When it comes to selling your home, one of the first decisions you’ll have to make is whether you want to do it through an estate agent or manage it privately. The best choice will largely depend on how much time and effort you can personally put into the sale, and whether you’re happy to pay a fee for a professional to handle it.

What are the benefits of hiring an estate agent?

Estate agents are experts in local property markets, with a working understanding of the types of buyers in your area. It will be easy for them to advertise your property through online portals and their own channels, and a good agent will also provide tips for targeting the people that will be most interested in your property.

Once they’ve generated that interest, the estate agent can manage all of your viewings so you don’t need to worry about meeting potential buyers (unless you want to). They will provide professional negotiation skills when you receive offers and handle a lot of the contracts and paperwork when you agree to a sale.

Basically, a good estate agent will take care of all of the tedious parts of selling your home!

Why do people choose to sell privately?

The most obvious reason to sell your home without an estate agent is that you won’t have to pay them a fee – usually a percentage of your final selling price. It also gives you greater control and understanding of the process, even if that means bringing yourself up to speed on the necessary paperwork.

Some people worry that estate agents will push them to accept a lower price in order to receive their commission faster, while others feel that their home won’t get enough attention as their estate agent works with several clients at once.

Not everyone feels comfortable managing the sale of their own home, which is completely understandable. If you are considering a private sale, keep in mind the following tips.

  • Get a professional valuation (these are different from an estate agent’s estimate) to understand what your home is actually worth. Use this to determine a minimum figure that you will accept.
  • Obtain a current Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) – a legal requirement for selling the property.
  • Prepare a description. You could get inspiration from similar homes advertised in your local area, but make sure that the details you include are accurate for your own home.
  • Get your house ready for photographs and viewings – follow our set of tips, if it helps.
  • Arrange for it to be listed online. The major property portals will charge a fee for listing your home online, but a bit of research might reveal niche sites that will perform better for your home.
  • Be flexible when it comes to arranging viewings. If you can’t be there when a potential buyer wants to have a look around, see if friends or family can help.
  • Keep a clear head during negotiations and don’t go below your minimum price. Refuse unsuitable offers politely in case you change your mind later or the buyer decides to increase their bid.
  • Instruct a conveyancer to carry out the legal side of your sale. Unlike estate agents, this is essential in almost every sale to make sure that the transfer of property is legally binding. Read our blog about what solicitors actually do to find out why.

What about online agents?

In recent years, online estate agents have been gaining popularity. They advertise lower fees than traditional agents (although you may need to pay these upfront) and manage the majority of your sale over the phone or via email.

Most online agents will provide a value estimate, arrange viewings, liaise with conveyancers and, in some cases, handle negotiations with sellers. The drawbacks are that these agents may not have much local expertise, won’t actually conduct the viewings and have little incentive to push for a higher sale price, as their fee isn’t based on commission. Make sure you fully understand what is included in the service before committing.

If you’re thinking of selling your home, contact our team at Daily Move to see how we can make your move as smooth as possible. With experienced conveyancers and RICS-accredited surveyors under one roof, our mission is to make sure you have everything you need to make an informed decision when it comes to buying or selling property. Contact our team for more details about our services or request a free quote today.