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How do Private House Sales Work?

private house sale

According to official government figures, the average UK property price has risen 22% since the end of 2019. With every pound of their budget being squeezed, would-be movers are keen to explore any money saving tips they can. Could a private house sale be the answer?

What is a private house sale?

A private house sale is one that doesn’t use an estate agent. Instead, the property owner will find their own buyer and deal directly with them throughout the sale process. Both parties will still use a conveyancing solicitor to handle the legal aspects of the sale, but the homeowner will be responsible for every other aspect of the house sale usually handled by the estate agent.

What are the pros and cons of a private house sale?

Before you consider undertaking your own private house sale, it’s important to consider both the benefits and potential risks of doing so.

Table of Contents

Pros:

  • Greater level of control

When you manage your own property sale, you will have the opportunity to keep a greater level of control. You’ll be dealing directly with your buyer and so will be able to keep a close eye on how the sale is progressing.

  • Money saving

With the average UK property currently costing just over £286,000, and estate agents charging an average of 1.5% of sale price, you could typically save more than £4,000 by undertaking your own private house sale. The more your property is worth, the more you can save.

Cons:

  • More labour-intensive sale

Managing your own private house sale will be far more labour-intensive than selling via an estate agent. It’s important to ensure you have enough time to not only find your own buyer but to also manage the sale through to completion and deal with the back-and-forth communication with the buyer. You’ll also need to arrange your own Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), gather your own information about your buyer’s personal circumstances (eg. whether they have a mortgage Agreement in Principle in place) and negotiate a sale price. This type of interaction can be difficult to manage unless you’re used to negotiations of this kind.

  • Limited pool of potential buyers

Selling your house privately means you’ll be unable to list your property on websites such as Rightmove and Zoopla, which are exclusively for the use of estate agents. Not being able to access these popular portals means your pool of potential buyers will be significantly smaller than when selling through an estate agent. As a result, there is likely to be less interest in your property and consequently you may well achieve a lower sale price.

For more information about private house sales, you can read this helpful guide.

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