Selling Your House Without An Estate Agent

Signs Of The Times

In the past week I’ve noticed a couple of houses locally with homemade for sale boards outside, which got me wondering whether more people are deciding to sell their houses without employing the services of an estate agent?

On the face of it, it could make sense, after all, you could save the 1.5% you might end up paying them (this does vary from agent to agent), which on a £150,000 house, is the not insubstantial sum of £2,250 – money which could very useful to put towards the mortgage on the new property, or for renovations to your new home.

But of course, despite their reputation, estate agents do still have a role to play in the home buying/selling process – they should be able to get your property listed in local newspapers and on all of the popular property websites (although some may charge extra for some of these services), without you lifting a finger. Of course, you could do this yourself, but it would cost you time and money, which you need to factor in if you’re to sell your home yourself.

Estate agents should also be there to do all of the chasing-up and hurrying-along of all of the parties involved, and to keep you updated of where things stand in the process. For example, this could mean staying in regular contact with the people in your chain, talking to solicitors, and dealing with surveyors etc., which could be a massive task for you to undertake, especially if you’re also doing your own full time job.

I’d be interested in hearing from anyone who has sold their home without the help of an estate agent. What was your experience? Was it difficult? How much money did you save. Please let us know in the comments below.

It would also be interesting to hear from estate agents themselves – what can you offer to home sellers that they couldn’t achieve themselves?

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16 thoughts on “Selling Your House Without An Estate Agent

  1. Rob
    You have to ask the question in this day and age as to ‘why would you sell your house via an estate agent?’. There are plenty of DIY sites on the internet and let’s face it, if you are looking for a house, don’t you look in the area first and then see who is selling? If you do then it can be absolutely any agent selling it, internet or high street, it doesn’t matter.

  2. Saw this a lot when I lived in America: sellers with DIY signs on their front lawns.

    I do find it difficult to see how estate agents can justify all that commission, so it will be interesting to see if it takes off.

    Guess the key to it is getting the property up on rightmove.co.uk! Not sure if private sellers can do that.

  3. In the current climate, it’s harder than ever to sell your own house. However, if you think you can do it then you’ll save loads of money! What do you have to lose?

  4. I’ve worked in property for over a decade now. My experience in this sector is from both sides of the selling process – I am an experienced estate agent but also an experienced investor. I know what it’s like to be frustrated by a hefty estate agent’s invoice!

    And so ‘Property Parrot’ was launched (see http://www.propertyparrot.co.uk). The flaws of national online firms who simply bang an ad on Rightmove have been addressed, as have the high fees of high street agents. By specialising in Leeds I maintain a valuable local service which is passed on in both personal knowledge of my stock and also in valuation (and general) advice.

    You’ll also find (as I did) that if you sell with a national firm they’ll have no idea what’s going in your sale. Problems with a down valuation by mortgage surveyor/poor survey/buyers getting divorced and pulling out…? You might as well sort it out yourself! It’s different with Property Parrot (and I hope with other local firms who care about their reputation).

    Which would you rather deal with – a call centre or a local firm, face to face? I’ll visit you on a Sunday or evening but no one else will.

    My fees are hugely competitive (sell from just £399) and Property Parrot offers the same adverting abilities as your local agent: Rightmove, fish4homes etc.

    “Sell for just £399 or pay on completion” – the benefits of using a local firm being that we can deal with vacant property – show viewers around and take on board feedback to offer buyers something else if the property they’ve viewed isn’t suitable… you won’t get that from ANY national firm.

    I’m also frustrated that these national firms expect you to put up your own board and value your own property: Some even suggest getting a local agent in to advise you, before going back to them!!

    I hope estate agency, which is suddenly in the middle of a price war, will progress and learn a lesson… Well motivated individuals/small businesses should, can and will, offer a better service for lower fees.

    Property Parrot will soon be launching a low fee letting service, enabling landlords to get a tenant at a fraction of high street costs.

    I hope you like the Property Parrot brand and the refreshing change to what you get for your money…

    http://www.propertyparrot.co.uk

  5. Estate agents do a good job, if you find the right one, but they charge a hell of a lot for it. If you think you can do it better – any why wouldn’t you be able to? Then it’s definately worth it (if you’ve got the time!)

  6. I have recently launched my website, GetConnected Houses (http://www.getconnected.co.uk/houses ), and saw your article and thought it very relevant so hope it is acceptable to mention it. It basically enables an individual to list their property on Google Property Search themselves without an estate agent. I would go as far to say that there is no bigger online shop window.

    I was inspired to create the site by an article in the Telegraph last year shortly after the launch of Google’s Property Search. I realised that all the listings were by estate agents or added by software companies on behalf the estate agents. And I thought surely an individual should be able to list too? And so my idea was borne!

    My service also includes a website of the property that is being sold, which is created very easily by the user adding the content and uploading pictures. The page is created dynamically so the user needs no web design skills or programming knowledge. The web page can be added to or amended all in one go or over a period of time. This avoids the user having to rush through the listing and gives them the freedom to improve any aspect they like at any point in the future. No fee is due until the listing is ready. Pictures can also be added and deleted. The web page is linked to directly from the Google listing and prices are as low as I can make them. A 6 month listing is currently £100 inclusive, for example. In my humble opinion (and slightly biased it is too, I admit) it is well worth trying before going through an estate agent. There are also links for independent advice that give guidance on the legal requirements / technical side of house selling.

    I hope this helps and wish you a cut-price and successful house selling! However you choose to do it…

    Andrew Davis
    getconnected.co.uk/houses

  7. Yes, sorry but I had heard the same thing about Google dropping this idea:

    http://www.propertyweek.com/news/news-by-sector/finance-and-recovery/google-to-drop-property-search-function/5012408.article

    Shares in Rightmove dipped overnight when Google released their intention to do this, but estate agents and portals have simply improved their sites to offer excellent search by map facilities, which is something http://www.propertyparrot.co.uk offers too.

  8. Apologies for delay in reply Rob. I appreciated the heads-up a few weeks ago now – was just my luck Google pulling property layer from maps. Oh well… on with the next NON-Google related projects now!

  9. Well,I would say that selling a home without an estate agent is quite easy nowadays.But If you wish to hire an agent,you aren’t wrong at your place either.The agent will do his job perfectly.But since this recession thingy has occurred people think of saving their money all the time.The easiest way out is to put a FOR SALE sign in front of your home.You will get quite a number of phone calls to attend to.But recently my friend told me that he received some calls from the brokers as well.So,again your fortune is at stake.So,I’d prefer selling homes online through For Sale By Owner sites.Its quite easy and free of any kind of commission.As far as I have learned about these websites,I have found that they just demand a flat rate fee,rather than the 1-2% of the total amount demanded by the broker or an agent.I’d advice all the home sellers to sell their homes this way.
    Some sites include:
    http://www.gofizzbo.com
    http://www.fsbo.com
    http://www.forsalebyowner.com
    http://www.isoldmyhome.com

  10. Going through Estate Agents is a worth deal if you plan to sell your house. As you would have a person available to answer your all property related questions and to fix meetings with buyers all the time. Anyhow you can demand the escrow payment before you finally close the deal.

  11. Here is Australia most of the buyer enquiry comes through the internet via the largest portal site. Only real estate agents are able to list properties on this site. If you do not have your property promoted on this site then you are missing out on 75% of the buyer enquiry.

  12. there are too many things involved in buying/selling property apart from finding a good deal that any individual from a non estate background cannot complete this process easily…

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