Do You Really Need An Estate Agent To Sell Your Home?
The vast majority of people who are considering selling their home rely on estate agents. But, as everyone knows, there is often a cost involved – which can sometimes rise to extortionate levels. But what if you went down the DIY route and decided to try and sell your home yourself? There is a potential saving of thousands of pounds, and you could save anything up to 2 percent in agency fees by marketing and selling the house on your terms.
Of course, it’s not all plain sailing – and there will be extra costs that you have to cover yourself. But the reality is that on a £300,000 home, you have the chance to save up to £6,000 in fees – just imagine what you could do with that money! With this in mind, I thought I would pull together a few tips and go through some of the things you have to consider if you want to sell your home privately – let’s take a closer look.
It’s always a good idea to get agencies to come around and value your home. The vast majority of estate agent companies offer this as a free service with no obligation for you to get them to take over the sale. However, bear in mind that some of the tactics agents employ could give you a false valuation. If they come in and offer you a lot more than you were expecting, they are likely to be trying to grab your attention and choose them as your agent. The best thing to do is to get few companies around to have a look, as well as keeping a close eye for similar properties in your postcode area that are currently on sale. With all that information, you should be able to make a good estimate of the actual value of your home.
Get a survey
In my opinion, getting a professional home surveyor to look at your house is essential. First of all, they will be able to tell you if there is any significant damage to your property or problem areas that might affect its value. And you can guarantee that savvy buyers will be planning an inspection, too, and if they find anything, they will ask for a discount off your selling price. If you know what is wrong, you can either spend money on fixing things or consider the costs when you arrive at your sale price. This simple tactic will work well for you when it comes to the negotiating process with an interested buyer.
Making your home sellable
There are plenty of things you will need to do to make your home appealing to prospective buyers. You would be surprised at how many people leave their homes in a sorry state of affairs, yet still, expect to get their asking price within a few weeks. You have to remove any signs of clutter to ensure a buyer knows that storage and tidiness won’t be a problem when they move in. Kitchens and bathrooms are also a key selling point – make sure they are super clean and look as good as new. The idea is to make people see they can live in your home straight away without having to make any drastic alterations. Finally, if you can create an image of your lifestyle – or even your aspirations – you will help people imagine themselves living in your home, which will improve your prospects of receiving a bid.
This is where things start to get hard. Estate agents have access to all kinds of marketing materials, from floor planning software and high-quality photography, all the way through to 3D walkthrough technology and drones to show off your home from an aerial view. Estate agents also know how to write compelling descriptions for your property – which will help you get more people through the doors on open days. A good description, then, is critical when it comes to marketing your property, although keep things simple, brief, and never bang on too much about how wonderful your home is. You should definitely look into getting floor plans created, too, so that prospective buyers have a good idea of the layout and sizing.
Photography can be the most important aspect of your marketing efforts, so it’s important to pay close attention to quality. Lighting can often be an issue for amateur photographers, no matter how good your camera is – and the impact it can have on your marketing can be a killer. Dark rooms lacking natural light always look drab and dingy in photographs, and it can be quite off-putting for people expecting a bright and natural-looking living space. It might be worth hiring a professional photographer for an hour just to ensure your home looks its best.
Listing your property
OK, so you have a razor sharp, compelling description of your home, some great photos, and floor plans all ready – now where do you put them? The good news for private sellers is that services like Zoopla, Rightmove, and many others all give you the exact same opportunity to list your home as they do estate agents. In fact, these online services are the reason why many more people are willing to forego estate agents altogether these days. There is a cost attached to listing your property, of course, and you can expect to pay around the £150 mark for a top package and listings on partner sites. Try advertising in local newspapers and magazines, too – don’t forget, the more places your property is listed, the more chances you have of achieving your selling price.
Negotiating a price
Finally, the financial aspect of selling a home is pretty much the same whether you go it alone or use an estate agent. The only difference is that you have to have the confidence to stick to your guns on your own. It’s important to have the lowest figure in mind, which you will not go below at any cost. If your home looks great and you have your surveyor’s evidence, there is no reason to think you won’t achieve your selling price – and maybe even more.