Private house sale – no estate agent

A private house sale might seem like an attractive option in the UK at the moment. In a cost-of-living crisis, many homeowners are keen to save money any way they can. Charging 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 it cost? And how difficult is it to sell your house to a private house buyer?

Private house sale

In this guide

  1. What is a private house sale?
  2. How to advertise your property for a private house sale
  3. How much will a private property sale cost?
  4. What documents do I need to sell my house privately?
  5. Top tips for a successful private house sale
  6. Pros and cons of a private house sale
  7. 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. They will also manage the sale through to completion (alongside a conveyancing solicitor).

How to advertise your property for a private property sale

If you’re considering a private house sale, social media can be a great place to start. Local community Facebook groups could help you reach local people hoping to buy a home in the area. Some towns and cities have specific property selling groups for the local area. Advertising your property on your own social media accounts can also be a great way to utilise your own network before considering listing your property with an estate agent.

If social media doesn’t work for you, you could look at advertising the property on a private house sale website. Some of the most popular sites include:

  • The House Shop
  • Houseladder
  • 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. These include:

  1. 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.
  2. 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. You may, however, 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.
  3. Legal fees – if you choose to sell your house privately, you’ll still need to pay a conveyancing solicitor. Your conveyancing solicitor will handle the legal aspect of your house sale. You can expect to pay between £500 and £1,500 for conveyancing.
  4. Removal costs – You’ll need to factor in the cost of 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. 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. It’s important to speak to the solicitor about it being a private property sale before signing up.

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. There are also some downsides to this type of sale that should be considered, however.


  • 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. This 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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Beth Lane

Beth Lane

As an integral part of the marketing team, Beth is responsible for creating Quick Move Now’s external communications and dealing with national and regional press enquiries.

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