How To Market Your Property Yourself
Hoping to sell your home soon? The average homeowner makes £100,000 when they sell their home, but most do it with the help of an estate agent. With almost 50,000 estate agents in the UK and the growth of the online estate agent market, thousands will turn to an agent for help when they finally say, “Sell My Houses!”. The secret, though, is that they don’t have to. Instead, you can market your home on your own and attract plenty of potential buyers to your doorstep without having to pay an estate agent anything. How do you make it happen? This guide can help.
Advantages of Selling Your Home Yourself
Why are so many people working to sell their homes on their own? There are several advantages to selling your property yourself. Maybe the biggest advantage, though, is the fact that it will save you quite a bit of money. When you finally decide, “I’m selling my house,” you’ll spend thousands to do so with an estate agent. The average estate agent fees in the UK are typically 1.5% of the value of your home. So, if you have a £250,000 home, you can expect to pay £3,750 of your profits to complete the sale. Even the cheapest estate agents can be quite costly, and that’s especially true if you’re working with some of the top ten estate agents London has to offer. A quick look at how much real estate agents make in the UK will reveal just how high those fees truly are. There aren’t any free estate agents, and even if you search for the best online estate agents, know that you’re still going to spend plenty of money on the process itself.
That’s not the only reason so many people are saying “I’d like to sell my property privately,” though. There are other advantages to the process. One is that you are the single best person to represent your home. You know your home and its quirks and its advantages. That means you’re more likely to be able to play those up with your marketing materials than any estate agent ever could. More than that, though, is that you get complete control over the sale of your home. You choose how you market it when people see your home, and how you negotiate an offer. You’re essentially your boss throughout the process, and that can be a fairly powerful role that may help you get it on and off the market faster, particularly given the fact that you’re only selling your home. An estate agent may be responsible for selling five or six homes at a time.
Disadvantages of Having a House for Sale Privately
Despite the number of advantages to handling your home sale, there are plenty of disadvantages to having a private house for sale. First, even though you don’t have to pay an estate agent, you will still have several costs involved with the process. The marketing itself can be quite costly, and you may not quite know where to turn at the beginning of the process. The second drawback to handling your home sale is the fact that it can be tough to price your home right. Estate agents can be incredibly helpful when pricing your home as they have a deep knowledge of the market in your area, and pricing your home right from the outset can make a huge difference in your ability to sell the home down the road. The other real disadvantage to marketing your home on your own is that you’re completely responsible for selling your home. If you’re trying to work, pack up your home, and shop for another property, that can be a fairly stressful experience, especially if you’ve never tried to sell a home before. It can be hard work to go through all of the tasks you need to complete, but it is possible.
How To Sell Your House On Your Own: A Step-By-Step Guide
If you’re working to learn how to sell a house on your own, there are several things you need to do.
- Prepare Your Home: In most situations, selling you’re your home on your means lots of preparation time. This is likely the step that will take you the most time. First, make sure you’re preparing your home well as you work to sell the house. Clean it, declutter it, and make the necessary changes before you put it on the market. We’ll discuss a lot of those changes in a later section, but the key is to make your home look like it’s ready to be put on the market.
- Decide on Your Price: The next step you’ll need to take as you learn how to sell a house is to set a price for your home. This is a fairly complex step because getting the price right as soon as possible is nothing short of a must in many cases. Selling a house without an estate agent means you have to do it on your own, and that can be difficult. Studies have shown that pricing your home too high from the start can mean it spends extra weeks on the market. If you set your price too low from the start, you could be walking away from thousands of pounds, so pricing things right initially is a must. Typically the best way to begin is to look at how much similar properties in your area have sold for. There are a few different ways you can do this. You can use a site like Zoopla or RightMove to look at sales data, but both of these sites use Land Registry data, so you can simply access that data on your own too. Keep in mind, though, that it can take a few months for the Land Registry to update their statistics, but with a bit of searching and keeping your eye on the numbers, you should be able to get a sense of how things look in your price range. You can also use information from the UK House Price Index to look at the trends in your area and nationwide. Several websites offer growth predictions on the market and the overall economy itself, and those can help you decide how to price your home, too. Additionally, you can look at online valuation tools like those at RightMove and Zoopla to better understand what they think your home might be worth. All of that data can give you some sense of how you might want to price your home.
- Create Your Marketing Materials: The next step in the process of working to sell a property is to begin creating the marketing materials prospective buyers will see when they begin looking at your home. You’ll want to write a solid description to help get buyers through the door. Keep in mind that this description needs to be fairly brief. While your temptation may be to write an extensive bit on how wonderful your home is and all its features, you’ll want to keep the information as concise as possible. Buyers typically don’t read lengthy narrative documents anyway. Instead, stick to the highlights. In addition to a solid description, you’ll want to take lots of professional-level photos. Photos that don’t do parts of your property justice aren’t just worthless, they’re harmful to the marketing of your home. Instead, you’ll want your images to be as extensive and beautiful as possible. If you have a friend who takes great photos, this is the time to get a bit of help. You want to show off the property highlights. Imagine, for example, you have a rural property with lots of lands attached. Be sure to take plenty of shots of that. If, on the other hand, you have something more modern with plenty of built-in features, you’ll want to showcase that as much as possible. Don’t forget to highlight communal living areas, the garden, and the front and back of the house. If you can, you may also want to get a floor plan for your home to add to your marketing material. Several sites will allow you to upload an existing blueprint or a sketch of your floor plan with measurements and turn it into a more professional-looking product within just a few days. That can help potential buyers better understand the flow of your home and decide if they’re ready to move forward.
- Listing Your Home: The next step is to begin advertising your home. There are plenty of websites in the UK where you can list your home. While some don’t charge a commission fee, many others will. Big names that offer access to plenty of properties, though, tend to cost a bit more (and sometimes require the help of an agent who has a real estate license in the UK). Fortunately, there are places where you can sell your house for free online. Don’t overlook every possible marketing tool at this stage. We’ll talk more about that in the next section, but the overall goal is to get your home out there as much as possible.
- Begin Showing Your Home: Once you have some interest in your home, the next step is to conduct several viewings. You’ll want to be available to show your home as much as possible to potential viewers. If you work full-time, you may need to arrange for evening and weekend viewings only. If possible, have a friend or partner with you during viewing to help protect your safety. Be sure to allow the potential buyers plenty of time just to look around on their own, but don’t hesitate to talk up the features of the house.
- Negotiate a Price: Once you have someone ready to buy, it’s time to negotiate a price. Selling a house privately means you’re completely responsible for this step. Decide exactly what your bottom line is, and don’t go below it. If you must turn down an offer, do so carefully. Remember that you want to leave the door open for a counteroffer.
- Instruct Your Solicitor: Once you accept an offer on your home, you’ll want to instruct your conveyancing solicitor to handle the legal paperwork involved. Many ask, “Do you need a solicitor to sell a house,” and while the answer isn’t a strict yes, it can make things a lot easier. After all, do you know the answer to “What paperwork do I need to sell my house in the UK?” Your solicitor will help you sort all of that out. When you and the buyer exchange contracts, completion day is nigh, and your hard work is finally done.
How To Succeed At Marketing Your Home
Marketing your home can be the toughest part of the entire process, and you may not know where to begin, but it’s a little easier than you think. Start by purchasing a high-quality For Sale sign to place in your yard. Remember that shops carry lots of different kinds of signs, but you want something that is sturdy and will be easy to see from the road, so expect to spend a bit of extra money on the sign so you can get a fantastic option that looks great in front of your house.
In addition to that sign, think about posting your home’s listing on social media. Thousands of people log into Facebook and Instagram each day in the UK, and it’s easy and free to create a property for your page on both of those platforms. You’ll want to add plenty of details and images as well as your brief description of the property to help attract people. Don’t forget to have plenty of friends and relatives visit the page to help it reach more potential viewers.
There are some free spaces where you can list your property online, too, as they list many houses for sale privately. UK Land Directory is one great choice, and so is UK Land and Farms, but there are many others. There are even smaller marketplaces that specialise in local area listings, so you may want to look to see if there are local spaces online like that where you can list your home too.
While most people start their search for a home online these days, don’t overlook the power of local newspapers and their adverts section. There are still many people who look in these spaces for great home buys, and that alone is likely to be worth the cost of advertising.
Leaflets are also a good way to advertise your home for sale, and often there are community bulletin boards where you can place your leaflets so your home gets some exposure.
Keep in mind that you don’t just want to initially handle the marketing on your home, and then walk away from it. You’re going to have to stay on top of the marketing until you’ve sold your home. You may also want to have a few events like open houses to help you connect with potential buyers. Also, don’t overlook the power of word-of-mouth advertising. Tell absolutely everyone you know that you are selling your home, as you may connect with a potential buyer you know.
How To Make Your Home More Attractive to Buyers
There are a few easy ways to make your home more attractive to buyers from the moment you put it on the market, which, in turn, can help you to sell a house faster. One of the first things you’ll want to do is declutter your home. It may seem like a no-brainer, and it’s part of every post you’ll read about selling a home, but there’s a reason that this is standard advice. Lots of clutter in your home not only makes it look dirty to potential buyers, but also makes it look quite a bit smaller, and both of those are likely to push potential buyers away from your home quite quickly. If you have too many things and nowhere to put them away, it’s time to either get rid of them or at least pack them up and store them away in a self-storage until your sale is complete. That will help your home feel more spacious.
In addition to decluttering, you’ll want to depersonalise your space at the same time. This will help buyers feel like they can come into a space that was once yours. Often this means putting away family photos and collections that are personal to you. For example, if you love lighthouses and you have an extensive ceramic collection, you may want to put it away until you move, as that can help others (maybe those who don’t love lighthouses quite as much as you do) imagine themselves in that space.
You’ll also want to do a deep cleaning of your home. Whether you’re fastidious about maintaining your home or you tend to let things go, get fairly serious about cleaning your home before you put it on the market, then stay serious about it while it’s actually on the market. Studies have shown that cleaner homes are more attractive to buyers. It may be worth it to hire a professional to clean your home initially to help you hit those spots that are so commonly overlooked, then once the hardest parts are taken care of, you can continually work to tidy things up before you show your home to potential buyers.
Additionally, you’ll want to take care of those tiny repairs you’ve been putting off over the years. That cracked tile in the kitchen should be replaced, as should the broken doorknob in the bathroom. Touch up the woodwork near the front door, and paint over the scuff marks in the living room. Walk through your house and take a closer look at the smaller spots to better understand what to repair throughout your home. The nicer it looks, the more likely they are to put an offer in on your home.
Finally, take a closer look at lighting throughout your home. You want it to be bright and clean, so replace those lighting fixtures as necessary, clean the windows, and replace the curtains to create something brighter and lighter throughout.
Other Options To Sell Your Home
There are other ways of selling the house without marketing it yourself. Naturally, you could work with an estate agent to sell your home. While you may be averse to that idea, the simple reality is that most estate agents can get a home on and off the market in a matter of weeks. If you’re not sure about an estate agent, though, there are still other ways to sell your home. You could work with a cash-for-homes buyer, for instance. These companies often buy properties across the UK with the intention of either renovating them and selling them immediately or renovating them and renting them to tenants. There are several benefits to working with a company like this one. One of the biggest is that you don’t have to work to come up with a property marketing plan on your own. Instead, you simply reach out to a cash-for-homes company, they come and evaluate your property, and then they either choose to make a cash offer or not buy your home. There’s no marketing involved. Moreover, you don’t have to make any repairs or changes to your home to work with a company like this. They buy homes in as-is condition, so even if your home could use a few repairs, you won’t have to make them. While these companies tend to offer you a bit less than you would get on the open market, you don’t have to worry about estate agent fees for selling a house, conveyancing fees, or any repairs to your home, so that can often make it worth it.
Another option you might have outside of a cash buyer is to sell your home at auction. As with a cash buyer, you won’t have to do any real marketing when you sell your home at auction, as the auction company will usually take care of that for you. Initially, you just choose an auction house. You’ll want to do some research to get the right one, as you need to market to the maximum number of potential buyers for the lowest possible fees. Then you’ll register your property and approve your catalogue listing. You’ll have your solicitor prepare a contract of sale and the other legal paperwork required and set a reserve price (the lowest possible price that you’ll accept at auction. You’ll also be setting a guide price or the price that will lure the buyers in. Once that’s done, you’ll go to the auction and see what your home goes for. Completion typically takes place a set number of days after your auction, and at that point, you’ll be able to get your money less the fees the auction house required. It’s a fairly simple process overall, and it can be a fast way to sell your house. It’s important to note, though, that homes on auction typically go for less than homes on the open market as those shopping at an auction are looking for the best possible deal for a home, so they often pay less than they would on an open market.
Marketing Your Property
If you’re ready to sell your home, initially, the biggest decision you’ll make is whether to market your property on your own or to have someone do it for you. While becoming a private house seller can have many potential advantages, there can certainly be some drawbacks to this method, so be sure to think carefully about what’s right for you, what fees you pay selling a house in the UK, and your home before you make a decision. After all, once you’ve placed it on the market one way, it can take extra time to change the marketing method to something completely different.