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How To Sell a House Privately?

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Selling through an estate agent can be a stressful and time-consuming process, which is perhaps why many sellers are choosing to sell their homes privately.

However, if this is the route you wish to take, then you’d be wondering how to sell your house without any estate agents – and potentially save up on fees.

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Can you sell house privately?

Whether you wish to sell your house privately to a friend or a family member, selling requires a lot of time – from preparing a legal pack and chasing solicitors to answering any queries raised during the conveyancing process.

If you have an extensive network of friends, family, and work colleagues, then you may wish to sell privately to someone you know rather than a stranger.  It is best to utilise your social media accounts, take high-quality photographs with your phone and tell the world that you are thinking of selling your home.

Offer to incentivise your network that if someone finds you a buyer, you will pay them a £200 incentive once the sale has been completed.  You never know; someone may come forward, whether it is a friend of a friend or a relative.

Spring clean is necessary if you want to sell your home privately.
A spring clean is necessary prior to presenting your home to would-be buyers because first impressions count.

How Do I Sell My House Privately?

Selling a house privately is possible – but it is a little more complicated than most sellers think.  We break down the process of a private sale – step by step.

Step by step guide to a private house sale

If you are selling or buying a house without an estate agent, then it is called a private sale.  Sellers find a private sale appealing because it avoids paying estate agent fees – and saving thousands.

You’ll need to understand the process because you’ll be overseeing every part of the process – from advertising, arranging viewings, and negotiating a price to sales progression.

The process of selling a home privately can be a little overwhelming, so in this article, we’ll explore how you can sell a house privately, one step at a time.

Going for the minimalistic look by packing up excess clothes
A clutter free home requires you to donate, sell or put away excess items into storage - whether its a friend's garage or loft. It is worth doing it.

Getting a house ready for a private sale

While a friend or a family member may overlook any neglected jobs such as a leaky tap or plastering that needs attention, having a perfect-looking home makes you house proud!  Here’s a list of things you could consider before taking photos.

Invite a work colleague around and ask them to make a list of things that will need addressing.  If they are critical, it will help and give you honest feedback, whether it is tidying up clutter, painting any plastering work or painting rooms that look a little tired.

Presentation is everything

  • Take a critical look at your home with a view to identifying what jobs need doing.  Can you do them yourself, or do you need to hire professionals?  From overgrown grass, a driveway that could do with a jet-wash to redecorating the bathroom that you never got a chance to do.
  • De-cluttering all excessive things by selling them on eBay or donating them to charity shops.  It sounds obvious, but if bathroom has any mould, roll up your sleeves and give it a good scrub.
  • Decorate those rooms that need attention, but please don’t get carried away.  It is so tempting to start replacing carpets, furniture and rip out an old kitchen that is perfectly serviceable.  Whenever choosing to decorate, do it with neutral colours – white and grey combinations are in – but can change, so always look at other property listings to see how they are presenting their homes.

Check out the competition and their asking prices

Most estate agents offer you a free valuation, but it doesn’t hurt to see what other properties are selling for in your area.  Remember, an asking price isn’t necessarily what a property is worth, so setting a realistic price is key.

Set a realistic asking price – not too high, not too low.

Pricing is one of the biggest factors, and without any guidance from an estate agent, you’ll need to do your own research.  If you price your home too high, you won’t get many enquiries. 

If you are in a rising property market, you can be a little ambitious with your asking price and still achieve a sale.  However, in a stagnant or cooling market consider putting your property at under 5-10% of perceived value – and advertise it at offers in excess of. 

This will drive up demand, particularly if your property is priced to sell.  You might get a bidding war from two or more buyers – and therefore, settle at a final price that is close to, or more than, the price you had in mind.

Start advertising your home for sale

Get professional photos to shine your property in its best light.

Professional photos will grab clicks to your listing, and more clicks mean more enquiries.  It also presents your property with a professional feel, particularly if you are selling a property privately.  Get high-quality photos – ideally from a professional photographer, or if you are good with a camera, you can do it yourself.

You may need to do a bit of staging by rearranging furniture or re-arrange lighting to show off your home as open and bright as possible.  Get at least 7 quality photographs.

You could consider investing in a for-sale board and erecting that outside your home to let your neighbours know that your house is up for sale.  You’ll need to instruct for an EPC as well.

Sell the lifestyle, not the house

Once you have received enquiries, you can start to host viewings.  You can opt for open viewings, which are less personal but create a bit of competition as potential buyers see others leave when they arrive.  Or you could conduct individual viewings.  This is your opportunity to ask any buyers questions about their motivation to buy.

People want to buy into a lifestyle, so if your home is on a quiet cul-de-sac, mention it.  Buyers love properties with no traffic noise. 

If your home is in a school catchment area, parents will want to buy it to get their child into that school.  Stay friendly and professional, and let people take their time when viewing.  If you have installed any special appliances or the house has any special features, please mention them.

List your property on online portals

Never underestimate the power of a for-sale board.  You never know; your local neighbour’s friends or family may be looking to move – and this word of mouth can result in a sale.  You can order a for-sale board from eBay.

Facebook marketplace and local ‘for sale’ groups are active hives of activity.  Once your photos are ready, upload them and write a short description of the property. 

You don’t need to give room measurements if you don’t have this info, as potential buyers will be able to assess the house during their viewing.

Private sellers can advertise on specialist ‘for sale by owner’ sites like ‘The House Shop’ and ‘HouseWeb’.

Set-up viewings

Give your living room, bedrooms, kitchen, and bathrooms a good spring clean.  If you are getting many enquiries, you can book back-to-back viewings on an open day.  Leave a small window of time in between viewings.

Or you can fit in viewings one by one during evenings or weekends.  Have a cup of tea with your potential buyers and make them feel relaxed.

Follow-up and invite offers

With a private sale, you will have to follow up with viewings to invite offers.  Not everyone will offer, and this can be disappointing.  Acknowledge that this is part of the process and move on. 

Be prepared to haggle for the best price.  In a negotiation where both parties feel they could have pushed a bit more – is the ideal one.

Negotiate like a professional

Without an estate agent, you have the challenge of negotiating a price with your potential buyer.  Setting a fair asking price with a minimum that you are prepared to accept is key to successful negotiations.

If you wish to turn down an offer, ask them for a counteroffer to see if it is closer to your minimum price. 

Explain why you need the minimum amount – perhaps you are buying another property in a chain?  The buyer is likely to make a second offer if they feel they have a good relationship with you.

When you accept an offer, do it in writing via email, although nothing is legally binding until contracts have been exchanged.

Accepting an offer

When you accept an offer, make it official by producing a simple Heads of Terms outlining the contact details of the buyer, your contact details as the seller, both parties’ solicitor’s contact details, the price agreed, special conditions such as leaving furniture behind – and anticipated completion date. 

Ask the buyer to provide you with proof of deposit and mortgage offer in principle.

Instructing a solicitor

Find a really good solicitor through recommendations of friends and family and hire them.  He/she will prepare the legal pack, send it to the buyer’s solicitor, complete the purchase, redeem your mortgage sum (if applicable) and return to you the surplus funds.

Private sale progression

The buyer will instruct searches and a survey.  Provided they come back all OK, the legal process for transferring legal ownership can commence.  Be prepared to renegotiate the price if the surveyor finds defects.

The buyer’s solicitor will raise enquiries, and your solicitor will ask for you to provide answers.  Once the buyer’s solicitor is satisfied, then dates for the exchange of contracts and completion can be agreed.

Do you need a solicitor to sell a house privately?

Yes.  You’ll need a solicitor to undertake the legal transfer of your property to your buyer once he/she has received the funds, provide any legal undertakings, and transfer the proceeds to you once the mortgage balance is paid in full.

how to sell a house privately - for sale board
Investing in a for sale board brings in enquiries from locals.

Do you need an EPC to sell a house privately?

Yes.  It is a legal requirement to provide an EPC when marketing a property for sale.

Can you sell a house privately after contract with an agent?

This depends on the wording of the contract.  Certain estate agents insist on their fees being paid even if a property is sold privately after you have cut ties with them.

How much does it cost to sell a house privately?

The costs of selling a house privately  include the cost of an EPC, professional photos, a for-sale board and legal fees.

Consider putting together Terms of Sale.
When you put your home up for sale consider what both buyer and seller should expect from each other. A simple Memorandum of Sale should suffice.

Can I sell a house privately?

If you are looking to sell your house privately because you wish to avoid paying estate agent fees or need certainty that a sale will go ahead with a cash house buyer, this is where

Property Saviour can help.   A cash offer means there’s no property chain, no mortgage survey, no fees and no delays.

Can I sell my house privately if I have an agent?

You can sell your house privately even if you have an agent however, there’s a risk that if an estate agent introduces a buyer who’s ready, willing and able then he/she may demand their commission – even though you may have sold your home privately to a friend or a cash house buyer such as Property Saviour. 

To avoid this scenario, serve notice to terminate the agent’s contract and then upon expiry of the notice sell the property privately.

Can you sell a house privately to a family member?

You can sell your home to anyone including your children for a nominal sum such as £1.  But there’s a catch.  Your son or daughter may not be able to get a mortgage on the property as it is a transaction between a family.  You could also end up with a big tax bill.

Sell a hoarder's house
Property Saviour will buy any house in any condition. Above: a hoarder's house that we purchased. We are non-judgemental and offer free clearance.

Can I sell my house privately without a solicitor?

In short, no.  You’ll need a solicitor or a licenced conveyancer to act for you.  Law firms acting for your buyer may refuse to deal with you as you are unrepresented. 

Here at Property Saviour, we’ll pay £1,500 towards your legal fees if you choose to sell your property to us.

Can I sell my house privately on Rightmove?

Unfortunately, portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla only deal with estate agents as they charge them monthly subscription fees.  

You’ll have to hire an online estate agent at the very least if you wish to advertise your home on these portals.  There’s the alternative method of selling your home privately to a cash house buyer such as Property Saviour.

Is it better to sell your house privately?

It depends on your circumstances AND if property prices are rising selling privately can mean a quicker-than-normal sale.  However, the flip side is that you might not get the full market value in return for a cash offer.

Can you sell your home privately?
While the idea of not paying an estate agent is appealing you will have to do your viewings, negotiate prices with potential buyers and progress sales.

Can you sell your home privately?

Selling a house without an estate agent is called a private sale.  While the idea of not paying an estate agent is appealing you will have to do your viewings, negotiate prices with potential buyers and progress sales.

What's the alternative?

Sellers prefer private house sale to avoid dealing with estate agents or avoid their fees.  As an alternative, have you considered selling via an online estate agency? 

There are pros and cons of whether you hire an online estate agent or a traditional High Street agency.  Another option is auctioning your house if it needs work or has legal issues.

In summary

Selling a house is one of the most stressful experiences in life.  You could save yourself thousands of pounds if you sell privately – but do you have the time and inclination to do so?

If your property sale has collapsed at the last minute, and you need to sell fast – this is where Property Saviour can help.

Whether it is an issue with the property or you need certainty, we’ll make you a cash offer and complete the purchase within two weeks.  Selling your home private to us couldn’t be any easier.  There are no estate agency fees.  We’ll pay up to £1,500 towards your legal costs too.

If you want an easy option, consider selling to a reputable ‘we buy any house’ company like Property Saviour.  We are trusted by sellers with our five-star reviews.  We’ll buy your home in 10 days or quicker for cash, meaning that you can move on with your life plans.

auction hammer

Property Saviour Price Promise

  • The price we’ll offer is the price that you will receive with no hidden deductions.
  • Be careful with ‘cash buyers’ who require a valuation needed for a mortgage or bridging loan.
  • These valuations or surveys result in delays and price reductions later on.
  • We are cash buyers.  There are no surveys.
  • We always provide proof of funds with every formal offer issued.
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We'll Pay £1,500 Towards Your Legal Fees

  • No long exclusivity agreement to sign because we are the buyers.
  • You are welcome to use your own solicitor. 
  • If you don’t have one, we can ask our solicitors for recommendations.
  • We share our solicitor’s details and issue a Memorandum of Sale. 
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Sell With Certainty & Speed

  • Our approach is transparent and ethical, which is why sellers trust us.
  • 100% Discretion guaranteed. 
  • If you have another buyer, you can put us in a contracts race to see who completes first.
  • Complete in 10 days or at a timescale that works for you.  You are in control.

Sell with certainty & speed

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