The hidden risks of selling your home privately

PUBLISHED: 12th Apr 2022

Selling your home is the biggest emotional and financial investment that you will make, and on paper it may seem like a good idea to sell your home privately if you are looking to move, however, deciding to take on board this huge task without the help of an Estate Agent could be a huge and costly mistake.

While there are no doubt some benefits to this approach, sellers must be aware of the downsides of coordinating their own sale and weigh up the pros and cons before making a decision.

The main drawcard for a private sale is the potential for cost savings – namely Estate Agents fees the other benefit is that the seller gets the opportunity to meet the buyer face to face, which sellers don’t often get through an estate Agent – however, as this is a Business transaction becoming ‘pally’ with the buyer can often be a disadvantage further down the line if there are issues as the sale moves towards completion.

A private seller with no prior Estate Agency experience may have limited knowledge of the process of selling a property and the complex legislation that goes with it – whilst they may be able to research what’s involved, they still potentially lack the benefit of past experience and may put themselves at risk of non-compliance with property legislation which can be complicated and costly.

The biggest drawback could be that the seller may not have the skills to appraise the property – a natural reaction is to overprice and therefore deter potential buyers and have a property that sticks on the market with little interest or under-price and therefore receive a lower offer.

The current property market is seeing lots of fluctuations as a result of Covid-19 – an office and a large garden can add a price premium – open plan was very much an ‘in-thing’, but since lockdown, this may be a drawback as more individual rooms can be a big bonus – a summer house in the garden currently can add a premium too. The stamp duty holiday has also had an impact on pricing. At David Phillip Estate Agents we have access to many pricing portals, we are obsessive about looking at the direction in which price houses are going, hence we are able to advise on a realistic but competitive price.

The seller may lack the skills and knowledge to negotiate the sale, this in itself can be an intense and stressful period – Estate Agents do this every day and because they are not so emotionally invested in a property, this is a normal part of their role. A private seller may be too close to the property to see any issues that may turn a buyer away – one person’s taste may definitely not be that of another, and how do you tell the seller that there property really is not in a fit state of repair or decoration. An Estate Agent will be able to provide valuable advice on how to get the property ready for sale and what can be improved to raise the sale price including improving kerb appeal .

So the price has been agreed, the photographs then need staging  and taking by a professional photographer, using an i-phone to take photos will have a negative impact on the marketing of the property, and where do you start with organising the 3D virtual tour, the for sale board, the Floor Plan and the EPC if one is required.

When selling your home it is important to reach the greatest audience possible – motivated people looking to move – we pay over £2,000 a month on Rightmove alone, and because we use Premium listings, your property can appear right at the top of the searches and therefore attract more people looking to buy. Your Agent should also ensure that your home goes onto more than one portal than Rightmove, we use Zoopla, On the Market, Prime Location, Boomin, One Dome and All Agents as well as having an intuitive website www.davidphillip.co.uk

A private seller may know someone (usually a friend) who has expressed an interest in purchasing, an Estate Agent however will have a relevant and fresh database of people looking to move into the area and into a specific type of property – by selling yourself, you are likely to lose out on this group of motivated contacts who are invariably ready to buy.

Looking from a buyers point of view, it is generally considered more trustworthy to buy through a reputable Estate Agent with 5 star reviews (take a look at ours on All Agents) and if there are two people looking to make an offer on a property then it would definitely make more sense for the vendor to avoid the ‘private sale’ offering.

Finally, it is always best to have an outside, unbiased opinion when selling your home which is something an Estate Agent can provide.

And once the property is sold then, the post- sale element starts – which can be even more stressful, particularly if the chain is a long one.

So if you are looking to sell your home and think you can save money going down the ‘private sale option’, take a look at our Firer fixed fees – not only do they potentially save you money but they give you choice too.

Selling your home is the biggest financial and emotional investment there is, so why not speak to a reputable professional Estate Agent, call David Phillip Estate Agents on 01134 676 400 A: 86, Leeds Road, Bramhope, Leeds.

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If you are considering selling your home, choosing the right Estate Agent is key.
David Phillip Estate Agents are accomplished, local and Independent, with an award winning, track record for selling homes in North Leeds and Wharfedale.

Office address

86 Leeds Road,
Bramhope, 
Leeds, LS16 9AN

T: 01134 676 400
T: 01943 661 106 (Otley enquiries)
E: info@davidphillip.co.uk
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