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Private Sale or High Street Agent: which is best?

It's a decision which comes down to personal circumstance and preference. To help you decide, we've asked the professionals to give us their pitch on what should make us decide between doing it yourself or engaging a high street agent...

Selling Your Home: the argument for high street estate agents

house survey

If you are about to begin the process of selling your home, you may be tempted to seek a private sale in an effort to save on the cost of an estate agent’s fees. While this may sound like an attractive proposition, it could be a false economy that could prove more stressful, incur delays and leave you counting the cost of an inferior sale price.

The experience, knowledge and network of contacts that is provided by an estate agent can secure a premium for your property whilst finding a buyer in the shortest possible time. From the initial valuation to completion, an accomplished agent can make selling a property a quicker and more profitable process.

Valuing your home

Valuing a property for listing is a fine balancing act. Set the asking price too high, and you risk alienating potential buyers before they even visit the property; set the price too low, and you risk achieving a lower-than-average price for properties in your area. An estate agent will use a combination of knowledge of the local market and experience to set a price that will appeal to the widest range of buyers possible – without risking an acceptable final sale price. Performing this task on your own is fraught with potential for problems further down the line.

Marketing your property

Marketing a property is far more than simply advertising it in local property listings and publications. A good agent will know from experience which marketing methods are effective for your home and its location. An agent will also have an existing network of contacts, so instigating a marketing plan will be a smooth and relatively quick process. Agents will ensure photos used in marketing materials are of a good quality, and they will know exactly where to place listings.

Marketing a property is a time-consuming and complex task. This might involve telephoning active buyers, creating professional brochures, utilising promotional sites and the erection of quality ‘for sale’ signs. These tasks require a working knowledge of the local market, a comprehensive network of contacts and a great deal of time. If you don’t have all three, the sale of your property is probably safer in the hands of an estate agent.

Preparing your property for viewings

‘Staging’ a home for viewings is a complex task, but because experienced agents have secured countless property sales over the years, they know exactly what appeals to potential buyers. ‘Staging’ a home is all about giving potential buyers the chance to imagine themselves living there – and to successfully achieve that requires an in-depth knowledge of property sales, as well as extensive experience.

Negotiating a final sale price

Accomplished real estate agents will always stay abreast of the underlying trends that define the local property market. This allows them to formulate an expert opinion on exactly what sale price is achievable. This knowledge, coupled with their negotiation skills developed over the course of an entire career, is an invaluable asset in achieving a sale price that exceeds your expectations.

Selling a property should be looked upon as an exercise in maximising your return. Going it alone might save you an agent’s commission, but it could result in delays and a significantly lower final sale price.

Produced by Roman’s Estate Agents
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 Selling your home: the argument for private sale

Modern Homes in England.

For years we have all bought and sold everything online so why can’t we do the same for our houses? Jon Middleton is one of a growing number of people who say they can.

The internet has transformed the way in which we buy and sell property to such an extent that Estate Agents are no longer better informed about house prices and the sales process than their customers. We all have it within our power to sell our own houses so why aren’t more of us doing it?

One reason is that private sellers i.e. you and me, are not able to use the big search portals like Rightmove and Zoopla.  This is a strict policy enforced by the portals keen to protect the interests of Estate Agents. But what from? The truth is that an estimated 80% of all initial buyers enquires are made from the internet. Should private sellers be able to use the big portals it would expose just how easy it is to sell your own property.

One of the biggest benefits of taking control of the house sales process is the money you will save from Estate Agents fees.  Our research shows for a property in the South East of England the average Estate Agent fee is £5,000. If your property is worth more and/or house prices go up the Estate Agent thinks it’s fine to charge more for doing no more work.  The traditional commission fee system is out of date and not reflective of the work involved. We should all be ditching it and going private.

There’s more to it though than just saving money. When offers are made you can negotiate the best possible sales price for your property. Getting the best deal is not always in the best interests of the Estate Agent. Selling a property for £5,000 more than the asking price can make a massive difference to you but to the Estate Agent it could mean just making another £82 commission and not worth their effort.

Having direct access to the buyer avoids any mis-communication and can make the sales process faster, smoother and less stressful. There’s no Estate Agent to hide behind and slow the process down and problems can be resolved immediately. There is no need to rely on the Estate Agent to do buyers status checks you can ask them yourself.  And do you really want an Estate Agent showing a buyer round your house when you’re the one who knows the most about it?

Going private also means there are no contracts to sign, no tie in periods and no frustration that the Estate Agent is not doing anything. Everything is within your control. There’s no extra cost to pay or hidden fees and there’s no sales patter to get you to sign up to services you don’t need and want.

There’s more risk when not using an Estate Agent though right? Wrong. No one can buy a house without it all being fully legally agreed. It’s the Solicitor’s job to sort out the actual legal transferring of the house not the Estate Agent. The Estate Agent’s job is to sell your house.  They are unable to reduce the risk of you getting gazumped or the sale falling through. The risks of going private or using an Estate Agent are the same.

However, selling privately isn’t for everyone. You will need to be comfortable doing your own valuation research, taking photos and writing an advert.  You will also need to have the time to take viewings and show someone round your house. Negotiating the final sales price is also not for everyone.  There will always be a need for an Estate Agent service but at Move To Private Property we can provide you the information you need to make the choice between going private or sticking with the traditional Estate Agent service.

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