For thousands of people the start of the new year is the beginning of the house-hunting season.
It is also time to ponder one of life’s unanswered questions: How do estate agents have the cheek to charge a king’s ransom for selling a house?
If that is your view, have you thought of trying to sell it yourself?
This year that should become easier, as the government has changed the rules on selling houses over the internet.
Private sale websites such as houseswift.co.uk that help you find a buyer for your property will be given new freedom to operate.
As a result, sellers could save thousands of pounds. But is it really a good idea, or could you end up wasting, rather than saving, money?
How does it work?
Selling your house DIY style means exactly that.
When you sign up with a private sale website, they will send you a “For Sale” sign with your phone number on it to erect outside your house.
Get used to the graft of banging the sign into the ground, because from now on the task is only going to get harder.
You take the photographs, you show potential buyers round the property, you organise Energy Performance Certificates (EPC’s), and above all, you negotiate on price with any potential buyer.
In return for the website posting your photos, and matching you with buyers, you will pay upward to £600 with self sell property sites, we advise you to look around for whats right for you, however housewift have always aimed to provide maximum exposure for the best value on the internet, thats why we started the site, to bring the price involved to sell down to a extremely competative price for the seller .
Some of our sellers are ecstatic at the potential savings on offer.
Have you ever thought?
“I think that an estate agent is a service that I can do. And I think it’s a really great opportunity to get the house out to as many people as possible. And essentially, to save a lot of money,”
For example selling a property yourself valued at £265,000 a local estate agent will quote a fee of around £4,800, including VAT.
Even if you take Houseswifts top of the range Gold Sell Service you will save yourself £4750, imagine the uses you could put that towards on your new property…
Since the laws changed Estate Agencies are having to defend their reputations like never before.
Things to consider as a self property seller:
Estate agents include price negotiations in their charges
They point out that selling a house is only a small part of the service they offer.
“Selling the house is the easy bit,” says Mark Hayward, of the National Association of Estate Agents.
“Much more difficult is dealing with the offer, checking the chain, and talking to lawyers,” he says.
Many estate agents will try and establish whether potential buyers are who they say they are, and whether they can really afford to buy your house.
In particular they say price negotiation is a skill that many people think they have, but in reality do not.
Peter Bolton King, of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), says private sale websites offer a totally different level of service to that of an estate agent.
“There is a huge difference between paying a nominal just to put the property on to the internet, compared with all of the services that should be provided, and the security that should be offered, by the good traditional local estate agent,” , however its certainly not beyond the ability of the Self Seller with a little organisation, Check our FAQ’s to prepare yourself.
Estate agents are also members of the Property Ombudsman scheme, which provides for financial compensation should things go wrong.
In the United States it is thought around 10% of house sales are carried out through private sale websites.
RICS estimates that the equivalent figure for the UK is currently around 5%, which suggests that de-regulation could make a significant difference.
for sale sign DIY house selling includes erecting your own for sale sign
Of course ther is a danger for sellers is that they may pay a nominal fee upfront, but still fail to find a buyer. If they then resort to an estate agent, they will have spent more money, not less, as a self seller you have to weigh up to the benefits gained for that fee make it “worth having a go”, we at houseswift certainly think so, or else we wouldnt be spending our time making your property visable to so many portals and search engines.
Maybe do a web search in the area, and see which property site comes up first and compare the prices for getting that result, please bare in mind most people will look through the first 4 pages of results when looking for a property.
Or consider a private sale alongside an estate agent sale, generally as a self sell you are not breaching a sole agent agreement, as you are not a agent, but its always worth negotiating any such terms in a contract or advise that you wish to also market privately for no penalty if successful, you are the customer after all, its your right to request this.
“If you get the contract right, if you’re absolutely up front with both sides, you could advertise privately, but then you can also work through an estate agent as well,” advises Kate Faulkner of the website Propertychecklists.
“But you need to get the contract absolutely watertight to make sure you don’t end up paying both fees.”
Even if most house-sellers fail to embrace the new websites, the forthcoming deregulation could still end up changing the market.
Some believe that estate agents may be forced to introduce fixed fees for their services, rather than taking an average 1.5% commission.
That could be particularly advantageous for those with larger properties, who historically have faced steeper bills from estate agents.