Hiring an estate agent can be a costly business, but is it possible to sell your house without one? We guide you through a step-by-step approach of selling your house without the middle-man.
Selling your house will always involve unavoidable fees and expenses, but does hiring an estate agent have to be one of them? There's no denying that their services can be costly and you could save a bundle by cutting them out of the equation. By taking your property into your own hands it's possible to make a sale without the help of estate agent - we show you how.
First you'll need to arrive at an appropriate valuation for your house - how much you would reasonably like it to sell for. It is possible to get an idea of your home's worth by researching the price of homes in your area using sites such as Zoopla.
You can also use sites like Price My Home to get an online valuation of your house. Estate agents too often provide obligation-free valuations, so it's worth contacting a couple in your local area to see if they will be happy to value your home without any commitment.
You need to get an Energy Performance Certificate before you put your property on the market, so it's worth getting this done before you start advertising your home. You will need to get a registered energy assessor to compile this for you - search for one on the EPC register website.
When it comes to advertising your property, you can do this without an estate agent as long as you're prepared to put some time and effort in. Several sites allow you to list your house for free such as Property Sell and House Ladder, meaning you can expose your property to a huge web audience.
Other sites which charge a fee can advertise large photos of your house and even put a For Sale board outside in your front garden.
You can of course also advertise your home in your local paper for a small fee, and many supermarkets allow you to put up For Sale notices for free. Take photos of your house yourself, or ask a friend to do it - and you can try writing the description of yourself too - after all, you know its ins and outs better than anyone else.
When you start to receive requests from interested buyers, you can deal with the process of arranging viewings yourself. In this way you can agree on a time that is convenient to you and speak to potential buyers before they come to see your house.
It's worth taking the time to make your house as visually appealing and clean as possible before you start showing round potential buyers. If you're arranging a viewing with someone who hasn't been vetted by an estate agent, it's a good idea to have someone else in the house with you for security. You'll also have to be comfortable talking to potential buyers about all the different aspects of your house, why you're moving, and so on.
This will require a degree of professionalism and you'll have to keep a clear head. Before entering into negotiations with a buyer make sure you have decided on the lowest price you will drop to - and don't drop below this, however tempted you might be to get the sale over with. If you have refused a low offer you can always reconsider it if no other buyers come your way.
When you've secured a buyer, you can bring in a solicitor who will be able to help complete the sale.
I would like to share something with the readers that,when you decide to put up a price for your home,you should also consider the fact that you have to hire an agent or a broker to do the job for you.Like,I sold my house with the help of a broker,and I had to pay 1-2% of the amount agreed as his fee.I was so much tensed at that moment as I had to buy another home from the same money.Well,I went through the process.But,my point is,I didn't really get what i wanted.I didn't get the price of my liking,because I had to pay to that damn agent.Now,after I went through all that process,I learned something.Recently,I went out with a friend of mind,and he told me that he sold his home without paying any fee to the broker.I asked If he was a relative of his or something.But no,he said he didn't even hire an agent.I thought he might have sold it to a relative of his or some friend of his.But yet another NO i got from him.He told me that he sold his home through an online website.Some FSBO websites they are called i guess.I didn't believe him,because I never trust any business done over the internet.But since he showed me the website,and the agreement copy and all,I finally decided to trust him.I think that in order to save your money,and to set the right price for your liking you should first be relaxed by keeping this thing in your mind that you don't have to pay anything to a broker.I have searched these websites on Google,the top sites were:gofizzbo.com, forsalebyowner.com, isoldmyhome.com, fsbo.com etc.Now I don't mean any offense to the brokers,Its just that you can save your money in this way.That's my opinion.Just for a flat rate fee and without paying any commission you can sell your home.This seems a big deal to me.Also,you can also try the most easiest way of all,that is put up a "FOR SALE" sign in front of your home.But,let me tell you what will happen.The next moment you put up the sign,your phone will start ringing.WHY?How would you know that it is the actual buyer who has called.Actually,the real estate agents might try to hound you.Still,no offense to the brokers,estate agents or realtors.The choice is yours.Hope this info helps you.Regards
The best 2 that I know of are Tepilo and Moovon, both similar however would say Moovon is more modern and better to use.
Thanks for your comment about Moovon Property Group Hessyh. The important thing to remember is where any online or estate agent is advertising, it is ultimately this that will sell your property rather than a person. By this I mean generally people visit portals and property sites, rather than Bobsestateagent.com for example. Feel free to ask an questions about this or Moovon to firstname.lastname@example.org.
One of the biggest private house sale websites where owners can sell themselves is at TheLittleHouseCompany.com
sold my home using The Little House Company!
OkIf your tied into a contract with an on line agent, then you have to pay!!! the answer is to get an agent who will NOT tie you to a contract to sell. http://www.getmemoved.com/you can then use them to what is effectively a "scatter gun" marketing. I gaurentee this will bring buyers to your door.You then get an offer,(through the agent), but you WILL get buyers getting in touch with better offers, get thier solicitor details and request a cash deposit(non returnable) to be held by the solicitor and withdraw from the agent, no agent fees to pay!!I have just made £4500 more than the asking price and saved a potential agent fee of £2750,No Brainer!!!!Use the system to your advantage!!!
These FSBO websites are fairly ineffectual in my opinion. They do not get your house onto any of the major property portals (and this is where today's house buyer is searching for their next house). There is a cheap way to get around this and that's to use an online estate agent. These services do everything an estate agent does but at a low fixed price. There is a good article on how online estate agents work here
You can advertise your house on rightmove and zoopla for six months for on £299+vat plus these guys set up the viewings with you so you only have to worry about your eventual buyer having your number www.propertyeagle.co.uk
My friend saved over 5k by selling it on an online estate agent! And she didnt have to deal with dreaded estate agents-I think estate agents willbe a thing of the past like travel agents are becoming-well all be using the internet instead!
I sold through Kuboo see www.kuboo.co.uk gthey were amazing and it only cost £195 so I saved about £4000 brill
I advertised my house with My-Sell and they offered a really great service.
Had property on with agents who were less than useless so tried to sell it privatly only problem was the old agent was telling people the house had faults and was a bad buy. Just proves estate agents are scum and get away with murder.
I am currently working on a project to create a FSBO website with all the functionality of the big property portals, I am looking at making this site free to use and will generate income and pay for running costs by advertisments. The website side is almost complete and If the idea takes off I hope it will mean an end to the estate agents, if anyone is interested in getting involved please feel free to contact me.
Or you could use an online agent. Far cheaper than a standard agent and with a much wider audience.
It's far cheaper - IF IT WORKS !Not everyone is internet savvy, so if say an older buyer is more likely to buy your property (perhaps because it is more expensive) then being only on the net means they might not even see you house is for sale !
Online estate agents are the same as high street agents and require you to sign an estate agents contract with all the normal restrictions. They also need to visit your house and will have influence over your house price. On the other hand a site that is aimed at DIY homes sales referred to as Private House Sales or For Sale By Owner offers an advertising service and are NOT estate agents. This means you can list a property with a private house sales website also be with an high street agent. In fact when an agent knows you are attempting a private sale it can get them working harder for thier Commision. Selling a House privately does mean a huge saving and is worth a try.
My online agent didn't mind what price I advertised for...? They did send a photographer round for photos and to check measurements but they didn't put any pressure on them. They did charge £300 but they put my house on rightmove and zoopla and arranged the viewings. I was very impressed and the only thing I had to do was show buyers round which in my experience previous agents didn't do very well anyway! Tom & Mel were really helpful.
Private house sale sites are so much better value than Classified ad sites who keep on charging to bump up your advert. Its a hard market out there so choose a UK for sale by owner website where you can advertise at a fixed price for atleast 3 months. I am using these sites to get away from the same old property for sale that you find on the big portals. I discovered that they all carry the same inventory and dont list owner sales .
Thanks to all the comments above..... you've all given me an insight. Really appreciate these sites, you can learn alot!!!!
Hi so much better with online estate agents! I used emoov , it went on all the websites- rightmove primelocation etc and because no estate agent was pushing viewers to visit the property I only got serious enquiries. So much easier as well to be in when viewers come (online agents vet and make appointments to suit you) instead of hanging around away from the home waiting for viewers to leave.Plus I saved £6000 on commission and during the sale I knew exactly what was going on as I was in direct contact with the buyers instead of to-ing and fro-ing with usual nonsense from estate agents! I work full time and found it much less stressful!
It is a great pity that indiviuals can't advertise on the major portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla. I have tried to sell my house with high street agents and on line agents. The only difference is that the online agents get your money up front and still don't deliver. It may only be less than £100 in most cases but frankly having used 2 and lost my money when they went bust and still trying to sell my house I was interested to read this article and will be trying the self sell sites mentioned.
Interesting to hear the shift to the internet, I used moovon.co.uk and did exactly what it said on the tin. Have been stung in the past by estate agents taking my money and was not going to repeat this. I found Moovon to be fab to be honest, ran this alongside my estate agent advert which I paid for and found I had more enquiries from moovon because it is internet based and easy for people to click to message me.
I agree estate agents are a thing of the past.
Steer clear of online estate agents. I have experienced 2 now and the first went into liquidation with the money paid up front lost and no viewings in over a year. The second I am still trying to get my money back. The on line agents are small computer literate youngsters with no experience of property in your area or anywhere else. The only thing they can do different to you is advertise on the main portals. Like anything else where you pay up front and not on results they have no incentive to sell your house. The second on line agent did not get one detail right and published the listing without our approval. They did more damage than enough even though everything was laid out for them.
I have just agreed a contract with a high street agent nothing to pay up front and most high street agents are competing doing a fixed fee of around 0.5% for selling your property highly comparable with the on line agents. It is a much wider market they reach acutally contacting their data base and advertising in the local paper. Not everyone is computer literate. Difference is if the high street agents fail you have lost nothing but your time.
Agree entirely ! I put my house on eMoov in nottingham and only got ONE enquiry in 3 months. So that's nearly £600 down the drain.If eselling works you have saved a bundle, but I'm not that convinced after my experiences/
Daveth I used Moovon and Teplio and got some good enquiries, maybe not as many as an estate agent but for what I paid I think it was worth it.
Northerngirl I think the right online agent is great, just need to do research and check database size which is what I did to see if people using. I was thinking of selling through an agent but a small percenatge on £170,000 is a lot of money vs the 60 quid I paid. Just a thought, the ones I used I created my own add with own photos so was in total control.
I think a lot of online agents go on these boards to get more business. I have personal experience of 2 now both abysmal and my advice would be steer clear and negotiate with a high street agent. You are not in control and the online agent I used who claimed to be the biggest actually published on Rightmove a confidential email saying how desperate I was too sell and therefore reducing my price. I had sent them photos plus property description and they still managed to get the price and location wrong. I am stil trying to get my money back! £60 may not be a lot of money but personally I would prefer to give this to charity than lose it with another online agent neither of which attained 1 viewer let alone a sale.
We've been effectively 'sacked' by our 2nd Estate Agent for requesting thay they explain what they do for their commission once the photos (most of which I provided) brochure and being put onto the usual websites e.g. Rightmove etc. have been done! The Agent has told us to 'go elsewhere'!
We're just absolutely lost and although I've read all the above comments, opinions are equally divided about Online Estate Agents, so I still don't know what to do next!How does anyone know if these comments are genuine or Online Agents trying to get more business.
Just don't know who to trust or which way to turn.
I went back to a high street agent and negotiated a fixed rate deal which works out around 0.5%. They are advertising in a major local property paper for that and best of all no sale no fee. I also get an advertising board photos valuation from an agent familiar with the area and accompanied viewings. High street agents realise they are up against stiff competition and will negotiate. If you have been sacked by one for asking them to justify their fee then I doubt they would have been any good at selling your house. Plenty more fish in the sea but only pay on results when they have sold your house.
Thanks northerngirl I appreciate you replying
- I think that the pay on results is usually the case isn't it? I'm not sure, I think I agreed to a 1% fee that would only have been payable on the sale of the house, I didn't pay anything up front, thank God.
I initially signed up with Hetheringtons (Maldon, Essex) last Sept and handed over a cheque, that was cashed the next day for £299 - and they didn't do anything before they took it! I did get the money back once I realised I'd been taken for a complete idiot !
Things went from bad to worse over the weekend when our Church and Hawes Estate Agent Andy Weller (also in Maldon), emailed on Friday asking to 'respectfully request an end to our agreement', chose to ignore his own 'request' and before I'd even opened his email, he'd deleted our house details from ALL the main inline property websites.
The same day he wrote to us to say he'd deleted us from the agency's register - the letter arrived the next day - then I looked up Church and Hawes' own website and they still had our house on there - but with 'SOLD' next to it !!!
I was delighted to know my house had sold without any viewers, offers or contracts being exchanged ! (Spot the sarcasm !)Surely this is misrepresentation or something? Why or how are they allowed to do that? And how many other SOLD properties aren't sold at all?
I sent a polite (it really was 'polite') email to Glenn Church, the Manager asking for an explanation to the vindictive and unreasonable actions of Andy Weller which he would've received today - Monday.
I haven't had any reply or even an acknowledgement.
I've named and shamed these people and Agencies because I believe someone has to stand up to these people. I have all the evidence, emails and correspondence to support everything I've said and maybe someone will see this and not make the same mistakes.
Right now I just want the ground to open up and let me jump in. I still don't know what to do - try another High St Agent, or online agent - I don't think I feel confident enough to do it myself.Don't know where to get any advice or help. Does anyone know of anything I can do?Thanks if you can helpx
There is a property ombudsman you can complain to about the estate agent but only if they have subscribed to the scheme which to me smacks of not really being an ombudsman but a trade body. Might be worth a try but unfortunately it still won't sell your house.
Great advice again northerngirl and I've tried to follow it !
Did you know that you CAN'T complain directly to the Property Ombudsman until you've followed the process of making an 'internal' complaint via the member of Church and Hawes who is a member of the National Association of Estate Agents and represents the Agency to deal with complaints !
I'm waiting to hear back from Church and Hawes as to who this designated person is - what's the betting that it's the very man (Glenn Church) that I've been complaining to in the first place and who has completely IGNORED every question I've asked?
Is he likely to uphold a complaint against himself or his Senior Negotiator Andy Weller? (Answers on a postcard please !)
I also have to request a copy of - and then follow - the Complaints Procedure as stipulated BY Church and Hawes. Everything I want to complain about has to be listed in date order with supporting evidence (which I do have) and explanations and then a decision is made as to whether or not to uphold the complaint - by Church and Hawes.
Only THEN can I approach the Property Ombudsman - and trust me - one look at THEIR procedure is enough to put you 6ft under !
So, I'm still in a hopeless mess and having checked the C and H website that stated in capital letters that my house was 'SOLD' three days ago - guess what? It's up FOR SALE again !
Is there anyone who can step in to review how utterly ridiculous this system is? Where are all the TV experts who help people sell their houses when it comes to facing moronic, lying estate agents? Where are Phil, Kirsty and Sarah?
Answers gratefully received, many thanks,x
Go to your local press about it - or write to Kirsty and let the local press you know you're doing it
Well if the notion of handing over a commission to a real estate agent annoyed you; sell your house on your own. However before you go to this route, figure out whether it makes sense financially to go to the trouble and expense of marketing and selling your house yourself. Well it totally depends on your choice. If you want to sell your house fast you can take help of online estate agent like in order to quickly find buyers.
The Tepilo site (Sarah Beeney) seemed like it was going to be a great opportunity but turned out to be a complete waste of time. I spent over 4 weeks emailing them to change the list of 'local' schools which they choose to add on the basis of postcodes.But one 'local' Primary School that they listed is over 30 miles away - on the next peninsula of land and requires a journey inland before being able to cross the estuary! I repeatedly asked them to change this or tell me how to change it - didn't receive even ONE reply - so this information and details of local train stations was all incorrect.
Tepilo is a complete waste of time, I've no idea - and don't believe - that anyone has actually sold their house in this way.
I'm now back with yet another Estate Agent Haart (been with them 8 weeks). Have had ONE viewer who clearly wasn't interested even before they walked through the door.
Haart then accused of me of 'harassing' them which was not going to be 'tolerated' just because I sent 5 emails over the course of 9 days - 3 of them begging for my Agent to make contact and 2 emails of complaint cos he wouldn't get in touch! How on earth is that 'harassing'?They've forced me to reduce the asking price again, to a 'Guide' price but I know what I have to sell at in order to buy somewhere else. So I can't see how this will help.
I've no problem with paying an Agent's fee so long as I can see what they're doing to sell my house and that they keep in touch with me. Haven't found an Agent that does yet!I've investigated selling privately and doing my own advertising but any advert would still be in the same papers that my house has already been in.
To cap it all I discovered that my next door neighbour's house has just sold as a building plot cos it's got subsidence and is apparently going to be either pulled back into place or demolished. A building site next door - how great is that? And no, my house doesn't have any subsidence!
I could cry - except that I don't have any tears left. Just soooooooo depressed and this is such a lovely house with a fantastic view, I just don't want to live here anymore.
I'm sad to read that so many people have had bad experiences selling privately. My Property For Sales has helped thousands of people save money since we set up in 2001. You can read testimonials on our site from our customers: www.mypropertyforsale.co.uk We are also happy to answer any questions as to the best way to sell your house privately.
my sister sold her house to www.yellowhousesales.co.uk they seemed good but i reckon she could have maybe got a bit extra money if we waited for private family to buy, however selling quicker was better for her ;)
I've come to the conclusion - having spent months jumping through every hoop imaginable - that at the moment, despite what it says online/TV about the housing market, it's impossible to sell privately OR with an E.Agent, Houses under £250,000 are selling very rapidly apparently but houses over £300,000 aren't.
Been with Haart for 4 months - and still nothing. Have even dropped the price by £75,000 (even though that doesn't enable us to buy something else) - and still nothing. We sometimes get a call from the secretary to tell us how many clicks our house has had on the internet that week. It makes my day (NOT!)
Husband now retired and I'm disabled and can't work - big drop in income which is why we need to sell and downsize (still have a mortgage too). So, we're completely trapped and we've been on the market for 14 months - I suppose other people have waited longer, but selling with or without an E.Agent doesn't look like being successful for us.
I'm sorry to hear about your difficulties. I work with a number of partners across the UK helping people with their property problems. We might be able to help you. If you are interested, could you please give me a link to an advertisement for your property so that we can decide if there is anything that we might be able to do. Thanks
Hi Neil,Thanks for replying, the Haart advert for our house is at:
Maybe hear from you?FloBun
Thanks for replying. I might be able to help (I'm not promising, so please don't get your hopes up yet). I'll need to ask you a few questions, if that's all right, so please give me a call on 07425 087234 and we'll see if there's anything we can do. I've been in a similar position to you myself, and I know how frustrating and emotionally painful it can be. That's why I don't want to raise your expectations too much. I'm busy all day Monday, so if you could call me on Tuesday 26th November - any time up to 6pm - that would be great. I look forward to hearing from you.
We sold our house on an online website www.sellmyhouseforfree.co they saved us nearly £5000 in estate agents fees so we was able to make some huge savings, they also had facilities like EPC (energy performance certificates) and also had some other great helping tips along the way.
I sold my house with property eagle, they only charged £300 up front and I was a bit concerned that nothing would happen but they put my place on rightmove and zoopla. We had quite a few viewings but ended up selling to the first person that came round! Tom & Mel were really helpful and I can't recommend them enough, saved me £1000s.
I've double checked every single 'alternative' website suggested above in this blog and not ONE of them can do what they say they can. In the small print there are all sorts of little 'extras' that you DON'T want to get involved in - especially the one where you can only expect to receive 85% of your final selling price.
I honestly think the reviews above stating how people have sold using ??? website are bogus - and basically it doesn't matter whom you use, or how much or how little you pay - it sells or it doesn't! Unfortunately ours isn't and consequently it's pointless looking for somewhere for us to move to, even though we made an offer on a place that was perfect, we had to let it go as ours hasn't sold.
I asked Haart if they would put an advert in our Essex County Chronicle instead of the local free newspaper and one other local newspaper - I don't believe there's broad enough exposure in these - but they said they only had contracts with certain newspapers and would not consider any others (even though I said I'd pay extra for the advert.)
I just wish that there was someone out there who could help people like us out of crappy situations like this!
Yup, pigs might fly.
www.easiersale.co.uk A free online property marketing portal for estate agents and private sellers.
I used a online estate agent to sell my house in london last year. I spoke to some local estate agents first and they where charging a fortune. I searched the internet and found www.sellahouseonline.co.uk and they where brilliant from start to finish. I worked out how much the saved me it must have been over £4000.
Hmmm nathali77 - I've immediately looked up the site you recommend.
They offer 3 different 'options' that require between £99 (no legal fees and 'pay as you go' - NOT a good idea) or £399 or £375 ALL to be paid up front. No seller should have to pay a penny before any firm offer. On this website there are 3 - yes, just 3 - properties for sale! A good try nathali77 but you're away with the fairies in LaLa-Land.
I recently tried to sell my house. When i looked into signing up to various websites, i found them all overpriced for what you get.
So instead I created a Facebook Page for my property & used a the Facebook Property Listing App to create a professional looking listing. I got about five or six interested people who contacted me through Facebook Messages.
I ended up selling my house through an agent in the end as I had already bought another but would definitely try to sell using Facebook again next time.
The App i used for those interested isProperty Listing App for Facebookhttps://apps.facebook.com/sellmyhousefast/
Good info JulesSmithy. Thanks.
I'm glad you've sold Jules - truly - I'm just envious!
I don't use Facebook and according to a MSN poll this week, 50% of the UK don't use it anymore either. When you hear of so many horror stories about folk abusing the site, I'm not sure I'd be confident about who might be viewing my home. If anyone posts on here to say they've sold via Facebook, it would be impossible to corroborate whether it was fact or not!
So, 2014 and another go at trying to sell and good ole Haart have got our house advertised in the local free paper again - exactly the same view as used since June 2013 - even I'M sick of seeing it even though I've asked them to try a different photo (the answer was 'no'.)I wish Bridging Loans or something were affordable enough for us to buy, move and leave the house nice and empty in the hands of the E,Agent! Then we could get on with our lives.Good luck to anyone out there buying or selling this year xxx
Serious about selling? try and get procative by using Google adwords, twitter and portals that send your property advert to lots of sites. Miss out the agent you can save a fortune doing it yourself. Use a for sale board and beat the agent at their own game. Check out private sales websites that actually have traffic and actively promote propertyu listings would recommend www.thelittlehousecompany.com o
I think if you are just wanting to gauge the market sites like www.wouldliketomove.uk are a great idea as you can list for free (including saying what you catchment are is) then decide later if you want to use an Estate Agent... at least then you have a good idea what the market is like and if you can reduce their fee.
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