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Selling your house – what are the options?

26th October, 2021

So you’ve decided to sell your home and you’re wondering what the best method is for you? You’re in the right place. In this blog we’ll guide you through your options to sell your property and help you decide on the best sale option. Your chosen route to market will depend on your situation as a seller. How fast do you need to sell your house? Are there structural issues that impact your property? Have you got your eye on a newly developed property and want to use your house to secure it?

Many people don’t realise that there are a number of ways to sell your house without an estate agent. In this guide we’ll cover your options and weigh up the pros and cons of the various sales routes to sell your house. We’ll give details on selling through an estate agent, at an auction, part exchanging your property, or selling your house for cash to a buyer like SmoothSale. If you’re interested in the best way to sell your house, read on or use the menu below to navigate easily.

Selling with an Estate Agent

How do estate agents sell your house and what do they actually do? The service that estate agents provide depends upon whether they offer an online or physical service. We’ll cover both options here. In general, online estate agents offer a cheaper service but do less of the actual legwork to sell your property. They also may have less local knowledge about the area in which you’re selling your property.

Online Estate Agents

Online estate agencies work in the same way as brick and mortar estate agents, but the majority of the process is carried out online. You can receive a valuation and progress with the sale virtually, typically through an online portal. Whilst online estate agents may market your home through popular selling sites such as Rightmove and Zoopla, you aren’t guaranteed a sale. Furthermore, most online estate agents charge a fee, typically upwards of £99. There can also be hidden costs such as improving your advert with professional photographs or escalating it to a premium listing.

Traditional Estate Agents

Traditional estate agents will typically provide the same services as an online agent, but add more of a personal touch when selling your house. They market themselves on the premise that they’re able to offer expert knowledge of the local market in which they’re selling. Nationwide traditional estate agents such as Foxton’s will usually have local branches which help them achieve this.

Traditional estate agents will market and sell your property by listing it on major online portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla, as well as in their physical branch. They facilitate viewings on your property to sell your house to prospective buyers and manage the process of taking offers on your property and advising you of the best one to accept.

Aside from helping to sell your property by marketing and facilitating the sale estate agents also deal with a few other matters such as:

  • Dealing with paperwork
  • Monitoring the chain of buyers and sellers that are linked to your house sale
  • Liaise with your solicitor to keep them abreast of any developments or provide them with any essential documents
  • Negotiate with buyers and sellers to achieve the best price for your property

How Long Does it Take to Sell your House with an Estate Agent?

On average, selling a house in the UK takes around 6 months to agree and then a further 3 months to complete. This means that the average house sale in the UK takes at least 9 months end to end. However it’s very common to hear of sales taking over a year. The long time frames involved with selling your house using an estate agent mean that this method is best suited to sellers who are able to wait a little longer, and don’t need to sell their house fast. For vendors who need a quicker sale of their property another method may be a better option. We’ll discuss auctions now, which can help secure a much faster sale.

Selling through an Auction

There are two main types of auction offered by the different auction companies in the UK. These are traditional auctions and ‘modern method’ or conditional auctions.

Traditional Auction

In a traditional auction, the property is marketed for a certain period of time and allocated a lot number. All information is made available to the buyer. In a traditional sale the legal work is carried out after the sale is agreed, however on a traditional auction, the legal paperwork is available to all prospective buyers from the start. This means they carry out all the necessary checks before bidding on the property. Viewings are usually arranged and prospective buyers will visit the property, sometimes taking along their surveyor.

A date is set where the property will be auctioned, usually with multiple other lots available on the same day. Buyers can either place bids over the phone, in person or by proxy. When a buyer places a bid, they are committing to pay that price for the property and cannot go back on their offer. On the day of the auction the buyer and seller exchange contracts and the buyer will pay the solicitor a 10% non refundable deposit.

This does limit the type of people willing to buy at auction. The auction provider will also advise on the maximum time between the auction ending and the sale completing. This is usually around 28 days. This means the buyer has to be able to act quickly and have funds in place already to complete the purchase within the specified time. This also means for sellers they have to be able to move out the property by the completion date, hence why most properties that go into auction are vacant.

The benefits to a seller at a traditional auction is that on the day of the auction ending the chance of the sale falling through is very low.

Modern Method of Auction

A conditional auction is slightly different to traditional auction. A property is still listed for sale for a specified time period, however instead of a set date where the auction is run. The auction is run throughout that time period. This means buyers are able to place a bid at any point and don’t need to be available on the specific day the auction happens. Much like the traditional auction, conditional auctions make all necessary legal documents available in advance allowing prospective buyers to carry out all of their checks in advance.

Auction may seem like the ideal route for a fast house sale. However it’s worth considering not all properties are the same and not all properties are made for auction. This doesn’t mean you can’t put any property in auction, however certain types of houses and properties won’t perform as well in an auction as others.

Part Exchanging your Property

Part exchanging a house is often thought of as a more hassle free way of navigating the selling process and trading your current home for a new home that you prefer. It removes the stress of having to put your house on the open market, guarantees a buyer for your property, and speeds up the process of your sale, meaning that you can sell your house quickly.

Put simply, it means trading in your current house in exchange for part of the value of a new build property. Developers offer this service to speed up the sale of their new build properties. It can be an attractive option for people who aren’t prepared to go through the stress of selling on the open market, want a quick house sale, and really like the look of a particular new build. Some big developers that offer part exchange schemes on their new build properties are Taylor Wimpey, Persimmon, Redrow, and Bellway. Developers then sell the house on and use the proceeds to fund the purchase of the new build property.

Part exchanging your house can be a good idea if you want to secure a new build property and avoid some of the complications associated with selling your house on the open market. Sellers who would prefer to avoid the stress of property chains and estate agents are good candidates for a part exchange since it guarantees the sale of the property and means that you can sell your house quickly. It also means that you avoid the volatility of the open market and have a fixed price guaranteed for your property.

Private Home Sale

With the rise of digital housing marketplaces such as Rightmove and Zoopla, many vendors are beginning to wonder: can I sell my house myself? If you’re thinking about selling your house privately then you should follow these simple steps:

  • Decide on an asking price: this is usually done by an estate agent. But if you’re setting your asking price yourself then scan the local property market for comparables and set a realistic price. Remember, it’s better to set a price that’s achievable and generates interest than one that is unrealistically high and will be reduced at a later date.
  • Prepare your house for sale: spruce up your house with some basic touches and boost your curb appeal to entice potential buyers. Check out our guide for 9 easy ways to add value to your property.
  • Advertise your property: you can advertise your property on platforms such as Facebook Marketplace or through more traditional means such as on notice boards in your local community. The two major property portals, Rightmove and Zoopla, unfortunately don’t allow private listings. You must be an estate agent in order to list your property using these portals.
  • Host Viewings: you’ll have to facilitate these yourself. So make sure that your house is presentable and you’re ready to answer any of the more technical questions that the prospective buyer may have about your property.
  • Negotiate an offer: decide on the lowest offer that you’re prepared to accept before entering into any negotiations and don’t lower your price below that. It’s not uncommon to have to turn down low-ball offers from prospective buyers and you shouldn’t let these dishearten you. Stick to your guns and as long as your asking price is realistic you will be able to achieve a price that works for both parties.
  • Instruct a solicitor: once you’ve completed your negotiations and accepted an offer you’ll need to instruct a solicitor or conveyancer. It’s critical that you do your research here. Poor conveyancers can really slow down a house sale or even cause sales to fall through. A great piece of advice is to ask friends and family for recommendations, check online reviews and find a reputable solicitor that you think will act in your best interests.

If you are planning to sell your house yourself then you could save money on estate agency fees and commissions or even on auction fees. There are a lot of costs involved in selling a house. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that this comes with a trade-off. The time and energy that you invest into selling your house yourself is valuable and could be better spent on more productive or profitable activities. This leads onto our final option. A cash house buyer like SmoothSale could be the right solution for you if you’re looking to avoid the stress and hassle of the open market but still want to achieve a reasonable price for your property in a quick time frame.

Cash House Buyers

If you want an easy way to sell your house online, get a cash offer from SmoothSale now. Why burden yourself with excessive fees and no guarantee of a sale when we can buy your property from you? Benefit from a fully managed cash buyer service, a dedicated team, and a quick sale without having to pay a penny. We don’t believe a seamless route to sale should cost either your time or your money. We have a team of experienced property professionals on hand to help manage your property sale end to end, and we can complete and provide you with the funds in as little as 7 days. Selling your house to SmoothSale is a great way to sell your house fast.

Selling your House to an Investor

​​We know that a quick cash sale isn’t for everyone. Some people want to maximise the amount they can receive for their property whilst minimising complexity. We can help. Our fee-free investor marketing service is perfect if you don’t need cash urgently but still need to sell your house fast. We ask for 30 days to introduce investors and buyers to your property at a price we agree in advance. You walk away with a cash sum that you define up front. Some reasons that our customers love our investor marketing service:

  • Fee free service: it’s the obvious question. How do you make money? We obtain a fee from our investors for introducing them to the property. We won’t charge you any of the typical fees associated with the sale of your property. That means no estate agency fees, no commission, no conveyancing and no legal costs. The figure we give is the amount that you walk away with.
  • No lengthy tie in: we don’t take on every property. If we do it means we’re confident we can sell it within 30 days. Covering fees represents an investment. We only make that investment if we’re confident that our established network of investors will offer for the properties that we choose.
  • Proceedable Buyers: our investor network are experienced property buyers. Usually the purchase is made with cash. If not, the mortgage progresses much more quickly than a typical purchase due to expertise and motivation from our buyers.
  • Transparency: we’re always available. You’ll talk with your property specialist at the start of your house sale and from there you can be confident that they’ll be available whenever you need to talk. They might not always answer, but if they’re busy for whatever reason you’ll always get a call back within 24 hours. If you need crucial updates our support team can field your question.

We understand that you may have some questions regarding selling your house online. Don’t forget the SmoothSale team are always available on 0800 368 8952 or via info@smoothsale.co.uk should you want to discuss selling your home to us. Alternatively, enter your details to get a no obligation valuation and speak to a property specialist today.

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