SELLING PRIVATELY? Worth the hassle?
Zoopla.co.uk property news author Frances MacDonald lists the advantages of hiring an estate agent to help you sell your home, and provides some tips on finding the agent who suits you (and your property) best.
Selling your home is most likely to be the largest transaction you’ll ever make. Partnering with professionals such as estate agents, attorneys and other consultants is one way to ensure you protect your investment; it can also save you precious time and effort in the long journey from setting the price to processing the sale (and managing your busy life in between).
The advantages of using an estate agent
One of the biggest reasons to hire professionals is to tap into the wealth of property knowledge they possess. Their experience makes them uniquely qualified to give you guidance on important issues such as valuing properties and relevant laws such as the Property Misdescriptions Act 1991.
Estate agents can also arrange viewings while you’re at work or out of the house, and negotiate on your behalf to ensure that you get the price you want. They also ensure that your property is well marketed in places that it’s most likely to be seen by potential buyers.
Finally, agents can provide guidance on conveyancing and financial planning – two steps that can put considerable strain on your home if you make the wrong choices.
How to find an estate agent
Many agents are hired by word-of-mouth. Like any relationship, it’s a matter of finding an estate agent who works well with you – and your family, friends, colleagues, neighbours etc. A proven track record is one of the easiest ways to find someone in your area who understands the marketplace, so you can always start with the “sold” boards near your home, but take care to choose people who have experience selling your kind of property.
Make a shortlist of agents who have been recommended to you and are selling properties similar to yours. Check how they sell themselves, and importantly, check their current online listings: are you impressed? If you can, visit their offices and meet your agent face-to-face. We live in an all-consuming digital world but nothing beats the old-fashioned interview for getting a reliable first impression of someone.
Negotiate the terms of your relationship
You may have hired a professional to negotiate on your behalf, however, don’t sit back and hope for the best. Make sure you check the terms of appointment with your agent so you know what commission rate and other costs are involved and so that you know what you’ve agreed to before signing a legal document.
Still want to sell your home privately?
It is possible sell your home privately, but it comes with significant financial and legal risks that not many people aren’t willing to take. Added to that, selling a home privately can be time consuming, and it often means listing your home on private sale websites, which tend to be frequented only by other sellers. Are you willing to take the risks?