What are the costs of selling a home?
What are the costs of selling a home?
For those who have little experience in selling a house, learning about the additional costs that are often associated with the process can turn the situation into a cost-prohibitive nightmare. But what are the costs of selling a home?
What costs are involved with selling a home?
There are three main costs that most vendors will find themselves being responsible for before a sale can take place.
Of course, depending on the circumstances there are likely to be other charges that are entirely dependent upon your situation but nearly all sellers will find themselves enlisting the services of the following:
An estate agent will be the first port of call for many sellers, acting as a hub of information in an effort to guide you through the house-selling process2. While estate agents tend not to be thought of very highly by many – due to the publicity surrounding the immoral behaviour of a small percentage of agents who try to make a quick buck – the majority of agents are trustworthy individuals who specialise in helping venders sell their home fast in their chosen area3.
While there are numerous national agencies who offer ‘region-specific’ representatives who are marketed as experts, it can often be very hard to prove the credentials of these individuals- whereas most local independent agents have managed to stay in business over the years due to a strong reputation and repeated recommendations within the local community2.
Estate agents are used by over 95% of sellers2 and are – more often than not – paid by the seller as a percentage of the selling fee, usually between 0.75% and 2.5% (plus VAT), but usually around 1.5% (plus VAT) 1. So, for a £150,000 house, the fee would be £2,250.
This system works well for agents and sellers alike as the less valuable a house is, the cheaper the estate agent fee. This approach is made all the more intriguing thanks to the prevalence of agents today who will only charge a vender if an actual sale is achieved1.
Of course, no buyer in their right mind would consider buying a house unless they had access to the full legal details of the house. This is why buyers will always find themselves contacting a solicitor or conveyancer, who are able to carry out searches for legal documentation that will help them to buy with confidence4.
As a seller, however, you will also need to pay legal fees to a legal representative to make sure that there the sale is carried out in the correct manner5. Conveyancing, however, is an extremely competitive sector and there have, in recent years, been a rising number of complaints from consumers regarding both the level of honesty and quality of service provided by less reputable firms1.
An independent property expert is likely to advise you to contact an independent solicitor or conveyancer directly, not to solely rely on the advice of a lender or estate agents5. While it is a grey area from a legal perspective, there are many examples of companies providing kickbacks to one another in an effort to corner the market6.
Once hired, a solicitor or conveyancer will guide you through the following documentation once you have accepted an offer on your home:
- The TA6 form that will detail all an information that could affect the value of the property in the future including contact details, boundaries, disputes, complaints, proposed developments and existing utility access7.
- The preparation of information related to the status of the title-deed – i.e. whether it is freehold or leasehold. If your home is leasehold, however, be prepared to pay a higher fee due to the extra administrative work. This information is included in either a TA7 or TA9 form7.
- The TA10 form will detail what is and what isn’t included in a sale. This can include fixed appliances such as ovens and fridges7.
- The TA13 form details everything related to the finalisation of the transaction including a declaration that the buyer will not inherit any claims for liability, and when the contracts will be signed, and the keys handed over7.
As mentioned earlier, it is often a good idea to hire and pay for independent conveyancer fees for this service, likely to be in the region of £500 – £1000 (inclusive of VAT) 1.
One of the most important figures to identify while attempting to sell a house is the most suitable asking price. While many estate agents will be able to provide you a ballpark estimate, this figure can be heavily affected by features that may only be obvious to a chartered surveyor.
Ignoring the advice of a surveyor and prioritising your estate agent’s estimate is never a good idea as estate agents may overstate the value of your home in order to gain your business, making your home harder to sell and costing your more in the long run.
A chartered surveyor uses various methods of arrive upon an asking price that is reasonable given the current market conditions. It is somewhat unsurprising therefore that there are occasions when a seller is upset that their home has not increased in value as they expected8.
The methods employed by a surveyor will include, but are not limited to:
- Evaluating nearby sold house prices by comparing the house with similar properties in the same area that have recently sold9.
- A structural report that will relay any information that could affect the value of the home. These can include the presence of dampness, structural movement and subsidence, as well as the condition of the roof and its supporting structure9.
- The study of maintenance and upkeep that has been invested in the property9.
- The value of, and quality of an extension9.
It is also important to state that a surveyor is not responsible for unidentified faults that are inaccessible. A quality surveyor of experience, however, is likely to mention possible issues that could be present based on the other information they have gathered.
Luckily for a seller, the cost of a valuation is much less than the costs of a Homebuyers Report – which is likely to be commissioned by a potential buyer1.
While certain independent surveyors will provide a fixed fee valuation, most jobs will be quoted for based on the value of the property – so expect to pay anything between £150 for a smaller home, up to £1,500 for a larger equivalent1.
Who pays stamp duty when selling a house?
Thankfully, stamp duty is not a cost that is attributed to the seller. Stamp duty is effectively a tax on the preparation of documents related to a house sale and is only relevant for a buyer who is buying a house worth more that £125,00010.
Is there any tax to pay when selling a home?
The necessity of a tax payment is entirely down to the situation of the individual who is selling.
The only tax that may need paying – other than VAT for employed services – is Capital Gains tax, and is a tax imposed on the rise in value of your house during your time of ownership11. This tax is not payable if the following applies to you:
- The house being sold is the only home you own, and it has been your main residence since your purchased it11.
- It has not been split and let out (this does not include a lodger, or roommate) 11.
- It has not been used solely as business premises11.
- The entire grounds (including all buildings) are less than 5,000m2 in area11.
- It was bought solely to be flipped for financial gains in the short-term and not a residence11.
If these conditions do not apply to you, then you can enjoy Private Residence Relief and there is no charge11.
What are the other costs involved with selling a home?
Rather annoyingly – as many with experience of selling will be aware – there can be smaller costs that the seller is liable for, and these can often add up:
Energy Performance Certificate fees
An Energy Performance Certificate is a small survey that focuses on the environmental impact of your home. Brought into law on 1st August 200712, an EPC is carried out by an individual known as a Domestic Energy Assessor who uses software to give a house a score out of 100 based on its construction type, heating systems, loft and wall insulation, secondary heating appliances and glazing standards12.
When these certificates were introduced, a survey was likely to cost in the region of £120 (plus VAT), but as many estate agents have an individual on staff with the qualifications to perform the survey, the cost can often be as low as £30 to £40, and a generous agent will likely waive the fee. It is also worth noting that if an EPC has been performed in the preceding ten years, and there have been no structural changes that would affect its environmental impact for better or worse, then an EPC is not required12.
A seller can often be forgiven for forgetting to include the cost of removals into the house-selling equation as the focus required to obtain a sale makes the need to physically move your belongings a distant second priority.
Luckily, removal companies are a dime a dozen and tend to be experts at moving large items at high speeds with no damage. While you may occasionally hear about an individual hiring a van for the day and employing a few friends to help them out – for the sake of avoiding stress, most people will hire specialists.
Of course, the cost associated with removals varies on the amount of time needed to shift all your possessions. If you travel light, you will find yourself paying a little as £250, but if you plan on bringing your extensive collection of 1800s oak furniture., however, you could find yourself paying as much as £4,000 to £5,0001 – or sometimes even more.
If you have an existing mortgage, the chances are high that your lender will hope to keep your custom by allowing you to switch your mortgage to your new house with minimal stress. If you have found a more competitive quote for a mortgage from another lender on your new house, on the other hand, you will most likely find yourselves having to pay your original lender a mortgage exit fee13. This charge can often be contested but is predominantly in the region of £50 – £3001 depending on the small print in your original mortgage contract.
General cleaning fees
You didn’t think someone would buy your house without a little tidy-up, did you? As with so many purchases, the first taste is in the eye, and a messy home can often deter even the most enthusiastic buyer.
Yes, you can hire a team of cleaners for the day – and no-one will judge you if you do – but if you’re willing to put in a little elbow-grease, this is one part of a house sale that you can save money on.
So, how much does it really cost to sell a house in the UK?
Ultimately, the process of a house sale can be more expensive than many of us are led to believe. It is for this reason that so many sellers are so stubborn to listen to an agent advise them to lower their asking price – every penny counts.
There are, of course, many ways to avoid these costs – such as selling a house directly yourself instead of enlisting the services of an agent, or even carrying out removals and cleaning services themselves. But for the sake of ease, many vendors will pay for these services merely to avoid the accompanying stress – and the stress of needing to sell, especially when time is of the essence can often be too much to bear.
If you do need to sell your home in a short time frame, however, it is important to know the alternative ways available to you, and one of the fastest growing options for those who do not have the time to engage in the traditional house selling process is via the use of house buying companies such as National Homebuyers.
House-buying companies do not need to rely on lenders like an average buyer, and use their capital to purchase your home for cash directly, with many transactions completed within two weeks from the first point of contact, meaning that there is no waiting around for viewings, no charges for valuations or estate agents, and more importantly – a fast house sale.
House-buying companies are also a great option for those who simply can not sell their home due to construction or location-based issues, helping those who have struggled to find a buyer in the past.
Would you prefer to avoid the costs associated with selling a home? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property before it’s too late.
1 Brazg, G. (2018). Complete Guide: The Cost of Selling a House. Available: https://www.theadvisory.co.uk/house-selling/cost-of-selling-a-house/. Last accessed 10th Nov 2019.
2 Woollsey, N. (2018). How to choose an estate agent. Available: https://moneyfacts.co.uk/mortgages/guides/how-to-choose-an-estate-agent/. Last accessed 10th Nov 2019.
3 Cheek, N. (2011). Are estate agents really that bad? Available: https://conversation.which.co.uk/money/estate-agents-bad-trust/. Last accessed 10th Nov 2019.
4 What Mortgage. (2018). Top five tips for choosing your conveyancer. Available: https://www.whatmortgage.co.uk/feature/top-five-tips-choosing-conveyancer/. Last accessed 10th Nov 2019.
5 Anon. (2015). Conveyancing process explained for sellers. Available: https://hoa.org.uk/advice/guides-for-homeowners/i-am-selling/conveyancing-made-simple-for-sellers/. Last accessed 10th Nov 2019.
6 Kirkman, W. (2018). Is your property lawyer getting a kickback? New rules force conveyancers to disclose referral fees. Available: https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/mortgageshome/article-6218909/Solicitors-referred-estate-agents-arent-telling-clients-paid-recommended.html. Last accessed 10th Nov 2019.
7 Cheung, C. (2019). Conveyancing. Available: https://www.which.co.uk/money/mortgages-and-property/first-time-buyers/buying-a-home/conveyancing-ag3rw2q052kz. Last accessed 10th Nov 2019.
8 RICS. (2019). The myth of ‘down valuation’ – does it truly exist?. Available: https://www.ricsfirms.com/glossary/the-myth-of-down-valuation-does-it-truly-exist/. Last accessed 10th Nov 2019.
9 McNulty, F. (2018). Legal Q&A: How does a surveyor value a property? Available: https://www.homesandproperty.co.uk/property-news/legal-qa/how-does-a-surveyor-value-a-property-a122566.html. Last accessed 10th Nov 2019.
10 Admin. (2019). Stamp Duty: The basics. Available: https://www.postoffice.co.uk/mortgages/stamp-duty. Last accessed 10th Nov 2019.
11 Government. (2019). Private Residence Relief – Capital Gains Tax when you sell your home. Available: https://www.gov.uk/tax-sell-home. Last accessed 10th Nov 2019.
12 Government. (2019). Buying or selling your home – Energy Performance Certificates. Available: https://www.gov.uk/buy-sell-your-home/energy-performance-certificates. Last accessed 10th Nov 2019
13 Maundrell, H. (2018). Can you reclaim your mortgage exit fees? Available: https://www.money.co.uk/guides/can-you-reclaim-your-mortgage-exit-fees.htm. Last accessed 10th Nov 2019.
Estate agencies under fire for turning a blind eye to crime
Despite a strong belief that the estate agency industry is heavily regulated, the lack of oversight by many unregistered agents has forced the government to hand out fines to tackle the growing problem of money laundering.
While estate agents are hardly regarded as the most trustworthy of professionals by consumers and industry experts alike, large numbers of vendors who are looking to sell their home fast are often more than happy to hire an agency – with little research of their own – in the hopes of securing high sold house prices.
Unlike many financial businesses which require a prolonged vetting process designed to rout out applicants who could be considered morally flexible, anyone can set up an estate agency business with little more than a registration with HMRC and a redress scheme – potentially allowing anyone to become an estate agenct.
While this is not a massive issue in itself, these loose set of rules allow criminals to launder money gained through wrongdoing via real estate investment. An obvious example of this is the mass-purchasing of central London residences by Russian Oligarchs in an attempt to safeguard their finances.
The government introduced regulations and fines many years ago in order to curb the exploitation of agencies who fail to probe suspicious clients, and to prevent housing values being falsely inflated. And as a result of fifty spot-checks carried out by HMRC this year, so far there have been a worrying number of agencies hit with financial penalties for failing to register with, or for not adhering to the HMRC money-laundering regulatory scheme. The most high-profile of which has been Countrywide, who were last month hit with a fine of £215,000.
“Criminals who seek to use this country as a place to launder money should be in no doubt that they have nowhere to hide,” said Ben Wallace, Minister for National Security and Economic Crime.
Estate agents are a crucial line of defence against them and that’s why they’re under a legal – and moral – obligation to file a report when they spot something amiss. It’s wrong to think of money laundering as a victimless crime. Those with dirty cash to clean don’t just sit on it – they reinvest it in serious organised crime, from drug importation to child sexual exploitation, human trafficking and even terrorism.”
So how does this affect the average consumer? For buyers, as long as they have no nefarious plans for illegal investment then they need not worry as the regulations are there to help those who stay on the right side of the law. For sellers on the other hand, a failure to deal with a reputable estate agency who are willing to protect their interests can lead to a number of complications further down the line. For example, sellers who discover that their home has been purchased through money laundering schemes may find themselves out-of-pocket as money seized by the authorities can leave the status of the sold property in limbo as legal issues are resolved – a process that can take years.
Is it any wonder then that companies such as National Homebuyers are finding themselves inundated with vendors looking for fast house sales via a reputable company who can complete on a purchase in as little as two weeks?
Prefer to avoid estate agents? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.
The secrets behind how to sell a property successfully
Selling a house is never a stress-free experience but being prepared can help you to complete a sale as efficiently as possible.
While many homeowners love the idea of moving to a nice new property, the move itself is often hindered by the sale of their current home. So how do you ensure that the house-selling process goes as smoothly as possible?
How to sell your house
There are several methods that allow you to sell a house:
- High street estate agents are the most common method used by sellers but as many can attest, the likelihood of a fast house sale is entirely dependent on the experience and professionalism of the chosen agent. High street agents are also known to be quite expensive, often with many additional fees.
- Online estate agents are growing in popularity due to their fixed rate pricing and their ability to reach a wider audience of potential buyers. However, there have been many cases in recent years where the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) have found that companies such as Purplebricks, Housesimple, Hatched, and eMoov have misled customers, as they have often applied additional charges during the selling a house process that they initially fail to mention.
- If you believe that you have the ability to sell your home privately, then you can avoid the fees often associated with estate agents. Unfortunately, many who choose this route find that the stress involved is unsustainable, and eventually decide to refer the sale to a professional.
- If you need to sell your house fast, you can contact house-buying companies such as National Homebuyers who will value your home by providing a no-obligation quote, allowing you to decide whether to proceed or not. The benefit of using a company such as National Homebuyers is that sales are often completed in as little as two weeks, regardless of the location or condition of the property.
What do you need to know to sell your house?
When you sell your home, it is always a good idea to familiarise yourself with the house selling process:
- Make sure you only deal with reputable agents or companies who have a proven track-record of house sales in your area.
- Find out the sold house prices for homes similar to your own in nearby locations as a guide when deciding upon your asking price.
- Research customer reviews for local solicitors before making your choice. Many individuals have had a house sale held up, or even fallen through as a result of paperwork delays.
- Remember that when you are selling your house, it must be immaculate in order to gain interest from prospective buyers. This means tidying up, a little renovation, a lot of cleaning, and a willingness to keep it at showroom quality throughout the entire house selling process.
- If you decide to use National Homebuyers to sell your home, we will be available to provide independent, honest advice every step of the way – helping you to avoid the pitfalls and legal issues most commonly associated with a house sale.
What documents do you need to sell a house?
The documents needed to sell a house are as follows:
- Proof of identity
- Details of your current mortgage.
- The Title Deed to the property, a copy of which is likely to held by your mortgage provider or solicitor.
- An Energy Performance Certificate which states the efficiency rating for the house based on its CO2 impact and insulative properties.
- The Fittings and Contents Form (TA10) which details exactly what items will be included in the sale of the property.
- The Property Information Form (TA6) which includes an in-depth examination of every detail of the house, including service, utilities, insurance costs, boundaries, neighbour disputes and much more.
- Shared freehold / leasehold documents that state whether the property retains a share of the freehold, or whether it is leasehold.
- A Management Information Pack which provides details of any service or leasehold charges that need to be paid by the owner.
- An Acceptance of Offer Form once you have agreed a price with the buyer.
What are the costs of selling a house?
There are numerous costs to legally sell a home, many of which can shock vendors. There are, however, always numerous options available:
- Estate agent fees vary, but tend to be around 1.3% of the total sold house price. This can be avoided if you choose to sell your home privately.
- An Energy Performance Certificate is necessary if it has been more than ten years since the last certificate was issued, or if you have made changes to the property that could affect its energy rating. The average cost for an EPC is between £50 to £120 depending on the Domestic Energy Assessor used.
- Conveyancing fees will always apply as they need to be processed by either a solicitor or licensed conveyancer. These fees cover the legal aspects of the house sale and can range from £500 to £1500, depending on the value of the property.
- Removal fees will also be necessary unless you are happy to hire a van and are lucky enough to have a few friends to help. If you hire a removal firm, however, expect to pay anywhere between £400 to £1500.
Of course, there are ways to avoid a large portion of the fees associated with selling a house, and this is by using National Homebuyers.
When National Homebuyers purchase a house, there is only a small service fee necessary, and this is fully refunded once the sale is complete. National Homebuyers will even cover up to £1000 of your conveyancing fees, helping you save money, and sell your home with minimum stress.
Looking for a quick way to sell your house? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.
How to sell a property online
Not happy with your local agent? In this blog, we’re going to look at the best ways to sell your home online.
Where to sell a property online
As technology progresses, the traditional method of buying and selling property via a high street estate agent is slowly disappearing. In the last five years alone, almost 2,500 estate agents have permanently shut their doors as online rivals continue to thrive, offering flat rate fees and the ability to market listings nationally without the need for a brick and mortar storefront.
There are currently three main ways to sell property online. The first is through one of many online estate agents such as Purplebricks or Emoov. These agents employ regional specialists around the country who negotiate with potential buyers once they signal their interest in a property via the website.
The second main way is to use a traditional agent who will list the house on an online portal such as Rightmove, a website that has exploded in popularity since its inception almost 20 years ago.
The third method is often preferred by those who wish to sell their property online fast, and that is via a house buying company such as National Homebuyers, who will purchase any house, regardless of location or condition, without the delays that are often associated with estate agents.
Selling a property online vs other methods
The key benefit of selling a property online is the number of potential buyers you can reach. In the days of old, the only people who would see your home for sale are those who happened to wander past your estate agent’s window. Nowadays, however, your home can be viewed 24 hours a day by anyone with an internet connection.
Of course, rapid growth often encourages controversy – and this is especially true with some of the online estate agents. Both Purplebricks and Emoov have faced lawsuits from clients over hidden costs, and they have been on the receiving end of several warnings from the advertising watchdog as a result.
Tips for selling a property online
If you want to sell your house online, there are some things you can do to encourage buyers to notice your listing:
- Research your chosen method or agent carefully, including visiting forums where past clients discuss their experiences. If a company has a reputation for not getting the vendor within a reasonable range of their asking price, it may be worth looking elsewhere.
- Be prepared for the necessary photography by cleaning the house thoroughly and reducing clutter – buyers find it harder to imagine living in a house if it looks messy.
- If possible, buy a premium listing to make your home stand out.
- Keep your home in show-room condition, you never know when a potential buyer will call on short-notice to arrange a viewing.
- Ensure that once your listing is online, you set aside some time to check it thoroughly for errors and spelling mistakes – especially if the company have missed a marketable feature of your home.
How to sell a property online quickly
One issue with online agents is the speed with which a sale can be completed, as listings can often become lost in the sheer number of houses for sale. And as certain vendors use the ability to promote their listings for a cost, those who are unable to afford a premium listing for their home can often find themselves waiting a long time for an interested party to call – often leading to lower sold house prices.
Luckily, if a vendor needs to sell their house fast, they can always enlist the help of a house buying company who are able to purchase a home in as little as two weeks from the first point of contact. The benefits of companies such as National Homebuyers is that receiving your quote is absolutely free, and many clients are surprised how much they can get for their home.
With a slowed market, many individuals have found their life has been put on hold as they wait for a buyer to make an offer, preventing them from moving closer to family or to a new area for a new job – and in these instances, a house buying company is always the best option.
Looking to sell your home online fast? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.
Is this the end for high street estate agents?
Estate agents appear to be the latest victim of the modern high street as consumers move to online competitors.
The face of the UK high street has undergone a dramatic change over the last 15 years as a result of increased internet-based competition and lofty overheads. In many town centres, it’s hard to ignore the increased visibility of coffee, vape and charity shops while big names such as Woolworths, BHS, and Maplin are nowhere to be seen.
Unbeknownst to many, there is another sector that has suffered greatly as wage levels continue to stagnate and sold house prices continue to rise, and that is the local high street estate agent.
While big hitters such as Emoov and Purplebricks have been snapping up market share thanks to their lower overheads and their ability to market their listings nationally, localised private agencies are facing the executioners block at a frightening pace.
This news is backed up by new research from prominent estate agency DJ Alexander Ltd. Who have found that in just the last five years, 2,446 agents have closed their doors amid falling profits.
Thanks to the internet, the need for a brick and mortar store front to reach customers is no longer necessary, and those agencies who have failed to move with the times are finding that more and more prospective house-buyers prefer to search for listings from the comfort of their own homes without sauntering from agent to agent on a gloomy weekday morning.
“The internet has undercut much of the High Street in the retail and other sectors over the last five years and this is likely to continue,” said David Alexander, managing director of the Edinburgh and Glasgow-based agents.
“The generational and cultural change is enormous. For most people under 40 the idea of wandering from shop to shop in city centres is alien to them and they conduct many of their purchases on their phones, tablets, or computers.
However, as more and more vendors choose to list their homes with a concentrated number of online companies, they often find that the battle for visibility against other sellers makes it increasingly hard to sell their home fast at an appropriate value.
It must be no wonder, then, that more and more people are choosing to sell with National Homebuyers, a house-buying company who are always happy to buy any home, at competitive prices with a quick turnaround on completion.
Looking for a quick and easy sale? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.
How to sell a house online
In times gone by, the methods by which an individual could sell their home were extremely limited. However, thanks to the rise of the internet and e-commerce, vendors have a multitude of options available to them.
Thanks to numerous headlines regarding the underhanded business practices of a small number of individuals, the reputation of high street estate agents in the eyes of the public has suffered somewhat over the last decade, inspiring vendors to look for other ways to market their homes. In this blog, we’re going to take a brief look at how to sell a house online, and how the majority of online house sales work.
Where to sell a house online
If you’re thinking of selling your house online, you’ll be happy to know that there are a wide range of opportunities just waiting to be taken advantage of – some of which are more attractive than others.
- Online estate agents
In recent years, there has been a steady rise in the number of online agents willing to offer cut-price, or flat-rate deals to vendors who wish to sell their homes. The benefit of large national companies such as these is that their online visibility ensures that any attempt to subvert the client will often be noticed immediately by industry watchdogs or customer forums.
While they are, by and large, a fantastic value alternative to the traditional route of high street agents, there have been times where their conduct has been called into question. Examples of these incidents involve most of the prominent brands such as Purplebricks, eMoov, and Hatched – with many of the allegations linked to inaccurate marketing and hidden fees.
On the bright side, the increased competition, combined with the aim of maintaining their brand reputation in the online world means that it is in their best interest to perform in a manner befitting that of a reliable estate agent.
- House-buying companies
In today’s society, life seems to move at an unprecedented pace, and as a result, being tied down to a single location can often have a detrimental effect on one’s career or life goals.
While those who wish to sell – but are in no particular rush to do so – are able to patiently list their house on an online estate agent’s website, others may find themselves needing a fast house sale in a short time frame. In these situations, there are few better options than a house-buying company.
The advantage of a house-buying company is the ability to complete on a sale in as little as two weeks from the day an enquiry is first made. And thanks to the increased competition in this sector of house sales, the quote a vendor receives is often extremely competitive.
Also, while online estate agents are happy to make your listing visible, it is ultimately up to the buyers themselves to decide whether or not your home is worth their time. And as buying a house is more of an emotional than objective decision, if your home doesn’t tick all the boxes on their wish list, you may find your home sitting on the market for a while before you get any enquires – and even then, you may have to lower your asking price to get anywhere.
House-buying companies, on the other hand, are willing to buy any house – regardless of condition or location, which means that a vendor can enter negotiations confident that a sale will be achieved.
- Social media
Another approach that is gaining momentum is the use of social media to garner attention for a house that is for sale. By providing pictures and an accompanying description on sites such as Facebook or Instagram, a vendor can reach a large number of people – without having to spend a penny.
Of course, this method can be quite hit-and-miss depending on who sees the posts, but if you find one or two individuals who express an interest in your home, you may save yourself thousands in agency fees.
How easy is it to sell a house online?
- Online estate agents
With a growing number of companies selling you their services, it can often be hard to choose the agency with which you wish to proceed. To ensure that you pick the right one for you, you can always follow the advice of consumer advice companies such as Which? as well as view forums of customer reviews from those who have had experience with the companies beforehand.
Of course, it is important to bear in mind that no company is going to enjoy 100% stellar reviews from previous customers. There are going to be many occasions where the agent has followed procedure to the letter and done their hardest to achieve high sold house prices for their clients, but the odd customer will still not be satisfied. So, take all information with a pinch of salt.
Luckily, once your have picked your agent of choice, the rest of the process is extremely easy – although it may be worth reading some of the tips below to ensure that your home entices potential buyers.
- House-buying companies
Using a house-buying company is most likely the easiest route of all. With a single phone call, a vendor can get the ball rolling, and if they are happy with the quote they receive – then the house can be sold in a very short amount of time. If they aren’t happy with the quote, then they are under no obligation to continue with the deal – so for the customer, it’s a win-win.
This option is especially useful for vendors who are unable to sell for reasons such as their home being located in an undesirable area, or because of structural issues that would otherwise take thousands of pounds to fix – thousands of pounds that the seller does not necessarily have available. It’s also useful for those who need to sell fast but can’t afford to wait the length of time requested by an online estate agency to find a buyer.
- Social media
In reality, the ability to sell a house via social media comes down to computer literacy, and whether or not the vendor has a keen eye for marketing and promotion. Those who have a large number of contacts on sites like Facebook, or a large number of followers on sites such as Instagram or Twitter may find it easier than others – but that doesn’t mean you can’t try.
By using search engine optimisation along with good sales experience – not to mention an excellent grasp of the English language – any one with the drive and desire to succeed stands a good chance of selling their home via social media.
Top tips for selling a house online
No matter which method you choose to sell your home, there are always some universal pieces of advice that can help encourage a buyer to make a reasonable offer. So, if you’re thinking of selling your home through any of the methods above, make sure you follow these simple rules.
- De-clutter and clean
No matter how nice your home is, nobody will give a messy, unclean house a second thought. While it may be a pain to keep your house at showroom levels of cleanliness, it’s worth it if you manage to sell your home fast.
- Go plain
While your friends may think that your quirky tastes are a wonderful part of your personality, they can easily get in the way of a successful house sale. A buyer wants to be able to see themselves living in a house they browse, and the best way to help them achieve this is by removing as much of your influence from it as possible. This means ensuring the walls are painted a plain colour such as cream or white, and any odd furniture is either removed or covered appropriately.
- Choose the right time to sell
Try to put your home on the market during either spring or autumn. In summer, buyers tend to be busy with their children; going on holiday; and engaging in other activities, and in the winter, Christmas spending and the shorter days discourage many from their search. During spring and autumn however, the market often flourishes, and as a result, there will be many more potential buyers looking at making a purchase.
- Make your photos count
Your home may be beautiful, but unless your photos reflect this, then anyone browsing for a new home is likely to ignore your listing – so do yourself a favour and hire a photographer who knows what they’re doing.
- Premium listings
If you’re using an online agent, spending a little extra on a premium listing can help your home stand out from the crowd. However, you still need to make sure your house is appropriately priced or the extra web traffic will go to waste.
- Make yourself available as often as possible
It isn’t easy, but ensuring that either you or your partner are available to show any interested parties around your home is a huge part of finding a buyer. It may be a pain, but when it comes to selling, the buyer’s schedule is much more important than your own.
Looking online for a quick sale? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.
Vendors cutting asking prices to encourage sales
With agencies across the country encouraging sellers to make repeated cuts to their asking prices in the hopes of achieving a sale, a growing number of vendors are choosing less traditional routes to find a buyer.
Selling a house is long and complicated process for any owner – but there is always an underlying feeling that it will somehow all be worth it once the sale is complete and you can revel in additional profit you have made thanks to your larger equity stake and the accompanying inflation.
Imagine, then, the distress felt by a growing number of vendors in the current economic climate who are being advised by their agents to drop their asking price if they wish to achieve a fast house sale.
Back in November 2017, the online property portal Rightmove revealed that more than a third of home owners in the process of selling their home had been forced to lower their asking price – the greatest number of cuts since 2012.
As the average cut appeared to be just under one per cent, it was easy to dismiss this as a negligible difference. However, Rightmove also revealed that vendors who had already reduced their prices were often being urged to make further cuts, and while a single per cent drop in price may seem insignificant given the average prices of houses across the UK, depending on the value of the house, that single per cent could end up costing a less-wealthy seller a larger than anticipated amount of money.
It is somewhat unsurprising to hear, then, that many vendors are choosing to investigate other possible means by which they can sell their homes, hoping to gain an advantage over some of the more depressing sold house prices of similar properties.
Some vendors are choosing to forgo the option of an estate agent at all – after all, with a hesitant market, a large number of agents are seeing their profits plummeting, and their motivation to encourage a seller to cut their asking price may not necessarily be for benefit of their client, but to ensure that they themselves can balance the books at the end of the month.
Other options include the use of social media and word-of-mouth to garner interest from potential buyers, as well as advertising on property portals directly – cutting out the middle man. Others, however, are choosing a more dependable path, such as the use of house buying companies.
Companies such as National Homebuyers aim to complete sales in an incredibly short timeframe, often in as little as two weeks. And thanks to the lack of an estate agent and their accompanying fees, these purchases will often be completed without additional expenditure on the part of the seller, allowing them to sell their home – regardless of condition or location – and move on with their lives.
Of course, some vendors will prefer to take the traditional route of high street agents, but more honourable established London based agencies encourage buyers to ignore their own agent’s calls for repeated smaller cuts in favour of a single larger cut to drum up interest in their home.
“It’s vital they don’t discount their home in dribs and drabs,” said Lucy Pendleton, of the London estate agent James Pendleton.
“By dropping the asking price in increments all you succeed in doing is making your property look stale and unwanted, with none of the surge in viewings that a keen discount can bring.”
Prefer to avoid estate agents? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.
How to sell a house fast
Selling a house is an experience that many homeowners consider a necessary evil if they wish to upsize or downsize. Whether the stress comes from trying to find a decent agent, staying optimistic about viewings, or simply waiting for a buyer to make an offer – the house selling process is not one for the faint of heart. And when there is a limited time frame within which a sale must be made, anxiety levels can often shoot through the roof. However, the ability to sell a house fast is an important skill to learn for those hoping to move house for a new job, or simply to be closer to loved ones.
How to sell a house fast in a slow market
There are often times throughout the year where the property market appears to be in the midst of a massive slowdown. As a result, many vendors around the country find themselves reducing their house prices in order to remain competitive – but are they panicking unnecessarily?
In short, the answer is yes. Similar to stock markets, the world of property is heavily underpinned by consumer confidence, so even in the quietest months it doesn’t take much for the market to gain enough inertia for activity to increase rapidly. One of the best ways to ensure that you can sell a house fast in a slow market is to increase the visibility of your home to potential buyers – this means ensuring that you do not enter an agreement for any single agent to be the sole contract holder for the sale. Admittedly, you may end up paying a slightly higher commission by using multiple agents, but if you need to sell your house quickly, it is often necessary to make concessions.
Another great tip to drum-up a bit of interest in your home is to take advantage of mediums such as social media – after all, you never know whether a friend, or a friend of a friend maybe on the lookout for a new home. Plus, if you sell the home yourself, you can always pocket the commission that you would normally pay to an agent.
Sometimes, however, you need to sell your house fast, and no matter what you try, the market continues to be stagnant. In these circumstances, you can try using house buying companies who will buy any home, regardless of market conditions or location to help you move on with your life.
Tips on how to sell your house quickly
Even if the market is in full swing, selling a house quickly can still be a very stressful experience. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to increase the likelihood of a quick sale:
- Find an agent who has experience in both your area, and also your style of home. When it comes to selling a house, experience matters.
- Make yourself available as often as possible for any potential viewings. While this is easier said than done, the more time you can make for those looking at purchasing, the faster a sale can be achieved.
- Offer your agent an incentive in regard to commission levels. Be clear that if a sale can be achieved in a specified time frame, the greater their earnings will be.
- Try researching some sold property prices in your area to ensure that you aren’t asking too much, and if it is within your budget, maybe undercut the competition.
- If you have the time, try making a list of all local amenities and their respective distances from your home. Many sellers will judge certain areas harshly without ever visiting them, so give them a great reason to consider yours.
- Get in touch with your conveyancer early. Quite often, the greatest delays do not come from a lack of potential buyers, but from the movement of paperwork between the relevant parties.
- If you have a choice, avoid buyers who are stuck in a chain and go for those who are able to move in straight away. And if they’re cash buyers, even better.
Choose the best time to sell your home
While there are always a large number of househunters on the prowl at any given time throughout the year, there is a marked difference in market activity between the seasons.
Traditionally the worst times to sell are always during summer and winter. A large number of potential homeowners will have children of varying ages – and as many parents can attest, the summer and winter holidays are often stressful enough without having to factor in the purchase of a new home. Moreover, during the summer months when the weather is nice, people try to avoid stress by going on holiday – a lofty expense in itself; while around the Christmas period, the cost of travelling and presents can often leave your bank account drained.
If you can afford to wait, experts will always advise a vendor to place their home on the market in either spring or autumn.
In spring, the longer days not only encourage buyers to look around for a new home, but the additional light also helps to make a house seem more aesthetically pleasing and bright than in winter. Additionally, if you have a garden, the warmer temperatures and sunshine will help your flowers bloom – a welcome sight for any potential purchaser.
In autumn, buyers with children will have a bit more time on their hands once all the schools are open again. Furthermore, those who missed the spring bubble will be keen to buy and settle in before the temperatures begin to plunge again.
Prepare your house for a quick sale
Despite all the effort you put into making your home visible to potential buyers, if it doesn’t look desirable, the chances of achieving a sale in a short time frame are very slim. So why not do everything you can to make your home as attractive as possible? It may seem obvious, but a large number of houses don’t sell simply because the owners haven’t bothered to make it look appealing to a potential buyer.
- Go minimal – buyers are always more enthusiastic about a property if they can see themselves living there. This means removing a large amount of your personality from the décor, and replacing it with a clear, canvas upon which they can project theirs – so try neutral colours on your walls and floors.
- Keep all laundry and clutter out of the way, and ensure that all doorways are clear from obstructions.
- Consider re-varnishing and treating any external wooden areas such as sills, doors, and cladding to prevent your home from looking ‘old’.
- Keep it perpetually clean – it may be tough, but you don’t want to have to turn-away viewings because you had a week where you let your house turn into a bombsite.
- If you’re selling during the winter months, make sure you keep the heating on throughout the day – even if you’ve already moved out.
- Keep the windows open prior to a visit, and invest in some air fresheners or odour absorbers to place around the home to remove any unwanted smells.
- If you have kids, make sure that their toys are confined to their room during viewings – while they may be adorable, certain buyers may not find their presence as welcoming as you had hoped.
- Keep your curtains open – a house will always look more inviting when viewed with copious amounts of natural light.
Ultimately, learning how to sell a house fast isn’t easy – but it’s always worth doing everything within your power to encourage your home to stand out from the crowd, and remind yourself that upon completing the sale, it will have all been worth it.
Looking for a fast house sale? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.
High street agents losing out to online rivals
As the business world continues to move away from traditional shopfronts, high street agents are slowly realising that the future may not be as promising as once hoped.
For decades, high street estate agents have enjoyed a bountiful supply of potential home buyers coming through their doors on a daily basis, but their dominance over both the local and national property market could be nearing its end unless they act fast.
In the days prior to the internet, any individual looking to buy had little choice but to liaise with their local agent in order to find the perfect home for themselves. And for many years, these agents enjoyed a handsome commission on all sold house prices. However, with an increasing number of online rivals offering the same service – often with lower fees – is it any wonder that more and more traditional agents are beginning to feel the squeeze?
Of course, for certain older members of society, there remains the belief that an established local high street agent possesses a level of knowledge regarding the area that is worth the additional price. For younger, more tech savvy individuals, however, there is little a local agent can offer them in terms of knowledge that they cannot attain themselves via a quick Google search – and with stagnating wage increases and continually rising house prices, the appeal of an online alternative with cheaper fees is hard to resist.
In recent years, industry analysts have been quick to note the fall in business experienced by high street agents. Even market leaders such as Foxtons and Countrywide have seen the value of their shares plummet by over a quarter in the past year alone.
It unsurprising to learn, then, that many larger companies have been examining the possibility of merging their assets in an effort to remain on top. However, with online rivals such as Purple Bricks, Yopa and eMoov posting record profits year on year, many experts are wondering whether the former giants of high street sales have left their plans for recovery a little too late, and investors appear to be more than aware of this shift in fortunes according to Varde Partners’ Tim Mooney, who claims that high street commissions are simply “a joke”.
“There’s an analogy to travel agents — nobody books their holidays in a high-street travel agent’s anymore, it’s online,” he added.
For younger people, this is not so much of an issue, having grown-up in a digital world where any information can be accessed from a handheld device in a matter of seconds. For older, more traditional sellers, however, the switch to digital mediums may feel a little overwhelming.
Luckily, older vendors who need to sell their house fast, but would prefer to avoid online agents will always have the option of talking to house buying companies such as National Homebuyers who will happily discuss all available options that are open to them. And with the ability to complete a sale on a house within two weeks, regardless of situation or location, they can rest assured that the stress normally associated with selling a home can be easily avoided.
Prefer to avoid online estate agents? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.
How much are estate agent fees?
If you’re looking to sell your house fast, there’s a good chance that you’ll be on the lookout for an online or high-street estate agent. However, with so many agents around the UK, it can often be hard to find one that you can trust to sell your house successfully with an offer as close to your original asking price as possible.
The quality of an agent can often be hard to judge. Many agents seem to request a ridiculous fee as payment, while others appear to undercut the competition significantly, but how can you – the client – know whether or not they are worth the requested payment percentage based on current sold house prices?
How much should I pay the estate agent?
With few exceptions, estate agent fees are always calculated on a percentage basis from the final sale figure for the property they are representing. As a vendor, you should not be expected to make any additional payments for any service related to the sale of your home. Of course, certain agents will offer – for an additional cost – to promote your listing above other similar listings on online portals such as Rightmove – but remember, it is in the agent’s best interests to sell your house in a short time period for as much as possible, and so most reputable agents will cover the cost of premium listings themselves.
So how much commission does an estate agent make? Across the UK, the average fee is around 1.3% of the final sale figure. Like many things in life, you get what you pay for, and consequently it’s worth being a little suspicious of estate agents whose fees are undercutting their competitors drastically – any agent worth their salt would never de-value their brand in such a way. Conversely, it’s also worth being suspicious of agents who overcharge their clients significantly unless it is clear why they do so, and whether their track-record in sales is productive enough to warrant the extra cost.
What are an estate agent’s fees?
An estate agent’s job is to promote your home to potential buyers who are looking to buy in the area. These may be local families who are planning to upsize, retired individuals who are looking to downsize, or even people from hundreds of miles away that need to move to the area for a job. Ensuring that your property is viewable by all potential buyers is no easy task – hence the sizeable fee. Using various mediums such as online portals, word-of-mouth, local and national advertising, an effective agent will be able to target those who are open to the possibility of purchasing. The fee that an agent charges also covers the man-hours involved by staff, operational overheads, valuation costs, and promotional materials for your home such as professional photographs and well-written descriptions.
However, it is important to remember that although an agent will provide you with a percentage quote, this does not mean that you can’t negotiate. Thanks to the competition amongst agents, there are certain situations that allow you to haggle:
- If an agent requests to be the sole contract holder for the sale, this can limit the number of potential buyers who will see your home and allows you to negotiate a lower commission – often as low as 0.8-1%
- If your property costs much more than the average home in the area (research these values in advance), it should be relatively easy to push down your agent’s fees as the sale of an expensive home does not necessarily require more work than a house of a much lower value. And as an agent’s commission is percentage based, they are still likely to collect a great paycheck at the end.
- Since 2016, the Property Ombudsman has instructed all estate agents to include VAT in any quote they offer to a client – so if an agent tries to charge you an additional amount once the sale has gone through, ensure that you contact your solicitor for legal advice, as well as report them to the necessary authority. Luckily, these underhanded tactics are rare.
How to sell a house without an estate agent
Luckily, if you’re a vendor who would prefer to avoid the hassle of dealing with agents, there are other options. If you can spare the time, you can always try to sell the house yourself – although as many others can attest, this route can be absolutely exhausting. Other options include the use of house buying companies such as National Homebuyers, who will happily buy any house, regardless of location or situation for a competitive fee – perfect for those who need to move house in a limited time-frame in order to move on with their lives.
Looking for a fast house sale? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.
Can you sell a house with asbestos in the UK?
Across the country, there are a number of older properties that still contain the toxic material, and its presence can often deter potential buyers for good reason. So how do you sell a house that contains asbestos?
Asbestos is a silicate mineral has been mined for over four thousand years around the world. With a wide range of uses, it was often hailed as a ‘wonder material’ by many prominent historical figures throughout the Roman Empire and Persia.
Why is asbestos dangerous and is it illegal to sell a house with asbestos?
Categorised into six separate classifications, it’s easy to see why asbestos was heavily used in UK property construction during the 20th century – it was resistant to fire, did not conduct electricity, and was an excellent heat insulator – but most importantly, it was mined locally and therefore extremely cost effective.
While the different available forms of asbestos vary in their potential to harm those who come into contact with it, they are all linked to a condition known as asbestosis. During its manufacturing process and implementation in many types of construction, the dust that was produced contained sharp asbestos particles that often found their way into the lungs of workers, cutting and scarring the delicate tissue inside and frequently causing tuberculosis and fibrosis. In the US alone, the handling of asbestos has led to the deaths of approximately 100,000 people since records began.
In the modern era, large-scale mining in the UK started in the late 19th century, but despite the first asbestos-related death occurring in 1906, it took until 1985 for the first partial ban to be passed through parliament.
While it isn’t illegal to sell a house with asbestos, for homeowners in the process of selling a house containing the material, the number of steps required to find a buyer can be a nightmare. But what measures need to be undertaken in order to sell a house fast?
Asbestos disclosure when selling a house in the UK
Since the repeal of the Property Misdescriptions Act in 2013, all sellers are obliged to disclose the presence of asbestos during a sale. Of course, owners are not expected to detect the presence of asbestos in their home by themselves, but more than likely this information will have been uncovered by a chartered surveyor before they moved in.
In a large majority of cases, a seller will also be using a surveyor to determine the value of their home prior to placing it on the market, and their estate agent of choice will likely query the presence of asbestos based on the age and construction type of the property. Generally, any home built before 1978 could contain the toxic material, and a failure to detect the presence of asbestos in these instances could open up both the surveyor and agent to prosecution.
However, in many cases a surveyor would only be liable if asbestos was detectable by reasonable means – i.e. a surveyor cannot be expected to detect its presence through a solid wall or other unreachable areas.
How can I sell a house with asbestos?
If a surveyor’s valuation or agent’s report have determined that there is asbestos in your house, then further inspection is needed by a qualified professional who will be able to establish whether or not it could endanger the lives of those living within the property. It is important to note that asbestos does not pose a threat if it is in good condition – it is only when the material has been damaged or disturbed that its removal may be warranted.
If the material is in good condition then the law merely requires the seller to disclose the information to potential buyers and it is up to the latter to decide whether or not it is worth pursuing a purchase. If the asbestos, however, is found to pose a hazard to health then the situation can become a little more complicated.
Asbestos removal can be expensive, with average prices reaching £75 + VAT per sq. m – so even a small 6m x 5m ceiling can reach £2200 + VAT. For a seller, it comes down to a choice between having the material removed themselves at great cost, or placing the house on the market at a reduced rate to encourage a sale – although the number of potential buyers is likely to be limited due to health concerns.
House buying companies, however, are always happy to offer competitive prices to owners regardless of the presence of asbestos. Those looking to move house in a short time-frame often find this to be a preferable method, with sales completed in as little as two weeks.
Finding it hard to sell? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.
Vendors cutting prices to encourage sales
As insecurity regarding the outcome of the UK’s planned exit from EU continues, vendors are slashing their prices to increase the likelihood of a sale.
Vendors across the country are slashing their asking prices in an effort to sell their homes fast, as fears grow that once Article 50 has been finalised, the value of their home may be even lower.
For London-based properties, the discounts have been stark. In prosperous areas such as Kingston and Richmond, vendors have cut their asking prices by an average of £84,244. While these reductions are smaller in size than those recorded after the financial crisis over a decade ago, they remain over 6% higher than those recorded prior to the EU referendum.
The online property portal Zoopla claims that around half of all properties in wealthy areas around London and Surrey have had their asking prices reduced under the advice of their agents in order to remain competitive. While this is good news for buyers who have the available funds to buy these discounted properties, it is bad news for both sellers and the property industry as a whole.
For an industry built on consumer confidence, such huge reductions in value are likely to put-off any homeowners considering selling their home in the short-term and instead encourage them to either place their home on the rental market, or stay-put until the market has recovered post-Brexit – assuming that it does.
The average reduction across the UK currently stands at £25,562, but with wage increases failing to meet expectations, those looking to buy their first homes are still unlikely to be able to take advantage. And while house values in general are still on the rise – albeit at a much slower rate than before – many analysts and economists are understandably weary regarding the robustness of the UK’s economy by the end of 2018.
“We see house prices rising a modest 2-3% in 2018,” said Howard Archer, chief economic adviser to the forecasting group, the EY Item Club.
“The fundamentals for house buyers are likely to remain challenging over the coming months with consumers’ purchasing power continuing to be squeezed by inflation running higher than earnings growth. Additionally, housing market activity is likely to be hampered by fragile consumer confidence and a limited willingness to engage in major transactions.”
For many owners who need to sell, the current outlook appears to be a no-win situation without an element of luck – especially taking into account the interest rate hike in November that appears to have further dissuaded potential buyers. However, by using a company such as National Homebuyers, vendors can sell their homes for competitive prices before their values fall further.
Are you worried about selling your home? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.
How to sell your house without an estate agent
Selling a house can be a stressful experience. Even so, more and more sellers are choosing to decline the use of an agent in favour of more profitable options.
For the majority of people looking to sell their house fast, the use of an estate agent seems like a great idea. While agents do take a cut of the profits, many sellers prefer to avoid the stress of self-marketing and will happily pay to avoid the headaches.
However, with the advent of numerous online property portals; the increased ability to reach a wider audience of potential buyers through social media; and the ability to cut down on expenses – as a seller, you may find yourself wondering whether it’s possible to learn how to sell your house without an agent.
It is, however, important to realise that in most cases, managing your own sale requires a great deal of time and devotion, as well as being ‘available’ 24/7 to take calls regarding offers and general enquiries.
In this blog, we will be looking at the most popular methods you could employ when setting out to discover how to sell your house yourself.
Make your house sellable
As with all planned property transactions, a buyer is less likely to buy if they view a house that is unkempt and messy. When you use an estate agent, you can often gain pointers from their sales specialists with regard to making your house marketable. When you decide to shoulder the responsibility yourself however, you need to make the judgement calls on your own. Luckily, there are a huge number of internet-based resources that can help you bring your house up to showroom quality.
Once your house is in tip-top shape, consider employing the services of a professional photographer to take the marketing pictures. Photos taken by amateurs often stand out a mile in listings by making your home look ‘cheap’ and claustrophobic – whereas a professional, by comparison, can make your home look open, palatial and desirable.
How to sell your house yourself
No matter which method you choose, it’s always important to learn the value of your home. Set the asking price too low, and you risk losing a vast amount of your investment – set the asking price too high, and you risk deterring potential buyers and finding yourself waiting a long time for the possibility of a sale.
In these situations, it’s always a great idea to employ an RICS-accredited surveyor to carry out a valuation. With a much lower price than a homebuyer’s report, a valuation is an important step in finding out how to sell your house without an agent.
Choosing the right path
Many vendors choose to employ the services of auction houses in an effort to sell fast. However, it’s important to remember that most buyers at auctions are there because they’re looking for a bargain. While unusual homes and derelict houses at the lower end of the scale tend to make the seller (and auctioneer) a lot of money, an average standard house is liable to perform less well during the bidding process.
Even if you set your reserve price at the price point advised by your surveyor, many auctioneers will forgo the chance of including your home in their auction if they feel the price won’t entice enough potential buyers. It’s also worth remembering that auctioneers make a great deal of money in commission from both the seller and the buyer if the property sells – and even if your house does not sell during the auction, you would still liable for the attached administration fees.
Luckily, there are alternatives. Online property portals such as Purplebricks or Tepilo offer you the chance to sell your home through their websites at a fixed fee, rather than a percentage-based fee with an agent. However, as with many great offers, there are strings attached.
Many property portals require you to use their services for valuations – services that have, on many occasions, required additional fees. There have also been numerous complaints against Purplebricks that have been upheld by the advertising watchdog regarding misleading marketing claims. For example, the obscuration of the fact that the fixed fee itself is payable whether or not your house manages to sell, and their 2016 claim to save a vendor an average of £4,158 in fees versus standard estate agents, which was heavily criticised due to the fact that the claim was based on commission figures published five years previously.
Ultimately, any company that is willing to help you sell your house is doing so with the aim of making a profit – and so it is up to the client to read the small print before deciding to sign on the dotted line.
If you wish to find out how to sell your house yourself without having to deal with additional commission fees, there are better options, and these are house buying companies.
Companies such as National Homebuyers offer you the chance to sell your home in as little as seven days – great for those who need to move house fast due to a change in personal circumstances. With a small upfront fee that is refunded upon completion of the sale, National Homebuyers will buy any house for cash, regardless of condition or location for a competitive price – even offering the seller additional financial support to cover any legal fees associated with the sale.
With an ever-increasing number of satisfied customers, why not make an enquiry and see how easy the house selling process can be?
Prefer to avoid estate agents? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.
How to sell your house quickly
So, you’ve decided to sell. But what steps can you take to ensure that you find a buyer within a reasonable time-frame?
Moving home is hardly the most stress-free experience for the majority of us. Once the initial excitement of deciding to sell and move on has died down, we’re left with the task of ensuring that we gain offers similar to our asking price.
Once the property is on the market, the first week or so can be a little exciting as you wait for that first viewing to get booked. Once you get to the third or fourth week without hearing anything from your agent, however, the insecurities can begin to set in.
You may even begin to ask yourself if the agent is pulling their weight with regard to the sale – or maybe it’s the house itself? As time passes, the stress begins to occupy every waking moment as you edge ever further towards the day when you consider dropping the asking price to encourage buyers and ask yourself “Could I have done more earlier on to ensure that I sell my house fast?”
And for many vendors, the answer is a simple ‘yes’. Luckily, you don’t necessarily need a degree in marketing to help the odds play out in your favour.
In order to sell your house fast, it’s often worth harking back to the perspective you personally held when you bought your own home. For many people, despite the scale of the potential purchase, the decision to buy is often made within an hour of viewing a house – so what can you do to maximise your home’s desirability to a buyer?
Choose your season
For those who wish to know how to sell a house fast, it’s worth biding your time until the majority of buyers are looking. So, when is it best to place your home on the market?
During the winter, the shorter days and poor weather can make any house look a little dreary, and there are few vendors or buyers looking to sell over the Xmas period. During summer, a large number of parents are busy looking after their children while they’re off school, and many people are busy planning a getaway to sunny locations abroad.
Traditionally, the best times to sell are during either spring or autumn. The kids are in school, and there’s still enough sunlight to flaunt the attractive external aspects of your home and garden – but more importantly, these are the seasons during which the bulk of potential buyers are active.
Clean and declutter
No matter how you decorate your home while you live there, remember that when you are selling, you are advertising. Knowing how to sell your house quickly comes down to helping potential buyers feel comfortable with the thought of living there.
A house which is unkempt or full of clutter will barely gain a second’s thought from the majority of buyers – especially when they most likely have several other properties to view that week.
It is also worth remembering that applying a little elbow grease around the property can’t hurt either:
- Have the windows been cleaned recently?
- Could the front door benefit from a quick re-varnishing?
- Are there walls inside that could enjoy a fresh lick of paint to make them look their best?
- Have you weeded the garden and driveway for their arrival?
Nobody expects you to pull off a TV-style makeover, but a little effort goes a long way.
Use natural light
During viewings, make sure that you keep curtains drawn back, blinds rolled up, and that they are scheduled when the sun is out. Natural light helps a house feel more spacious and airy and you should use it to your advantage.
Maintain showroom quality
It’s not easy to keep your house looking perfect 24/7, even when you’re trying to sell – but it is important to try. Cleaning as you go is a great way to avoid being caught off-guard by a surprise viewing on short-notice – and learning how to deal with surprise appointments is a great way to learn how to sell a house fast.
Promote your neighbourhood
When we purchase a home, we usually have to factor in the additional benefits its location presents. Sometimes we buy because of its proximity to local amenities such as shops and leisure facilities, other times it’s because it happens to be in the same district as a renowned local school.
Whatever your reasons were for originally purchasing your house, make sure that you pass on this information to your agent, or through a welcome pack for potential buyers to read while they come for a viewing, reminding them that the services on your doorstep are part of what makes your home such as bargain.
Be prepared to say goodbye to certain appliances
Sometimes we love to indulge ourselves with a few fitted appliances in either our bathrooms or kitchens that really make living in our homes a joy. When we move, however, it can be quite tempting to bring that luxurious gas fire, expensive oven or fridge/freezer with us.
Nevertheless, if those appliances are a focal point of the décor in your home, most buyers would assume that they are included in the asking price – learning to let go of some of your favourite purchases is an important part of learning how to sell your house quickly.
Know when it’s time to reduce your price
You could have the perfect home, the perfect location, and the perfect time of year – but sometimes, luck just isn’t on your side. Knowing when to lower the price of your home is an important part of the house-selling process – and if approached with a strategic mindset, can really help encourage buyers.
Therefore, before you place your home on the market make a decision at which point you would consider lowering the price, and also by how much.
While we all aim to achieve our original asking price, it’s important to temper expectations with reality, and don’t forget, it’s better to lower the price earlier before the home has been on the market so long that buyers begin to question its saleability.
Gain additional planning permission
Does your home offer a number of opportunities for extending? If done correctly, adding an extension to a home is usually a sure-fire way to guarantee a greater return on your investment.
Sadly, many of us do not necessarily have the financial reserves for extending our homes – but the people who are considering buying your home, however, may have deeper pockets. Take advantage of this by gaining planning permission for any possible extensions and make sure that you notify any interested parties to make buying your home seem an even more attractive proposition.
Are there any tips and tricks that can be used to sell my house fast?”
Most people try to be as objective as possible during viewings – tallying the number of rooms needed, checking for ample storage space, as well as deciding whether or not the garden is big enough.
What many viewers don’t realise is that it’s often the subjective, subliminal side of their minds that help them settle on a potential purchase. So why not try the following?
- Don’t let an amateur take photographs of your home. The photos are the first thing a buyer will see at the agents, and great photos can make your small family home look palatial.
- Turn on the central heating 2-3 hours before they arrive – warmth can easily sway a buyer’s opinion in your favour.
- Spray a little furniture polish on the radiators while they’re heating up – the scent often evokes feelings of nostalgia and comfort.
- A bowl of fresh fruit, or a pot of freshly brewed coffee on display can easily encourage a buyer to see your house as a home.
- Clear drains using caustic soda to eliminate any smells from bathrooms and kitchens that may otherwise deter those looking to buy.
- Try to use a combination of secondary lighting such as floor lamps as opposed to a single fixed ceiling light to prevent the rooms from feeling too sterile.
- Add a few plants in and around communal areas. A bit of nature can add a little variation to your standard décor.
Of course, you can make all the effort in the world to make your home look beautiful, but it’s all for nothing unless you have a good agent – so ask around and make sure you find the right one for you.
If you do need to sell your house fast and would prefer not to deal with estate agents, however, remember that you can always use property buying companies who will buy any home, regardless of location or condition, at a competitive price.
Looking to sell your home? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.
Who pays the commission when you sell a house?
When property changes hands, it’s not always straightforward how the associated fees are calculated – and to whom they are paid. The situation is made even worse when you realise that different methods of selling a home demand different types of fees, so it can often feel like a figurative minefield.
No matter which process you choose when you decide to move house, the individuals who take care of the marketing, conveyancing and orchestration of the sale will require payment. Some of these fees will be paid by the buyer, while others are handled by the vendors.
In this blog, we will examine the most common methods used to sell, and find out who pays the commission when you actually sell a house.
An estate agent’s job is to make your home appear as saleable as possible. They are also responsible for ensuring that your home is viewed by the target market. Once a sale has been completed, payment for their services is due – but who pays the estate agent?
In nearly all cases, it is the responsibility of the buyer to pay for conveyancing, solicitor fees, Land Registry searches and valuation fees. The commission earnt by the estate agent, however, is paid by the seller. But exactly how much is an estate agent’s commission?
Although there are occasional variations from agent to agent, the standard fee would account for between 0.75% and 3.00% of the final sale price (plus VAT). Due to the difference in value between houses, a percentage-based fee ensures cheaper houses enjoy cheaper commission fees, and vice versa.
For auction houses, the situation tends to be a little more complex – so who pays the commission when you sell a house through an auctioneer?
Firms who run property auctions find their line of work to be a lot more lucrative than an estate agents’, as both the buyer and the seller have a commission fee to pay.
For buyers, the standard commission rate lies around 10% of the final selling price. For vendors, however, this fee can range from as little as 8%, all the way up to 30% – and it’s important to remember that VAT will also be added to these premiums.
With fierce levels of competition, many online companies such as Purplebricks or eMoov have often vied for business through the use of flat-rate commissions, no matter the size or location of the house in question. While this may be great news for those with more expensive homes, those vendors on the lower end of the scale may find the marketing a little less attractive. For these reasons, it’s often a great idea to find out how much your home is worth before choosing the best method for selling.
For many vendors, the need to sell fast is essential. This can be due to a change in home life circumstances, or simply due to a job in a new location. Luckily, most house-buying companies adapt the motto ‘we guarantee to buy any home’, and as a result, will be happy to offer competitive offers for your house regardless of location or circumstance – often with zero fees.
Prefer to avoid costly estate agency fees? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.
Estate agents inflate prices to win business, according to new report
As competition rises between estate agents, inaccurate valuations are being used to increase business at the expense of vendors, forcing them to reduce their asking prices in order to sell.
To put your house on the market is a big decision – and one that many understandably dread. It’s a gauntlet of hard selling, paperwork and a huge risk of disappointment if no buyers are willing to meet your asking price.
So which route should you go for? It all depends on your timescale. For those who need to sell fast, there’s always the option of property buying companies who will buy any home for cash – a process that is usually much faster and efficient than more traditional routes. For a large percentage of the populace who are unaware of these alternatives, however, estate agents are the only path they know.
For many, estate agents are a necessary evil – ranked within the same brackets as politicians and government ministers in terms of trustworthiness – but are we being taken advantage of by unscrupulous agents when we’re at our most vulnerable? According to a new survey by Nottingham Building Society, in many cases the answer is yes.
When choosing a service provider, we tend to take our business to whoever provides us with the best prices; and who appeals to us on a personal level as trustworthy – and estate agents are no exception. The new survey, however, has painted a rather sad picture of how many of us are taken advantage of when choosing who we sell our property with, as agents make promises regarding sale prices they know they can’t keep.
Across the country, the report has found that 41% of all vendors questioned who had sold a house in the past five years ended up selling for less than their original target – with one in twelve settling for a significantly lower price than originally hoped. Areas such as Yorkshire and Humberside were found to perform even worse, with 57% of respondents settling for lower sale prices than originally promised by their agent.
Nottingham Building Society believes that the problem stems from agents giving inaccurate valuations to gain business, knowing fully well that the quoted price is likely to be erroneous. Property selling experts have also noted that an inflated asking price will lead to the house staying on the market for a longer period of time – making potential buyers question the saleability of the property and further reducing the strength of future offers.
“Price is not all that matters when you are selling your house,” says Su Snaith, Head of Estate Agency at The Nottingham, “but it can be absolutely vital if you are relying on a certain price for your next purchase, which means realistic valuations are essential.”
Can’t sell your home? You can always play dress-up…
Estate agents are always looking to gain maximum exposure for their listed properties, but one agent in East Yorkshire has gone the extra mile – using a panda costume and a willing vendor.
Many estate agents employ professional photographers to paint their client’s homes in the best possible light – always trying to capture that ‘brochure’ feel in terms of perspective and lighting – but does it grab a potential UK home buyer’s attention? For one estate agent and their client, the answer is a resounding ‘no’… but they feel they have the answer to the age-old question: ‘How do I make my house stand out from the crowd?’ And that answer is absurdly brilliant and has captured the attention of the industry and social media alike.
When Lee Wilson first approached estate agent Richard Welpton regarding his wish to sell his recently remodelled five-bedroom home in East Yorkshire, he had no idea what he was getting into. Richard had been looking at ways to gain more interest from potential buyers browsing his properties on Rightmove and Zoopla, including encouraging vendors to appear in the photographs themselves to help bring advertisements to life – with very few taking him up on the offer.
Naturally, as well as investing in new ideas, he had also invested in a panda suit off eBay three years previously – with the hope of incorporating it into the photos – and after a long wait he finally had a vendor willing to play ball.
Donning the costume for the photo shoot, seller Lee Wilson can be seen performing various activities in each room of the house from working out in the conservatory, to eating at the kitchen table.
“I get very bored of seeing the same old pictures and videos. For me it’s a bit like Groundhog Day,” said Richard, a director of East Yorkshire-based Quick & Clarke estate agents.
“That idea didn’t catch on until Lee agreed to do it and we’re hoping that it makes the house stand out. We certainly had a lot of laughs shooting the video.”
Richard’s odd idea has been hailed as a stroke of genius by those within the industry and on social media as the property has gained a huge amount of interest, as well as being covered in news articles by national newspapers including the Daily Mail and the Telegraph.
“I just thought it was a novel way of showing the house – it’s just a little bit different,” said Lee. “They’ll always think, ‘I’ll just have another look at that house with the panda in it’.”
For those sellers looking for a quick house sale who don’t happen to have a panda costumer lying around, there is still hope – as there are plenty of property buying companies who will buy any house for cash with a friendly, efficient service and competitive offers.
Worried your photos aren’t appealing to buyers? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.
Ever fancied owning a village? For a cool £20m, you can…
The village of West Heslerton, near Malton in North Yorkshire, has officially gone on sale to prospective buyers after over 150 years of family ownership.
When Eve Dawnay sadly passed away in 2010, the village that had been passed down from generation to generation for a century-and-a-half faced an unsure future. Eve inherited it from her father in the mid-1960s and managed to gain the respect of local people with her generously low rental prices. Those who lived alongside her remember her fondly, but many are fearful of the possibility of rising costs once new owners are found.
The village itself hosts 43 houses, a pub and restaurant, playing fields and a sports pavilion, along with the beautiful 21-bedroom West Heslerton Hall. A popular figure among locals since moving into a smaller four-bedroom house in the village centre, Ms Dawnay died without an heir and as a result the village was passed down to beneficiaries.
“Miss Dawnay was a wonderful lady,” said Tom Watson of Cundalls estate agency. “She was very kind and the property rents are, and have always been, very low.”
For many, the charm of the area has been its lack of modernisation over the last 50 years, but with potential investors showing an interest in its purchase, the likelihood of further development is a distinct possibility. With over 2000 acres of undeveloped countryside, residents are hoping that the incoming buyer will share Eve’s hopes and vision for the village, ensuring that local life can carry on untouched by the outside world and without the risk of rental prices being hiked.
The new owner(s) can expect an annual income of £388,000 from rent and agricultural subsidies, but that is likely to increase if further development is carried out. Eve’s sister Verena moved to London once she turned 18, but still considers being raised in West Heslerton a privilege and a blessing. However, she agrees that times have changed and understands that seeing new life breathed into the local community could benefit the residents further.
“It is a once in a lifetime opportunity – I just hope we can find the perfect buyer,” added Tom Watson.
Wondering about the future of your own property, or fancy a swift lifestyle change? Ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property
Are traditional estate agencies on the way out?
As online estate agents see a surge in client numbers, the traditional high street estate agent could be facing a bleak future, as those looking to sell their home fast pursue cheaper flat-rate fees over local knowledge and experience.
Looking back at the last 20 years, the face of the British high street has undergone a radical transformation. From Woolworths, Littlewoods, and JJB Sports, to HMV, Blockbuster and Our Price – many of the household names we all frequented growing up have been relegated to the annals of history.
Many of these businesses have nobody but themselves to blame due to bad investments and even worse practices. However, many were consigned to the great retail mall in the sky for simply failing to keep up with technological progress. Surely many of those who lost their jobs when Blockbuster went bankrupt were devastated to discover their CEO turned down an opportunity to snap-up a relatively small company in 2000 for $50 million – a small company called Netflix.
This failure to take advantage of new technology is an issue that permeates most if not all established professions over the years, and among the latest victims facing the axe due to increased online competition are estate agents.
While many prefer to prosper from the area knowledge held by the local agent, more and more people are started to see the advantages of online rivals such as Purplebricks, who offer flat-rate fees for services rendered, as opposed to the proportional system used by high-street agents, with those looking to sell expensive properties benefiting the most. And clearly the success of Purplebricks has not gone unnoticed, with several competitors such as easyProperty, HouseSimply and Tepilo entering the fray in recent years.
“The high street method of estate agency, whereby they charge a fee percentage on the sale price of a property, is out-dated and anti-consumer,” says Russell Quirk, founder of eMoov.co.uk.
“Not only does it require the same amount of work to sell a £100,000 property as it does for a £1m one, but the process has remained the same and is arguably easier than it was a decade ago. Yet the fee is larger on a house of greater value and has continued to escalate as house prices have increased over the years.”
As increasing numbers of UK property buyers continue to browse property on sites such as Rightmove and Zoopla before contacting the relevant agent on the listing, the position of ‘middle-man’ enjoyed by estate agents over the years is beginning to look tenuous at best – and those looking to sell property fast are looking toward property buying companies and online rivals more and more often.
If you’d like to sell your house quickly, ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we guarantee to buy any home. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.
How to avoid terrible estate agents
As occupations go, estate agents don’t have a great reputation. This may be unfair to those who do their jobs properly – and they do exist. However, many vendors and buyers have found that there’s no smoke without fire… so if you’re selling your home, you should always take careful steps to avoid wasting time and money.
First, take a look at properties already being sold by agents you’re considering – both on websites like Rightmove and in the agent’s office (if they have one). If the descriptions are poorly written and the pictures look as though they were taken by your drunken auntie at a wedding, you’d probably see the same outcome when you marketed your own home.
However, if you find an agent whose visual marketing skills impress you, it’s time to make sure they’re reliable. If they’re a member of the National Association of Estate Agents, they have to follow a code of conduct and do professional development training every year, in order to remain a member. You should also check that your proposed agent is supervised by the property ombudsman, who penalise agents for breaking their code of conduct.
Some people choose to bypass the costs and hassle of traditional estate agents altogether, either by opting to use cheaper online estate agents like Purplebricks, HouseSimple and Emoov – or completely free sites like Tepilo. If your house is in great condition, this may be the best route for you, as online agents are used increasingly by UK property buyers.
Alternatively, if you’re concerned about your property’s ability to attract buyers, or you’ve been trying to sell for a while without success, you might prefer to try a property auction or a professional house-buying service. The latter will make you a cash offer, allowing you to sell your house quickly without having to deal with estate agents, viewings or multiple potential buyers. For many people this is the least stressful solution.
If you need a quick house sale and don’t want to use an estate agent or an online estate agent, ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we guarantee to buy any home. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.
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