Private house sales – All you need to know
A private house sale might seem like an attractive option in the UK at the moment. A shortage of properties on the market means that desirable homes are currently selling very easily. Rising house prices also mean that many homeowners are keen to save money any way they can, and – at 1-3% of the final house sale price – estate agency fees are a major contributor to the cost of moving house.
So, what is a private house sale, how much will a it cost, and how difficult is it to sell your house with to a private house buyer?
In this guide
- What is a private house sale?
- How to advertise your property for a private house sale
- How much will a private property sale cost?
- What documents do I need to sell my house privately?
- Top tips for a successful private house sale
- Pros and cons of a private house sale
- Alternatives to selling your house privately
What is a private house sale?
A private house sale is one that does not use an estate agent. With a private house sale, the homeowner will find their own buyer and manage the sale through alongside a conveyancing solicitor, fulfilling the role usually carried out by an estate agent.
How to advertise your property for a private property sale
There are lots of buyers looking for properties at the moment, but how do you reach them?
If you’re considering a private house sale, you may want to start your search for a buyer on social media. Property shortages mean that local community Facebook groups have been inundated in recent months with buyers looking for properties about to come onto the market. Advertising your property for a private sale on Facebook groups within a 10-15 mile radius of your property could generate a significant amount of interest.
You could also look at advertising the property on a private house sale website. Some of the most popular sites include:
- The House Shop
- 4 Sale By Owner
How much will a private house sale cost?
A private sale will avoid estate agency fees, but there will be other costs to pay, including:
- Energy Performance Certificate – if you decide on a private sale, you will be responsible for getting an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for your property. You’ll need to use an accredited assessor and it will cost around £50-100.
- If you sell your property via social media or one of the free private property sale websites, you may not need to pay to advertise your property, but you may want to choose to pay for additional services such as professional property photography or floorplan creation. You can also pay to ‘boost’ the visibility of your property on most of the private house sale websites.
- Legal fees – if you choose to sell your house privately, you’ll still need to pay a conveyancing solicitor to handle the legal aspect of your house sale. You can expect to pay between £500 and £1,500 for conveyancing.
- Removal costs – You’ll need to factor in budget for removals, whether you decide to pay a firm or hire a van and get some friends to help.
What documents do I need to sell my house privately?
If you decide to pursue a private house sale in the UK, you’ll need to ensure you gather any paperwork relating to your property. This will include any warranties or guarantees relating to the home, any paperwork relating to past planning consent and any lease information if the property is leasehold.
Top tips for successful private house sale
- Think carefully about your priorities
Homeowners can save money by selling their property privately, but it will require a lot more of your time and could well be more stressful than the usual way of selling. Whether a private property sale is right for you will depend on whether you feel the financial saving is worth the extra time and effort.
- Do your research
If you’re thinking about a private sale, it’s important that you do lots of research before settling on your asking price. An estate agent will have an in-depth knowledge of the local property market, but if you choose to sell privately, you’ll need to decide your own price. Most of the big property websites (Rightmove, Zoopla etc) now give you the ability to look at recent sold prices within a certain area, but it’s important to note that these prices are only recorded once the sale has been registered with the Land Registry, which means they’re at least 3 months old. The property market is changing quickly at the moment, so whilst local sold prices can help to shape your pricing, you should also keep an eye on the price of properties that are currently for sale and have recently gone under offer.
- Choose the right conveyancing solicitor
If you choose to go down the route of a private house sale, it’s important that you work with a great conveyancing solicitor. Without an estate agent to coordinate the house sale and manage it through to completion, you and your solicitor will need to work together closely to keep the sale moving forward. If you don’t already have a conveyancing solicitor, ask friends and family for recommendations and make sure you speak to the solicitor about it being a private property sale to gauge their reaction before signing up to use their services.
Pros and cons of a private house sale
Selling a house privately can be a great way to save money, especially if you’re selling your property to someone you know, but there are also some downsides to this type of sale.
- Potential to save a significant amount of money (around £3,000 on the average price property)
- You can be more in control of your move and have direct contact with your buyer
- A private sale will take up a lot more of your time than a traditional house sale
- Managing your own sale is likely to add significant stress to the process
- Unable to advertise your property on some of the bigger portals so smaller audience and therefore potentially lower offers
Alternatives to selling your house privately
If you like the idea of being more in control of your move, but don’t want the extra stress of managing your own property sale, selling to a home buying company can be a great fit.
A cash homebuying company will buy your property directly with their own money, which means they can offer a quick and guaranteed property sale on a date of your choice. Eliminating all the of the stress and uncertainty of an open market sale, this type of sale puts you in complete control of timescales without the stress of a traditional private house sale.
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