Selling your home: Estate agent or private sale?

From Lawpack's Sell your own Home Kit. 

So you're selling your house? And you've vowed the same won't happen again this time. So you're looking for a new estate agent. But have you considered selling your own home?

That's right - without the estate agent. And without the estate agent's commission.

More and more people are selling their own home and are discovering that there is no black art. It's a straight-forward legal process. But is it for you?

Below we give a frank assessment of selling your own home versus using an estate agent. A private sale or an estate agent sale. We hope this will help you make your mind up.

Estate agent

DIY private sale

Charges large fee. 

Costs of selling massively lower.

Writes property details; takes professional photographs; measures up and produces house particulars. 

Seller has to provide and prepare their own house particulars.

Arranges a For Sale board. 

Seller has to buy and prepare their own For Sale board.

Arranges and pays for the advertising (i.e. no sale fee); seller has little control over this advertising in terms of visibility, frequency or location. 

Seller has to arrange and pay for advertising the house sale through sites such as Little House. For a little spend you can quickly achieve comparable coverage to an estate agent, and maintain control over your advertising.

High street visibility. 

No high street presence.

Vets potential buyers, but information not normally passed on to house sellers. 

Seller has personal contact with buyers which may lead to a better-judged opinion.

Maximises selling price by opening up property to pool of potential buyers already on its books. 

No ready pool of buyers, so may have to work harder to achieve best selling price.

Can conduct viewings but may not have detailed knowledge of the property and its selling points.

 Conducts own viewings; knows the selling points of the property better than anyone else (emotional attachment could be a disadvantage); has good local knowledge.

Feedback from viewers can be sporadic and inconsistent in reaching the seller. 

Can get feedback directly

Is in control of the offer/negotiating exchanges. 

Seller handles their own negotiating.
Deals with many buyers and sellers, so may not keep up with progress of sale once an offer is accepted.Seller can keep on top of progress.


If you think selling your own home is for you, find out more here.

Published on: June 2, 2008

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