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private house sales

Selling a house privately

Private house sale is simply the sale of your house on your own, as an owner, without the use of online estate agents. Loads of responsibility that the online estate agents would usually cater for rests solely on you – and they are much! While selling a house privately and private house sales are often the last resort most times, it is not entirely off the table. This is due to the 1-3% percentage cut that online estate agents charge for the services they render. If they sell your house for you at £1,500,000, a 1% commission is £1,500. Some people may not want to pay out that much.

If you have loads of ample time on your hands, say you’re a stay-at-home parent, and you’re willing to make a private sale, why not? Let's walk you through the process.

private house sales

Selling your house without an estate agent

Some tips below will help you sell your house with or without an estate agent.

1. Your house could use some revamping 

To ensure that you get to sell your home quickly enough, and at a price it is worth, remodelling of some sort should be no. 1 on your to-do list. This does not particularly have to be anything serious. It could be as simple as tidying up your living room (the hotspot buyers watch out for this), to relatively serious work, like fixing cracks in walls, and the whole plumbing system. 

The idea is to make your house as attractive as possible to your prospective buyer. Before you take photos, ensure you clean required surfaces, giving them a homely feel of some sort. A buyer should not need some spiritual insight to know your house is habitable.

2. Good photos are essential

Do all the remodelling in the world. Without quality pictures to show those little to grand improvements, you might just have wasted a whole lot on revamping. You must invest in an excellent professional camera to take high-quality pictures. Even if what you use is an iPhoneXs Max, a small digital professional camera is needed. You don’t need to buy one. You could just rent instead. 

Quality pictures have their ways of enticing buyers, concealing rather apparent flaws in your house. 
Good photos are so important; we advise hiring a professional photographer altogether. Statistics show that listings with professional photographs sell 50% faster. It is definitely worth your extra pounds. 

3. Don’t scare prospective buyers away with your asking price

Usually, it is the work of estate agents to value your house. When you fly solo and decide to sell your house privately, however, the lot falls on you to do this. Do not be greedy. Set a fair, realistic asking price, bearing in mind that whatever you make is entirely yours. You'd probably be earning more than someone using an estate agent for the same house. Online calculators are available for you to determine a rough estimate of the value of your house

4. Get your writing juices popping

While renovation and quality pictures are essential, they need the vehicle of a short writing description to convey the message. It’s more icing on the cake. You need to go beyond writing the noticeable features your home possesses. Go further. Use emotional words in an attempt to tug at the heartstrings of your buyers. Talk about how much the house means to you. Of course, no matter how emotional your message gets, it should never be too long. In case you have not noticed, many people do not like to read. If you know you can't get the words out yourself, it will not harm to hire a creative writer. He will help put your thoughts into enticing and convincing writing. 

5. The internet is probably the only market that truly matters 

While it’s resourceful to pay for adverts at a local newspaper agency, nothing is as ingenious as soaring on the wings of the mighty internet. Look for online estate agents or portals that allow individuals to directly put their houses up for sale without estate agents as intermediaries. They could charge a small fee, but it is way lesser than what you would have had to pay any agent. If it would help sell your house faster, why not? Your Facebook and Instagram could come in handy too.

6. Treat interested buyers like the Kings they are not

Once an individual shows the slightest interest in your property, celebrate them in grand style, and invite them for a viewing at a time that is convenient for you. It is more realistic and reasonable to arrange multiple consecutive viewings with different buyers. Whatever you do, avoid an awkward situation where one prospective buyer comes and meets a 'competitor' around. It doesn't usually end well when that happens.

And of course, treat them like royalty. You don't have to treat them to a 3-course meal. All you have to do is intentionally clear the rooms that matter, before their arrival. If you have pets, or photos of them around, for instance, you might want to get rid of them temporarily, since not everyone likes them. 

A note of caution: it is always essential, for security, to have at least someone else you know in the house, during viewing sessions. These buyers are strangers, after all.  

7. Negotiate a private house sale

Be flexible. No price should be set in stone. Be careful, however, to be at the top of your game. Pass as an estate agent for your own home, and don’t let them have the slightest clue. While flexibility is important, you should have a threshold you cannot go below. Politely refuse offers that are short of this. And accept an offer you are happy with. 

8. Legal documents 

Whatever you do, never do a deal with mere words of mouth. Get a conveyancer or a solicitor, and let him help you prepare the legal documents that show proof of the agreement that just took place. Let them draw up a contract that legally transfers ownership of the property, with proof of payment. Conveyancers are usually cheaper to hire than solicitors. 

How long does a house sale take?

When selling a house privately it can take any amount of time depending on your and the other seller's circumstances, if they are currently a chain seller they will also have to wait for another buyer which can take time. If you are negotiating private house sales it should definitely take longer than when selling with an estate agent or online estate agent. If you are selling your house privately make sure you follow the tips below:

  • Check all the relevant property searches
  • Make sure you use a solicitor
  • Don't rely on the other party to do all the communication
  • Meet face to face regularly to discuss the plan
  • Maybe have a third party involved for the money

Once an Offer is Accepted on a House can Someone Else Make an Offer?

Unfortunately, if you are making a private house sale then there is no guarantee the person can change their mind at any time until the contracts are exchanged.

In conclusion

You can sell your house yourself. While it is more stressful, you have higher chances of getting more revenue than those that use online agents. You should factor in, however, costs that may be incurred in hiring a photographer, a solicitor, and other miscellaneous expenses.