How to buy and sell a home - without using an estate agent

by Housesimple on 7th July 2015

If you’ve ever sold your home through traditional methods - many of which date back decades such as placing a home in a newspaper or posting a description on a wall – you’ll know that there are advantages to selling your house privately. Meeting someone face-to-face, who can walk you through the process, or sits at the end of the telephone, can be comforting.

 

But there are drawbacks, which have given high street estate agents a certain reputation that will probably never be shrugged off. Especially as there’s a growing awareness of online-only agents, who can deliver the same or better packages at a fraction of the price. Here are five benefits of the new order in house sales.

 

  1. It’s easy

Speak to anyone who’s sold their house and they’ll relive a complex web of forms that they don’t understand, one after the other. Even the initial inventory of items needed is a tough cookie to crack, sometimes written in terms as clear as mud.

 

The ideal scenario would be to have everything needed on a screen in front of you, designated with a price, FAQs and interesting, relevant information on the process. Simply find a website, enter the information, and the rest is done for you.

 

  1. You don’t have to speak to anyone

A controversial suggestion, but as we’ve already discussed many sellers have a particular regard for estate agents. It might be unfair but they’re described as pushy, difficult, and unwilling to reveal the true list of charges that will ensue.

 

Online estate agents are different in that many allow customised choices, allowing you to pick and choose the services you desire. If you do have any grievances then you can still take action through bodies such as the Property Ombudsman or the Property Redress Scheme.

 

  1. It’s cheap

The biggest ‘selling point’, if you will. High street estate agent charges vary enormously, but are usually based on a percentage of the final selling price of the property rather than a flat fee. The average for a property of £250,000 could be in excess of £4,500. Those several thousands pounds pay for someone to put a sign outside your house, to take a few pictures, to write details of your house, to create brochures, and so on.

 

Therefore, if these jobs are completed in a different way that cuts out costs, admin, petrol, power (of computers, office lighting etc) and other fees, then this should be encouraged. That’s what online sellers offer.

 

  1. You call the shots

That customisation gives you the power to choose what is essential and what is extraneous. A sliding scale of fees offered by a seller will allow everything to be paid up-front, so they’re not greeted with an unwanted surprise further down the line.

If you want to take and choose your own photographs then do so.

 

  1. It’s quick

So – you’ve selected what you need, and how much you’re willing to pay. The photographs, floorplans and listings are in place on good websites, and now it’s a waiting game. However, evidence from the market suggests that you are more likely to sell your house fast.

 

Marketed well, expect several viewings in the first fortnight and perhaps even an offer. Obviously this depends upon the property, but there’s no reason why that lucky seller can’t be you. 

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