Selling: can I save money selling privately, instead of using an agent?

We don’t think so, and here are five reasons why…

As with anything in life, people are often tempted to look at ways to save money, and it’s easy to see why some people might choose to cut the cost of an agent’s selling fee!

But we think it’s important to look at the bigger picture when deciding how to, and who should, sell your property.

First, remember that although you might save something on the fee, if you lose more than this in the final sale price, you’ve lost out overall. A good agent is skilled at negotiating to achieve a sale at the very highest price possible. A good agent knows when to push for more, and when to suggest ‘walking away’ from a buyer. 

This is something that agents do every day, plus they’ll also often have more information about your buyer than you will, such as what their actual maximum price really is!

Second,  an established estate agent will have sold many, many properties over many years, and will have a good grasp on a property’s likely value. Time and time again we have seen sellers, understandably, set an unrealistically high value for their property, only to see it languish on the market unsold (although to be fair, there are some lesser agents who over-value too, with the same effect!).

Third, ‘private sale’ websites almost always charge you upfront, whether you sell or not. An estate agent, on the other hand, will only charge you a selling fee if and when the property is sold.

Fourth, contrary to expectations, agents are still an important link between sellers and buyers. In fact, according to research from Which? 28% of buyers found their property directly through an estate agent.

Fifth, once a buyer is found, a good estate agent will carry out background checks into that buyer’s financial circumstances and verify their ability to actually buy your property. 

A good agent will also aim to verify the strength of each link in a chain – after all, if one of the links breaks, the whole chain might fall apart – and then keep tabs on that chain right up till completion day to ensure you complete on time. Without a good agent, who will do this important, but often unseen, work?

In short, while we can understand the temptation to want to save the agent’s fee, it’s worth bearing in mind the bigger picture that you’re trying to achieve – to find a reliable buyer, in good time, who’ll pay the maximum price, will be solid for the purchase and enable you to move from a home that no longer meets your requirements to a home that makes your dreams come true!

In our experience, selling a house is a bit like tiling a bathroom. Most people could have a go, but not many have the skill, time and patience to do it as well as a professional!

Of course if you want to discuss anything here, we’d be only too pleased. Feel free to call us any time…