Selling a House Privately | NatWest




Selling a house privately

While most people employ a traditional high street estate agent to sell their home, recent years have seen an increase in people selling houses privately. The average homeowner hands over around 1.8% of the sale of their house to the estate agent (that would be £6,300 for a property that costs £350,000), so it's worth doing the sums to find out if selling privately would work for you. If you have the time, who says you can't sell your property yourself for a fraction of the cost? Here are some tips on selling a house privately.

Before you sell

Estate agent or not, you'll need to make sure your house is attractive to potential buyers. Preparing a property for a sale needn't cost the earth though, and the most important thing is to have a big clean to make sure your home is looking its best. Simple things like washing the windows inside and out, waxing wooden floors and clearing away clutter can be really effective. Kitchens and bathrooms are quite often the rooms that sell houses, so make sure yours are sparkling.


While there's no need to go overboard and paint everything magnolia, it might help to depersonalise your home a little. Remove family photographs and neutralise zany décor, so viewers can imagine themselves living in the space too.


Once your home is presentable, you'll need to set your price. Most estate agents make their valuations based on several factors, including local supply and demand and the price of comparable properties in the area. More experienced valuers work to criteria defined by the Royal Institution of Surveyors, which includes examining the age of the property, accommodation available, fixtures and features, construction and state of repair, position in the locality and surrounding amenities. Do your own research on sites such as Rightmove and nethouseprices to evaluate similar properties in your area.

Marketing your property

One of the biggest things you’ll need to take care of when you’re not selling through an estate agent is marketing your property. Start by drawing up a floor plan or blueprint of the property (there are plenty of free tools online to help you do this).


Then it's time to take the all-important photos. Remember, while you want to showcase the benefits of the property, images can be counterproductive if they are misleading or don't do the house justice. Adapt the pictures to your specific situation too. If you live in a house in the countryside, take a range of shots showing off the surrounding land. If you have a modern property in the city, take plenty of lifestyle shots that show off fixtures and fittings to give an idea of the style of the property. Always include photos of communal living areas, the front of the property, and any outdoor space.


As well as photos, you'll need to give your property an excellent write-up to attract attention. Take a look at property descriptions in your local paper and online, to see how estate agents market houses similar to yours. Keep information concise and to the point, because many buyers skip through lengthy text. Again, tailor the information – so if you live in the countryside, be sure to mention the breathtaking views from the master bedroom, and if you live in a city, talk about close transport links and the range of amenities nearby. .

Listing and selling

When it comes to listing, you can place your advert on one of the many UK property portals, such as Rightmove or Zoopla for a one-off fee. You can also choose to advertise on other listings websites such as Findaproperty or Propertyfinder (which are owned by national newspapers). Then you just need to wait for the buyers to come rolling in! You could also advertise in your local paper, but this can be expensive and ineffective compared to advertising online.


When showing people around your house, stick to a code of best practice. Be flexible when it comes to arranging viewings, be willing to show them every room, and talk about things beyond the interior. They may want to know: What are the neighbours like? What's the journey like to the nearest school? What are the best supermarkets, pubs and leisure facilities in the area? Be friendly and give them all the information they need.


In order to close a sale after you've finished a viewing, be available to answer any questions and invite the buyer to come back for a second viewing. Keep in mind the lowest price you will settle for, and respond quickly to offers – even if you're not interested. Remember, the buyer can change their mind so give adequate care and attention to this vital contractual stage, to make sure everything runs smoothly all the way to completion date.

These links are to non-NatWest websites. NatWest is not liable for the accuracy of the information provided on these websites.

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