, you need to take quality pictures, put together a floor plan and compile a detailed guide of every room, including dimensions and unique features (think original fireplace, hardwood floors – the kind of features you would read on a Rightmove listing) to attract potential buyers. Finally, EPC certificates are required to sell your home, so make sure you get it sorted before advertising. You can find reputable assessors in your area here.
Next, you must decide how you are going to get your property in front of potential buyers. Think about what your budget will allow and look for costs of advertising in local papers, as well as online portals which allow private sellers; unfortunately, Rightmove and Zoopla do not allow people to add private sale listing to their sites. You should also research the legalities around putting your own For Sale sign up as there are regulations on the size and content of your board.
Now, this is an important stage; get it wrong and it could cost you the sale. Before any viewing, make sure that your house is tidy! Remove clutter and clean your home to give potential buyers the best possible impression. This also extends to your garden; simply mowing the lawn can smarten up any garden – check out our quick gardening tips to help your house sell fast.
With viewings, you should always greet any potential buyers at the front door to give a good first impression and whilst showing them around, allow them to enter all rooms first so they can see themselves in it. You should also remain positive throughout – don’t go around pointing out the flaws or moaning about your neighbours! Instead ask questions to work out if you can give them any useful information, for example, the local schools, the best restaurants or any other morsels that they may find comforting and useful.
Finally, if you are going to conduct the viewings yourself it is always worth having a friend or partner with you, after all, you are inviting a stranger into your home!
Before starting the process of selling your house, determine an offer value which you would be happy to accept. Even if you do have to reject an offer, be friendly about it and try going back with a counter offer – they may increase!
Once you have accepted a formal offer both verbally and in writing, you must instruct your solicitor to carry out the legal side of things. Ensure that you have one in place before you start marketing your property as this will require some research and paperwork and you do not want this to delay your sale. Make sure you pick a well-reviewed one; look at their online ratings as well as talking to friends and family to see if they have had a particularly good experience with a firm.
Just be aware that at this stage your buyer may come to you with a reduced offer if the mortgage valuation down-values the property or a property survey sheds light on any issues. In these cases, get a copy of the survey to see if their claim is valid – if so, it is common to split the cost of the issue.
Finally, your private house sale will have completed once you have signed contracts, funds are in the relevant accounts, exchange has taken place and keys have been handed over – congratulations!
If there are lots of buyers looking for new homes, the increase in demand makes it easier to conduct private house sales
Selling privately can be time-intensive. Consider how much free time you have to dedicate to this important transaction. You can use Vivo’s guide on how long it takes to sell a house to ensure you have time for each stage of the process.
You’ll have to set up your house online. Not being computer literate may risk you failing to market your property correctly
You must ensure your sale compiles with property law. Complicated leasehold issues may be tricky to manage
If selling your house privately sounds like too much hassle and effort, fear not; there is still a way to keep it private! As fast property buyers, selling to us also bypasses any estate agent fees as well as survey costs; in fact, there are no fees at all!
Not only that, we can buy your home in as little as 7 days, meaning an even more stress-free way to sell your home. If you are interested in Vivo buying your house, please feel free to complete our simple form or get in touch. As private house buyers, we’d be happy to discuss your situation to see if Vivo is a suitable route for you and your house. Also, why not check out our reviews to see just how happy our previous clients have been!