On the whole, people don’t like estate agents. There are various reasons for this bad reputation but estate agents are still usually our first call when we decide to sell or buy a property. But are they simply a necessary evil or can you sell a house without an estate agent?
Of course, there are other ways to get on the property ladder, such as shared ownership or a rent-to-buy scheme but in this article we’re going to assume you’re a straightforward private seller.
Why would you sell a house without an estate agent?
Firstly, why would you want to sell a house without an estate agent? There are a few reasons why you might choose to go down the do-it-yourself route when it comes to selling your property:
It’s cheaper – The number one reason why anyone would choose to sell their house themselves instead of using an agent is simple: it’s cheaper. Why pay thousands of pounds in commission to an estate agent when there’s no legal requirement to use them?
It cuts out the middleman – There’s no to-ing and fro-ing backwards and forwards getting information from buyer to seller and vice versa. All communication is done directly.
You don’t have to use an estate agent – As we said above, there’s no legal requirement to use an estate agent when you’re buying or selling a house. So, if you don’t need one, why use one?
Why wouldn’t you sell a house without an estate agent?
If you’ve got someone interested in buying your house – say a friend or family member – then there’s no reason why you need an estate agent. In this case, all an estate agent will do is be the go-between between you, your buyer and the solicitor.
If you haven’t got a buyer lined up for your house though, you’re going to need to do everything an estate agent usually does yourself.
This means valuing your property, writing up the description, taking the photos, drawing up a floorplan, advertising it, arranging the EPC, taking enquiries, weeding out timewasters, arranging viewings and conducting viewings. You’ll also have to do all the negotiations and chasing up of surveyors and solicitors, etc.
For people who like to be in control of everything, selling a house without an estate agent will be right up their street (excuse the pun!) but if you’re not very confident, the negotiating and chasing part of the process will leave you feeling very uncomfortable.
So, in answer to the question: “Can you sell a house without an estate agent?” the answer is an indisputable, ‘Yes, you can’. But another question you should ask yourself is: “Would I want to?”