Estate Agent versus Private Sale

HomeReal Estate

  • Author Tom Jackson
  • Published April 4, 2010
  • Word count 546

When it comes to selling your property most sellers turn to an Estate Agent for advice. In recent years Estate Agents have been questioned on what they actually do for their fee. Fees are generally 1.5% - 2% + VAT of the sale price of your property, so if you are selling for £250,000 you could pay £5875 in Estate Agents commission. It is not surprising that questions have been asked about the value of this.

In general, an Estate Agent will give you an opinion of what your property is worth based on recent sales in your area and market adjustments. They will photograph your property inside and out and measure the rooms. With this information they will put together a details sheet, which you will be asked to approve. They will disperse the details to clients on their books or anyone enquiring for a property such as yours. You may be asked to have a ‘For Sale’ board displayed which the agent will arrange to have erected. The agent will advertise your property in the local press, possibly the national press, in their shop window and possibly on the internet. Some Agents organise road shows or open house days. When a buyer has been found the Agent will find out if they have financing in place, if not most Agents have access to a mortgage advisor to help your buyer proceed. The Agent will negotiate between you and your potential buyer until a mutually acceptable price has been agreed. Any problems that arise during the process are usually directed through the Agent.

In some cases that are complicated an Estate Agent certainly earns his commission but for a straightforward sale it is hard to see how the fee can be justified. It is also worth remembering that the Agent has to make money from the sale of your house so is he a) pricing the house too high to get you to use him, b) pricing the house too low to get a quick sale and get the commission, c) keeping the costs to a minimum by not advertising as much as he could.

If you decide to go for a private sale you need to ask yourself these questions: - a) How do you value the property? – Many property guides(http://www.propertyanswers4u.com) online will give you guide lines and direct you to the Land Registry to find out what houses have sold for recently in your area.

b) Can you take good quality photos and measure up the rooms to be able to put together details for potential buyers? – Most people have a computer and digital camera so this should be a relatively easy task.

c) Can you get a ‘For Sale’ board? – There are online companies that can provide these.

d) Can you advertise your property? – It is no problem to put your house for sale notice in the local press, you can put it online too, some people use eBay.

e) Are you able to negotiate with your potential buyers? - Probably the sticking point for most people, just remember how much you are saving by doing the job yourself!

Of course it all comes down to personal choice which route you take but it is worth considering the best option for you.

PropertyAnswer4U.com is an online guide to property issues whether it is buying and selling, renting, holiday lets or park homes. There are also forums on the site which deals with issues like property scams.

Kay Marsh is a writer for www.propertyanswers4u.com who has many years experience in finance in the property market.

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