Moving house is costly! People often ask me if you need an agent or whether it’s possible to sell your own home, in the hope that they can make significant savings by doing it themselves. On average people spend about 1.8% of the sale price of their home with an agent.
The truth is you can save money when you sell your own home, but there are still costs involved and a significant amount of time required. Selling, whether using an agent or doing it yourself can be a daunting process, here’s a low down of what’s involved.
How to sell your own home
First of all you need to ascertain a valuation for your property. A good place to start is by looking at similar properties on websites such as Zoopla or Really Moving. Estate agents are often happy to provide you with a no-obligation valuation, getting three valuations will give you a good idea of your property’s market value.
Image source: Rightmove
You will need to get an Energy Performance Certificate (any home for sale or rent requires one of these). This was the government’s attempt to stamp down the carbon footprint by encouraging homeowners to make their homes more energy efficient. The EPC originally formed part of the Home Information Pack, this has since been scrapped, but the EPC remains.
The purpose of this document is so potential buyers can compare the energy efficiency/ running costs of your property with others. There are 3 main parts of the EPC.
1. Details about how energy efficient your home is
2. A measure of your home’s efficiency from A-G (A is very energy efficient, G is not energy efficient). The average home in the UK has a D rating
3. Information on how your home can be made more efficient. This will include recommendations such as, insulating the roof or installing double-glazing. Recommendations in this document can provide buyers with an opportunity to negotiate on price
You will need an energy assessor to put this together for you, it will cost around £100 and it’s valid for 10-years from the issue date. This isn’t something you can complete yourself, you can find an accredited assessor in your local area on the EPC register.
Advertising your property
Advertising without an agent is possible, but time consuming. The best place to advertise, if you’re handling the sale yourself, is online. You can do this for between £50 to £200 on websites such Zoopla and Prime Location.
Once potential buyers start getting in touch you’ll need to arrange viewings at mutually convenient times. As these people won’t have been vetted by an estate agent, it’s a good idea to have someone else in the house with you for security. Bear in mind that you’ll need to be comfortable taking viewers around your home and explaining why you’re moving etc.
Image source: Rightmove
Negotiating on price is a sensitive and often emotional aspect. You’ll need to keep a degree of professionalism and decide on the lowest price you’re prepared to go to before you enter into negotiations. If you refuse a lower offer, you can always reconsider it if no other buyers are interested. Remember nothing is binding until contracts have been signed, this can take a few weeks.
Once a buyer has been secured you will need to bring in a solicitor or conveyancer to complete the sale/ make the legal arrangements. These costs vary significantly across the country and range between £300-£800.
While you could save yourself a couple of thousand pounds by doing it yourself, you should be realistic about the time required. If you’re not in a hurry to sell up then this might not be so much of a concern, but if you’re in a chain there’s likely to be more pressure on timescales.
It’s not just the agent’s time that you’re paying for, it’s their expertise. Getting the paper work in order might not be a skilled job, but advertising and marketing your property effectively involves experience and knowledge of the market. A professional estate agent will know how to present your property in its best light as it’s in their best interest to sell it at the highest price possible. This comes down to: the description, where it’s advertised (you’ll have the benefit of the estate agent’s window), potential buyers that they already have on their books, and the professional photographs. These things really do make a difference!
If you’re going to sell your most valuable asset, you will want to ensure that you get the most amount of money possible for it. To do this you will want to access the greatest number of potential buyers. That’s hard to do on your own without an estate agent. If you end up selling for 5k less than if you’d used a high street estate agent, doing it yourself will be counter productive.
For help redecorating or refreshing your home before selling, post a job on Rated People in our Painter / Decorator category to receive quotes from our qualified and trusted tradesmen.