It is possible to sell your property privately, but there are significant risks attached. For most people, selling a home is the biggest and most important transaction they will ever make. Using professionals for each part of the process provides you with expert knowledge and legal protection. Besides, selling on your own can be expensive and time consuming.
You will be responsible for:
- Setting the price
- Arranging viewings
- Negotiating the offers
- Progressing the sale documentation
The advantages of using an estate agent
Estate agents spend all day, every day selling property and as a result have built up a vast knowledge and expertise in the whole buying and selling process. They will conduct a valuation on your property, handle viewings and negotiations on your behalf and make sure your property is marketed property. They will strive to achieve the best possible price for your property and the best buyer, thereby avoiding disappointment and stress from less serious potential buyers.
- Professional advice and service
- Local knowledge
- Have shops for window advertising
- Advertise on their websites and in local papers
- Provide an estimate of your home’s value
- They may already hold a list of people interested in your type of house
- Prepare details of the house with photographs
- Arrange viewings
- Handle enquires
- Have good negotiating skills
How to choose the right agent ?
Make sure your estate agent comes with a glowing reference. Ask your family, colleagues, friends and neighbours about their recent selling experiences. Pick an estate agent with a proven track record in selling. Once you have chosen your agent, they will visit your property and recommend an asking price. Ask them how they plan on marketing your property. A good estate agent will invest in marketing on behalf of the seller, take photos of your property and compile the description.
Getting the most out of viewings
- you need to get your home ready for viewings and give your house the best chance of selling. First impressions count so put yourself in the buyers’ shoes and think about how you can enhance your property’s draw.
The first thing potential buyers will see before they even get in the front door. Here are some things to look out for:
- Does the front of your house need smartening up?
- Could the front garden be tidier?
- Would the front door look better with a fresh lick of paint?
- Could the front windows do with a clean?
Look at the inside with a critical eye too:
- Keep it clean and tidy
- Undertake any minor repairs that need doing so buyers will need to really try hard to find any negatives
- If you want to re-decorate, go for neutral tones, which will appeal to a wider audience
- Make your house comfortable, cool on hot sunny days and warm if it’s winter
- Open the windows, and add finishing touches such as fresh flowers, to brighten the place up
- Bring out the best features such as fireplaces and use mirrors to increase the sense of space
Once you have received an offer, be prepared to negotiate. But remember, you don’t have to sell to the highest bidder. A lower bidder might be better if they:
- Are paying cash
- Don’t have to sell a property first (they could be first-time buyers or investors) or are in a short chain
- Can fit in with your timescales better than other buyers
Tips to get the best results from viewings:
- Tell your agent what the best things about the property are and ask them to highlight these.
- Greet the buyer but leave your agent to accompany the viewing if they are present.
- Explain you are happy to answer questions at the end but give them space to look around freely.
- Ensure all lights are kept on (at night) and leave all internal doors open to maximize the light in the property to make it appear larger.
- Let the buyer walk into a room first – it will increase their sense of space if you don’t take up some of it.
- Try and leave the best room till last and finish on a high.
- Use the opportunity to point out the good features of the area; what your neighbours are like, the local amenities etc.
- If your house has any interesting features, let your estate agent and buyers know.
- Alternatively tell them what made you buy the house in the first place.
- If you overhear negative comments from the buyers about your home, don’t take it personally.
- Never ask the buyer if they are going to make an offer. Leave it to the agent to follow up.
- Take on board any feedback (good or bad) and try to put things right where possible
If it’s not selling…
- Ask your agent why they think it’s not selling. What’s the feedback from viewings?
- Can your estate agent ‘freshen up’ your property details with better photos and a more engaging description?
- Was the exterior photo clearly taken a long time ago in a different season? If so, ask the agent to take a new one
- Do you need to reduce the price?