Could I Sell my Own Home? Yes! You CAN with the iProperty Company
The traditional way to sell a home in the UK has always been via a high street estate agent. If you are old enough to remember when most people used phone boxes or high street insurance and travel agents you have probably sold a property or two by now! Things have changed dramatically and online agents are now beginning to replace those based in traditional offices. Real estate is one of many industries gradually being transformed by technology.
Our CEO John Candia said:
`The research we have undertaken tells us that some home owners are still reluctant to forgo using an estate agent because they are unsure about the legal process involved in buying and selling property. We would never discourage anyone from using an estate agent, if they wanted to, but the truth is that you will always need to hire a lawyer or conveyancer so the legal part shouldn’t be the bit that puts you off. Especially if you use The iProperty Company as well as a traditional agent. Why not, it´s free?’
Selling a property may seem daunting but the iProperty Company can help you find everything you need if you decide to sell for yourself and potentially save thousands! Here is our quick guide:
Things an Estate Agent Will not Usually Do for You
Sort out your finances. You need to contact your mortgage provider to find out how much you currently owe on your house and whether there are any additional fees or penalties to pay. You should also get estimates on the moving costs so that you can calculate your budget. If you are moving into a new home that you intend to buy, it is a good idea to start researching the best new mortgage deal as soon as possible. Why not check out our mortgage partners L&C for a free quotation (Best National Advisor at the National Mortgage Awards) you can access this link in your property listing.
Hire a solicitor or conveyancer. You will not be able to instruct your legal representative until you have agreed a sale, but it is a good idea to get them lined up. Lengthy delays can be caused by ineffective legal representation so try to find a firm or individual who comes highly recommended or you might find yourself waiting for longer than you need to. Remember it is the job of your legal representative to ensure that you comply with rules and regulations. This is not the job of an estate agent. The Law Society gives you great free advice on how to choose a lawyer. See below. Again, with the iProperty Company you have the opportunity to appoint our recommended conveyancers via MyHomeMove with no fee to pay if your sale falls through. Link available through your iProperty listing.
Prepare An Inventory. It is a good idea to list all the fixtures and fittings that would be included in the sale such as kitchen appliances or light fittings. You could also list items such as furniture which you would also be prepared to sell apart from the purchase price (or use as part of the sale as an incentive). This will give you time to research sensible asking prices and will avoid any confusion later. It will also help your legal advisor. You can find a sample inventory in our ‘How To’ section under sellers or landlords.
Do your Admin. It is a good idea to prepare all the information a potential buyer and/or their lawyer needs well in advance. The Home Owners Alliance www.hoa.org.uk is great source of information. You can also get more information and download forms from the law society . Here is a list of what you will need:
- An energy performance certificate (EPC) or Green Deal which contains an EPC or a home report if in Scotland
- Personal identification
Your lawyer will also need to ask a number of basic questions such as dates, prices, names, any outstanding mortgage on the property and how you are being paid by the buyer. None of the things we have mentioned so far are usually undertaken by an estate agent. So what do you have to do yourself in order to save the commission you would normally pay them?
How to be Your Own Estate Agent
- Set Your Price. Getting an accurate valuation for your home can be a big help when setting a price. If you know your local area well you probably already have a good idea. If you have plenty of time before you plan to move why not keep an eye on your local property market and see what properties are selling for in your immediate area? There are many free on-line resources to help you do this or you could purchase a Hometrack report from the iProperty Company for just £19.99.
- Market Your Property. There are many things you can do to market your own property and this is the major job of an estate agent unless you want help with viewings. The iProperty Company allows you to reach thousands of potential buyers online in a matter of minutes. All you need is good photos and an accurate description and we offer lots of advice if you need help with this (link). You can list with iProperty with a smartphone, tablet or your computer and it is very easy to use. A signboard can help boost your chances of selling by 60% so it is well worth considering. Once you have created an account, these are available via iProperty from Countrywide Signs and feature your unique reference number so that passers by can access your details instantly. You can enhance marketing by adding a video, hiring a professional photographer, spreading the word via social media or even taking out a few local classified ads. This does represent a little additional extra cost, but is much cheaper than paying 2% commission. You will find lots of helpful hints and tips on the iProperty blog if you need more guidance.
- Conduct Viewings. Our research shows that most people would prefer to be in the house when the agent is there anyway, so why not do this yourself? You will find lots of advice on how to stage your home for viewings or hold an open house on our blog
- Negotiate a Sale and Accept an Offer. Agreeing a price is a negotiation. Some people feel a little uncomfortable with this, but dealing direct with the buyer can save time and potential misunderstandings. The secure messaging service available through iProperty allows you to keep your personal information private, arrange viewings and accept an offer all at the touch of a button. Again we provide lots of advice if you think you need it.
- After Accepting An Offer. All you now need to do is put your lawyer in touch with the buyer´s lawyer, agree a moving date and contact your mortgage lender. It´s also a good idea to stay in regular contact. You would normally have to do this yourself anyway.
Job done! Don´t forget, you can always use a traditional agent as well as the iProperty Company, so why not give it a go? You have nothing to lose and could save thousands.