How to Sell Your House Privately Without An Estate Agent

house for sale

Selling a property using an estate agent is stressful and time-consuming (especially if you’re buying a new property at the same time), which is why more homeowners are choosing to sell privately.

Selling your house privately means putting your property on the market without an estate agent. Doing so means you’ll avoid estate agency fees, usually up to 4% depending on your agreement,  and therefore keep a higher percentage of the money after the sale. There is however a trade off for time as we explain below.

In this guide

Selling my house without an estate agent: what does selling my home privately involve?

While it could save you money, selling your home without an agent will cost you time. From arranging advertising to consulting with buyers and organising viewings, estate agents do the majority of the work in a property sale. Deciding to do this yourself is not easy.

That being said, with a dedicated attitude, managing your own house sale is possible and is certainly financially beneficial. If you are thinking of selling your house yourself, we’ve put together a guide to walk you through the process, step by step.

How to sell your house without an estate agent

1. Make sure your property is fit to sell

When it comes to viewings, first impressions count. Some buyers might be looking for a renovation, but most are looking for a low-maintenance property, with minimal repairs and upkeep. A little TLC goes a long way, so here are a few things that make homes more attractive to potential buyers:

  • Maximise curb appeal: a presentable interior is essential but the exterior is the first thing a buyer sees. Spruce up the area by painting your front door, adding some greenery and making sure wheelie bins are out of sight.
  • The cleaner the better: decluttering alone isn’t enough, it’s time for a deep clean. Clear out the utility room, get your windows cleaned, and pay extra attention to the kitchen and bathrooms – a good scrub can make all the difference here.
  • Neutral décor is a blank canvas: it’s important for a potential buyer to be able to envision themselves in your property. When selling a house without an estate agent, we recommend redecorating with neutral tones and limit the number or personal items and photographs scattered throughout your home.
  • Carry out any minor repairs: these could be so small that they’ve gone unnoticed, but a buyer will notice cracked tiles, a leaky tap or a worn patch of carpet. If you’d like a detailed evaluation of your property’s condition, instruct a surveyor to carry out a full structural survey.

Once you feel like your home is in a sellable condition, ask a friend or family member to come and inspect the property; a fresh pair of eyes can reveal small issues you’ve overlooked.

2. Set a realistic asking price

When selling a house without an agent, establishing a fair asking price can be daunting. You might not want to involve an estate agent directly in the sale, but most companies offer house valuations free of charge. Getting two or three different agents to value your property will give you a clear idea of a fair asking price, but it’s also worth checking listings in local papers for similar properties in the area.

Some factors to consider in your asking price when selling a house with an agent are as follows:

  • The age of your home
  • Number of bedrooms
  • Size and shape of your garden
  • Parking provision
  • The condition of your roof and windows
  • Location and proximity to amenities

3. Advertise your property properly

So, you’ve worked out your asking price and cleaned the house from top to bottom; it’s time to advertise. The first step is some high-resolution images – doing this on a sunny day maximises natural light and makes rooms look more spacious. While your iPhone can take amazing photographs, it might be worth hiring a professional photographer to do this for you; the better the images, the more chance you have of securing viewings.

As you’re selling your home privately without an estate agent, ads need to work to your advantage. List your property in the local newspaper, on community noticeboards, on social media and via online property portals. You may also want to consider putting a ‘for sale’ sign outside your property, as it can draw in potential buyers especially if there are other house for sale locally.

Your sign can be homemade or there are various printing services that print onto Correx board for around £50. One key tip is to avoid looking too much like a local estate agents as you want the fact you are selling privately to be obvious to potential buyers from your sign.

4. Host friendly and informative viewings

The way you show people around your home is bound to have an impact on their impression of the property, and therefore whether they decide to make an offer. Before your first viewing, decide on a sensible route for the tour, and give each room its own purpose, for example rebrand the box room as the study, or a guest bedroom.

It goes without saying, you property should be clean and tiny prior to a viewing. You might also want to consider giving everything a once over with an air freshener like Febreze 15 minutes before the viewing, to remove any scents you might be nose blind too.

It is common practice to produce a property pack for your potential buyers to take away, containing documents that explain the finer details of your home. We would advise including a room-by-room guide and a floor plan, we recommend using Canva, as well as a recent EPC.

When selling your home yourself, stay friendly and professional, be sure not to rush, and be positive about the property throughout. Make sure you highlight your home’s best features, and at the end of the viewing, give the buyer the chance to ask questions. This is your opportunity to ease any concerns about the house, and reiterate your key selling points.

5. Don’t be Afraid to Negotiate

Without an estate agent, negotiating a price with the buyer falls to you. Setting a fair asking price will help you to stand your ground during negotiations but make sure that you decide the minimum figure you’d be willing to accept beforehand and stick to this figure. If you decide to reject an offer, do so politely; maintaining a good relationship with potential buyers may make them more likely to put in a second offer further down the line.

When you do get an offer you’d like to accept, do it verbally first and then follow up with written confirmation via email or post. Nothing is legal until the exchanging of contracts, but having the accepted offer in writing will make the conveyancing process easier to monitor.

The next step in understanding how to sell your own home is to seek the support of a solicitor or conveyancer to attend to the legal documentation. The Law Society provide a useful database of solicitors as a starting point. The buyer may also instruct their own surveyor in this time, and it’s possible they’ll want to renegotiate the price. This process is called ‘concluding the missive’ and can take anything between a fortnight and several months to complete.

The alternatives to selling a home without an estate agent

Sellers usually resort to private house sales to avoid the fees associated with estate agents. As an alternative, you could consider selling your property with an online estate agent. They handle the sale process on your behalf like a traditional estate agent would but they cost far less, typically between £500 and £1,500, and fees are fixed rather than variable based on the sale price.

Alternatively, you could sell your house at auction. Selling your house at auction offers flexibility in terms of time and money. Timescales are quick as contracts and deposits are exchanged immediately once the auction has finished. So, for a quick sale, this is an avenue worth considering.

Cash buyers are also an alternative that you may not have yet considered. Allowing you to sell your home quickly, regardless of your situation, this route can lead to a very quick sale, sometimes within a matter of weeks! Cash buyers, like Good Move, also cover all of your costs for you taking the stress and confusion out of the sale process, ultimately allowing everything to run smoothly.

In summary

Selling your house without an agent can be stressful but you could ultimately save thousands of pounds in seller fees. For those people who are not time-poor and if you have the determination, selling a home without an agent could be the perfect option.

Don’t want to involve an estate agent or manage the sale yourself? Consider selling your home to a reputable ‘we buy any house’ company like Good Move. We’re a regulated property buyer, who’ll purchase any home for up to 85% of market value. Completion can take a little as 10 days, so if you want to sell your house fast for cash, contact our experienced team today.

Get a Cash Offer

We are proud members of...

  • NAPB
  • RICS
  • The Property Ombudsman
  • Trading Standards

We are proud to be the most regulated property buyer operating in the ‘Quick House Sale’ industry. We are an active member of the NAPB (National Association Of Property Buyers) and are RICS regulated, which means you can have every confidence of selling your home with us quickly & easily.