How to sell your house – which way is best?
If you’re planning to sell your property, you might want to take some time to decide how to sell your house. Many people will list their properties with a high street estate agent, simply because they are unaware of the other options available to them. However, there may be another way to sell that is more suited to your personal circumstances
How to sell your house – The different options:
Traditional high street estate agent
Benefits of selling through traditional high street estate agent
When you’re thinking about how to sell your house, it’s likely your first thought will be to use a high street estate agent. Selling your property through a traditional high street estate agent is the most common way to sell a property and is a popular choice for several reasons.
Selling your property via a high street estate agent, who also utilises popular online property portals, is the best way to reach the greatest number of potential buyers. This means it is the best way to achieve the highest price for your property.
A local high street estate agent should have a strong knowledge of the local property market and therefore know how to price your property and market it effectively.
Negatives of selling house through traditional high street estate agent
Whilst selling through a traditional high street agent is the most common way to sell, it certainly isn’t the quickest or most predictable way. According to The Advisory, properties typically stay on the market for around 7 weeks before accepting an offer. Once you’ve accepted an offer on your property, you can expect the sale to take around 2-3 months to complete. It can take significantly longer if you’re selling a leasehold property or are part of a property chain.
It’s also important to consider that around 25-30% of all property sales on the open market fall through before completion each year.
Online estate agent
Benefits of selling through online estate agent
We’ve seen a big rise in online estate agents in recent years.
Online estate agents are often cheaper than high street estate agents as they generally have fewer business costs. Most, however, will still list your property on the major online property portals, which is where 77% of prospective buyers look for their next home. This means you could end up reaching the same audience for a fraction of the cost of a high street estate agent.
Negatives of selling through online estate agent
An estate agent is more than a property advertising service. Once potential buyers have seen your property listing, estate agents have a significant role to play in securing offers on the property and then managing a sale through to completion. It is this level of service that has received mixed reviews from those using online estate agents. Tales of impersonal call centre style business models have put many buyers and sellers off using this type of service.
It’s also important to differentiate between true online estate agents, which operate via a website and a call centre, and a hybrid agency. A hybrid agency operates online rather than from a high street office, but is likely to have a local property expert who will offer accompanied viewings and offer a more personalised service when it comes to offers and sales management. True online estate agencies have historically received criticism regarding incorrect property pricing and a lack of local property market knowledge. However, a hybrid agency’s local property expert is likely to be more knowledgeable about the local market, which means they will be better equipped to price your property correctly.
The other thing to keep in mind when considering how to sell your house is that online estate agents usually require you to pay upfront, rather than based on results. This has two implications. Firstly, you will be required to pay for the service whether the company is successful in selling your property or not. Secondly, because you pay a flat fee upfront, the fee is not based on the sale price achieved. This means an online estate agent may not have the same motivation to get the property sold quickly, or to achieve the highest price possible.
Private house sale
Benefits of a private house sale
The main benefit of selling your house privately is that you will have no estate agency fees to pay. This could save you several thousand pounds.
Negatives of a private house sale
With no agent to manage the sale through to completion, a private house sale can be challenging and unpredictable. It will also require a greater time commitment than other methods of sale. You will need to prepare your own property information (photography, floor plan etc), conduct your own property viewings and do your own sale management/liaison with conveyancers. It’s also worth considering that private sales are often to someone you already know. With no objective third party to mediate between you and your buyer, a private sale can complicate that existing relationship
Property Buying Company
Benefits of selling to property buying company
If you’re looking for a quicker sale or want to avoid the risk of your sale falling through, a sale to a property buying company can be a great option.
Using a company that has the cash funds to buy your property directly means they can buy your property on a date of your choice, in as little as a week if required. You also don’t have to worry about your sale falling through, as a sale to a cash home buying company should be guaranteed from the point of accepting their formal offer.
Negatives of selling directly to property buying company
Unlike an estate agent, you won’t pay a property buying company any fees to use their service, but they will buy your property at a discount. This means you’ll receive less than you would selling your property on the open market. You can expect a genuine cash home buyer to purchase your property for around 80-85% of market value. That level of discount is obviously a big thing to consider when deciding how to sell your house, but the speed and certainty offered by a property buying company cannot be matched by any other method of sale.
Benefits of selling house at auction
Selling at auction is often a quicker option than selling on the open market, as the sale has to complete within a month of the date of the auction. It is a great choice for unusual or unmortgageable properties, or those that will appeal to investors
Negatives of selling house through auction house
There are some things to consider before you decide to use a property auction to sell your property.
The first is auction fees, which will be payable whether the property sells or not. Auction fees can be considerably more than estate agent fees would be for the same property, so it’s certainly not the cheapest of options.
Another thing to consider is that only 72% of properties that go to auction actually sell. If your property is one of the 28% that don’t sell, you will still be required to pay some of the auction fees. It’s also important to keep in mind that having had your property listed at a lower ‘guide price’ than the price you would hope to achieve on the open market can damage your property’s saleability after the auction.
How to sell your house – Cost and time comparison
There are several things to consider when deciding how to sell your house. What is most important to you, price, speed or certainty? How wide is your property’s appeal? Is your property mortgageable? Which method of sale is right for you will very much depend on the type of property you want to sell and your personal circumstances.
You can use our comparison graphic below to quickly compare your options.
Find out more about:
- What to do if your house sale falls through
- Companies that buy houses – how do they work?
- What is gazumping?
- Making an offer on a house before selling your existing home
- Can I sell my house with an ongoing neighbour dispute?
- Step-by-step guide to selling your house
- How to sell your house – which way is best?
- Home buying companies – scams to avoid!
- Selling my house to a cash buyer – Read our 5 top tips
- What to do if your house buyer pulls out before exchange