Updated: October 2023
Fed up with the traditional home-selling process and the costs associated with it?
Explore our article to selling your house without an estate agent and unlock the potential to save thousands while enjoying a personalized and controlled experience.
Selling a house involves several legal requirements that must be met, regardless of whether you choose to sell your property with or without an estate agent. We already discussed needed an EPC earlier in the article; here are some more of the key legal requirements for selling a property without an estate agent in the UK.
It’s important to note that this is not an exhaustive list of all the legal requirements for selling a property in the UK. There may be additional requirements depending on your individual circumstances and the nature of the property being sold. It’s always advisable to seek legal advice and consult the government guidance on selling a home to ensure that you meet all the legal requirements for selling a property without an estate agent.
No matter which of the avenues used to sell a property without an agent, there are steps that need to be taken prior to beginning the sales process.
Preparing for a DIY house sale is crucial to ensure a smooth and successful process. Here are some detailed steps to help you prepare for a private house sale:
Of course, when you sell via an estate agent they carry out a valuation for you. When selling solo it’s down to you to ensure you pick a realistic market value that doesn’t leave you out of pocket nor over-estimate it’s worth. The following are ways to determine the price:
While none of these methods should be considered 100% accurate, utilising all that’s available should provide you with the necessary information to decide a realistic asking price.
Further steps you can take to set a realistic house price include:
Consider Improvements: Any improvements or renovations you have made to the property can increase its value. Make a list of all the improvements you have made, such as a new kitchen, bathroom, or extension, and consider how these may affect the value of your property.
Compare Similar Properties: Look at the selling prices of similar properties in your area. This will give you an idea of what buyers are willing to pay for a property like yours. Make sure to consider the size, condition, and location of the properties when making comparisons.
Be Objective: It’s natural to have an emotional attachment to your home, but it’s important to be objective when setting your asking price. Try to view your home from a buyer’s perspective and consider what they may be willing to pay.
Remember, the asking price is just a starting point for negotiations, so it’s important to be flexible and open to offers. However, setting a realistic and competitive asking price will attract more potential buyers and increase your chances of a successful sale.
This is a legal requirement and needs to be done before your house is advertised. Getting this done as soon as possible will drastically reduce how long it will take to sell your property. It’s done by an accredited Domestic Energy Assessor, someone you can find through the official EPC register website. The cost varies, from as low as £30 to around £120, so it pays to shop around. If your home has been sold or let out within the past decade then check if the EPC is still valid via the Retrieve an Energy Performance Certificate website.
Unless you have a buyer already lined up, the next steps involve getting into the heart of the selling process.
Photos are your key tool that tempts potential buyers to visit. Unless you’re a professional photographer (or a talented amateur) this is the one area that pays to get an expert involved.
It’s worth considering whether a 3D virtual tour might also be an asset. Packages for these and professional photos vary dramatically in price so shop around for a good deal. Don’t forget the all-important floor plan: this, combined with top quality internal and external pictures, is what’s going to draw viewers.
When it comes to a description the term ‘less is more’ should be your mantra. In today’s world of information those words are likely to be skimmed over in favour of the pictures. A few concise lines are all that’s needed – although be sure to get them proofread by a trusted person to ensure there are no spelling or grammatical gaffs.
First impressions count, so it’s essential to make your house sellable. This involves several key steps:
Without the use of an agent (be they traditional or hybrid) you can’t take advantage of portals such as Right Move and Zoopla. However, the online world has evolved to take the growing number of private sellers into consideration.
Facebook, Twitter and eBay are all places to advertise, and there’s an ever-growing number of portals known as For Sale By Owner, or FSBO websites, that allow you to list your property for free (their income is made through other advertising and service). These include The House Shop, House Web and House Ladder.
While online advertising has a long reach, don’t dismiss more traditional methods such as your local paper and even an old-fashioned card in shop windows or at the supermarket. Finally don’t forget to display a For Sale board outside your property!
Prospective buyers are an impatient lot, so the sooner you reply to any interest the better. Book them in for specific time slots (allow a decent amount of time to show them round) and put up with the inevitable no shows and comments about your décor.
Common-sense security is crucial, such as having a second person at home when viewers arrive and not leaving keys or valuables lying around.
Much as it’s a bit of an effort, ensuring your house is kept free from clutter and the garden is neat and tidy means that you’re able to invite viewers in at short notice maximising every avenue of potential that might convert into an offer.
Once an offer is made you have three choices:
Only you can decide which is the correct action. The crucial factor here is to know your minimum price and stick to it. All negotiations should be kept friendly, even if you’re refusing an offer. Who knows, they might rethink and come back with a better price, but if you’ve put them off with your attitude they’re likely to look elsewhere. Generally speaking acting in this manner is a big turn off for all types home buyers so do your best to remain calm and polite throughout the negoation process
Once a price has been agreed you’ll need to get this in writing (email will suffice) and then hand all the legalities over to your solicitor.
However, the negotiations may well continue post-survey if anything unexpected crops up. Should this happen, be sure to request a copy of the survey. It’s not unheard of for potential buyers to pretend there’s an issue to get a reduction, so make sure you see proof. Even if you do decide to drop the price, a good rule of thumb is to aim to split the expense 50:50 with the buyer.
Selling a house is a significant decision, and many homeowners are choosing to sell their properties without the help of an estate agent. Here are some of the main reasons why people choose to sell their house themselves:
Selling house without estate agent can be a rewarding but challenging experience. Here are some of the key advantages and disadvantages of self selling or selling your house yourself:
Pros of Selling Your House Yourself:
Cons of Selling Your House Yourself:
While there are clear advantages to selling your house yourself, it’s important to consider the challenges and decide whether this approach is right for you. Ultimately, the decision will depend on your individual circumstances, your level of experience, and the amount of time you are willing to dedicate to the selling process.
Despite estate agents not being high on the trust list, they are still by far the most used option when it comes to selling a house.
With that in mind, let’s look at the options available if you don’t want to sell your house through a traditional high street agent.
We’ll discuss the pros and cons of each of these methods in a moment. But let’s first look at some of the reasons why you might prefer to eschew the estate agent and embrace the DIY approach.
This, of course, is the gold standard when it comes to DIY house selling, and could well negate the need for professional photographs and advertising, not to mention the time-consuming effort of multiple viewings. If you’re lucky enough to be in such a situation you can even take the sale price account depending on the value you put on your time and the convenience of knowing a sale is highly likely.
Of course, there’s always a danger that the sale might fall through, in which case you’ll be back with the decision of whether or not to sell your house yourself or use a high street agent.
The plus point is that when a sale’s achieved there’s no commission to take into account. Depending on your thought process this either means more money in your pocket or that you can offer your house for a slightly lower value, so perhaps encouraging a quicker sale. As long as you have the time and the tenacity this can be an effective way to sell your home.
However, doing so is incredibly time-intensive, you don’t have the same marketing skills as an estate agent who does this for a living, and you can’t use the big online advertising portals that the majority of people use for a property search.
Another aspect is the negotiating scenario. This is often where estate agents come into their own, with their expertise meaning that final selling price settled on could be higher than one you might achieve.
Selling your house via a house buying service isn’t only a valid option, it can, in certain scenarios, be more cost-effective. Not only do you benefit from a guaranteed sale within a short amount of time (typically 14 days) but there’s no commission, no risk, no legal fees and you’re guaranteed to complete. Working with a reputable company that offers a reliable sell house fast buying service ensures a clear, easy to follow process, and completely removes all the usual stresses associated with the sale of property.
Many people confuse selling a house without an agent with that of a hybrid or online agent. Such online agents handle some aspects of a sale, including photos, description, advertising but leave other aspects to you. This could include handling viewings and any negotiation processes.
The advantage is that the cost is far less than that of a traditional estate agent (typically a fixed fee), but in some cases this is paid whether or not your house sells. While many of these agents will list your property on Zoopla and the like, it’s worth checking before you sign on the dotted line.
Selling your house without an estate agent is a viable option and can save you a significant amount of money in estate agent fees. However, it is not without its challenges. It requires a considerable amount of time, effort, and a certain level of expertise to navigate the selling process successfully.
Preparation is Key: From getting a house valuation, obtaining an Energy Performance Certificate, to making your house sellable – each step is crucial. Make use of online tools, consider improvements, and ensure your house is clean, decluttered, and well-maintained.
Marketing Matters: Utilize various online and offline platforms to advertise your property. High-quality photos, a concise description, and a realistic asking price are essential elements of your marketing strategy.
Legal Requirements: There are several legal requirements that must be met, including obtaining an EPC, completing the necessary forms, providing the title deeds, and preparing the contract of sale. It is advisable to seek legal advice and consult government guidance to ensure all legal requirements are met.
Negotiation Skills: Negotiating the sale price is a crucial part of the process. It is important to know your minimum price, remain calm and polite, and be prepared for negotiations to continue post-survey.
Alternative Options: There are several alternative options to selling your house, including selling to an already interested party, advertising via local and online sources, selling via a house buying service, or using a hybrid/online agent. Each option has its pros and cons and should be considered carefully.
In conclusion, selling your house without an estate agent can be a rewarding experience, but it is not suitable for everyone. It is important to weigh the pros and cons, consider your individual circumstances, and decide whether this approach is right for you. If you decide to go ahead, thorough preparation, effective marketing, and a clear understanding of the legal requirements are essential for a successful sale.