With all the resources available to us nowadays, it’s no surprise that some homeowners are looking to circumvent the estate agent and undertake a little DIY house selling instead. Estate agents fees for finding a buyer for your property generally run into the thousands with many taking as much as 1.8% of the sale price. In comparison, you can list your house on a selling site for just a few pounds and, at first site, it seems like a no brainer.
Becoming a DIY Seller
Actually we’ve been doing this kind of thing with many aspects of our lives for a while so it’s no surprise that the act of selling a home is leaning towards the DIY market. We sell cars online, get rid of our old games and books and even hire and fire staff ourselves, rather than using middlemen like second hand shops, dealers and agencies. With property websites more geared to estate agents, there has been a rise in the number of websites that are specifically aimed at private sellers – they work in much the same way as the big sites and charge a fee for advertising, normally tiered to your specific requirements. A lot of people are conscious about the effort that goes into doing it yourself but as we’ve previously discussed there are some important questions you can ask yourself in order to find out if it’s truly for you.
5 Tips for Advertising your Property
- First of all you need to find the right site to advertise your property and that can involve a good deal of research. The number of sites offering this kind of service is beginning to increase but not all of them are up to the standard you would expect so it pays to check them out before you put your house up on their pages.
- DIY sites offer a range of services that could well bump up the cost to around £500 or more, helping to arrange home visits and negotiations with prospective buyers. You need to decide how much you want to do yourself and how much you want to hire out.
- Once you have found the DIY site for you, then the next step is to decide on the price you want to ask for your own property. This is something that estate agents generally deal with and have experience of doing. You need to be realistic in your asking price – check what similar houses are going for in your area and keep your valuation within that.
- Take photos of your property, if possible professionally. They should of course show your property in the best light and can be uploaded digitally, normally for a small fee for each picture. Adverts with photos have much more chance of attracting a buyer’s attention and the more you include revealing the look and feel of your home the better.
- Do you need a For Sale Sign? If you want people in your area to know that your home is up for sale then yes you certainly do. Many DIY property selling sites will actually provide you with a for sale sign, costing around £30 to put up.
Describing your Home
For many people this can often be the most difficult part of the process but can really help boost buyer activity if you get it right. First of all you will want to produce something that is honest and revealing and include details such as whether there is room (and planning permission) for improvements and extensions. Whilst your blurb shouldn’t have overly flowery language, you might want to think carefully about what attracted you to the property in the first place and what you most love about it.
Energy Performance Certificate
If you haven’t sold a property in a while, you may not know that you will need an Energy Performance Certificate for your property. That means employing the services of a registered assessor who will give your property the once over and decide how energy efficient it is.
One of the most important things you are going to have to cope with is arranging viewings for prospective buyers, which means showing them round and answering all their questions. This is not everyone’s cup of tea and you need to be sure that you have all the answers you need to hand. You also have to be as flexible as possible with the times you allow appointments to meet the needs of your potential buyer.
Negotiating the Price
Make sure that you have a price that you are not willing to go below before you even start negotiating with a prospective buyer. This is one area that requires the ability to gauge when to stick or twist and most of us don’t have that particular skill set. If you have a potential buyer who has better negotiating skills you may find yourself being backed into a corner and settling for somewhat less than you intended, especially if you are looking for a quick sale.
Employing a Good Solicitor
There is a fair amount of paperwork involved in transferring ownership of a house which will need the services of a good solicitor who is aware that you are selling the property privately and will be able to make sure you have everything in place and ready to go.
Choosing Between DIY Selling or Estate Agents
Overall, there are four issues you need to consider when deciding whether to sell on your own or go through an estate agent.
- The benefit of not having to pay fees versus potentially missing out on a slightly better price for your property.
- Learning how to sell your house yourself against having a ready-made source of information and expertise.
- Having to handle all potential buyer viewings against letting the estate agent do it.
- Handling the negotiations yourself as opposed to having someone else with more experience champion your cause.