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Is A Private Property Sale Really Worth The Hassle

Mar 3, 2008
The internet has changed the game of selling your home in the UK.

Powerful search engines such as Google make it theoretically possible to publish details of your home on the web and quickly reach a specific audience.

If you wanted to do a private property transaction, then that's perfect for you.

There's certainly a good financial incentive to do so. Estate agents make their money by charging a percentage fee of the sale price achieved. When you go down the route of handling your sale as a private property, the costs are a lot lower (For more info see http://www.propertytoday.co.uk/Is-a-private-property-sale-really-worth-the-hassle.11018.3799227.story )

But the hassle factor is huge. Anyone that has ever worked in an estate agents' office will tell you selling homes is not an easy way to make money. You are acting as a middleman trying to match someone attempting to find property and the seller - not always an easy task.

The expertise an agent brings to a sale is what you pay for, as well as their access to powerful selling tools such as property portals (which someone selling a private property can't get onto).

To help you decide if it's the route for you, we take a look at all the aspects of selling your home using an agent or doing it yourself.

Preparing the particulars

Agents do this day in, day out. They will write up the property details in a style buyers are used to, and that accurately describe while actively selling your home. Agents also have the tools to measure your house. A good agent will also pay for professional photos to be taken and some are now filming homes to produce videos for potential buyers.

On your own you have to do this yourself, while remembering to put yourself in the buyers' shoes.

Marketing the property

A proactive agent will get a For Sale board up and a picture of your home in the window of their High Street premises quickly. They will ensure you feature in all the major portals and appear in their advertisements in the local newspapers.

As a private seller you will have to find or make a For Sale board, and hope it looks professional. Because you don't have the buying power of agents, it will cost you a lot more money to reach potential buyers in the same way. It's impossible to get private property into the major portals as they only deal with estate agents.

Finding a buyer

Agents maintain lists of potential buyers currently in the market. As soon as they have a potential property for them, one call can get a viewing sorted quickly. This proactive approach is one of the main things you are paying for.

One your own you don't have anyone to sell to. You are relying on someone spotting your private property is for sale and approaching you.

Handling buyers

Estate agents sort through the dross and time wasters first. As a seller you will never know about them. They will arrange viewings to suit your instructions, and should take charge of ensuring the buyer turns up when they say they will.

As a private property seller you have to deal with every enquiry yourself. That can mean odd phone calls at all hours of the day. You may also find it hard to get genuine feedback from viewers, who may feel uncomfortable telling the owner they hate their house!

Negotiating and seeing the sale through

Again you are paying for agents' expertise here. They are used to getting the best price for a property and pushing a sale through as quickly as it will go.

In a private property negotiation, you are on your own... and if you're not skilled at haggling, you could end up losing thousands.
About the Author
Property Today is full of information to help you decide whether to go through the private property sale route.
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