House selling is well known to be one of life’s most stressful experiences – even when you are doing so because you want to! Life becomes even more stressful when you are forced to sell because of financial hardship, job relocation or because of any other life changing moment.
If you need to sell quickly, it is best to be able to do so confidently. There are various ways for you to find a house buyer for your home. Armed with the information below, you will be able to make a sound decision on the method that suits you best. Whilst we are talking about selling houses, these options are also open to busy business owners planning to sell their commercial space.
The high street estate agent
This is the most popular way to sell a private or commercial property. It is best to choose the most effective agency – a drive around your neighbourhood will reveal which one is handling the most properties! As as large percentage of home buyers make their initial viewings online these days, check out your chosen estate agent’s website. The site should be attractive, informative and bang up-to-the minute. Properties should be well presented with a comprehensive selection of photographs. Does the company offer 360º virtual tours of properties too? These are very popular as they save house buyers valuable time.
When you visit your chosen estate agency for the first time, its staff should be warm, welcoming, full of local knowledge and really have their ‘fingers on the pulse’ of the current property market in your area.
Costs to consider
Putting your property with an estate agent does not come cheaply. The company may not secure a house buyer for the selling price and this will need to be negotiated. Estate agencies charge 1- 3% of the house price in commission – but will help you wade through all the paperwork. Selling a property (private or commercial) can be lengthy as it can easily take 12 weeks to complete the transaction – once the house buyer has been found.
Another major drawback is the uncertainty in this method of selling a property. Even if you have accepted an offer on your property, the house buyer can pull out (with no financial penalty) right up until the moment you exchange contracts. This can be particularly worrying if you are in a property chain as it could mean you needing to take out a bridging loan – a very expensive business.
Under the hammer
Selling your home or commercial property by auction is another alternative method, but it is not the quickest. The average time span between listing and completion is 45- 60 days. The house buyer will be required to pay 10% of the house price on the day of the auction and the other 90% is payable within one month.
You need to find a well-established auction house that uses good promotional material. If your house is run down or more unusual, it could well go for a better price through auction.
The main disadvantage with auctioning your home is that you cannot be sure how much it will sell for – although you can give the auctioneer your reserve price, which is the lowest price you are prepared to sell your house for.
This figure is kept private between the two of you. Auctioneers usually like to advertise the property for 10-15% below its market value to generate interest in it.
The bidding can go much higher – especially if there are two determined parties bidding against each other. It is best to do your sums before auction day because if the successful bidder offers the reserve price, you need to be sure that this will not put you in negative equity, if you have a mortgage to pay off.
The cost of auctioning your property
There will be other expenses if you use an auction house.
You will be charged about 2.5% of the price your house sold for, by the auction house and many make an extra charge for advertising and promotional materials. You will also need to pay a solicitor to cover the legal aspect, both ahead of the auction and on the day – shop around as solicitors charge a variety of prices.
House buying companies
These fast acting companies can be a really quick way to sell your property and gain access to your money. In the past they were viewed by many as a ‘last resort’ because house owners are always offered less than the current market value of their home. In reality, cash house buyers can be the perfect solution if you need to sell your house fast and they are often open about the cash amount they will give you and how they calculated this figure.
The main point to remember is that property buying companies usually offer 80- 90% of the property’s market value ( be sure to check that this is fully inclusive). If you are happy with the price offered, you will usually be able to enjoy a fast and relatively trouble-free transaction and have the cash is in your hands within 7-10 days..
Although these ‘buy my house’ companies do not have to be licensed and or regulated, there are only a few of them that need to be avoided. Many of them offer a fast and efficient service with no hidden costs and are voluntary members of the National Association of Property Buyers (NAPB). It is easy to get a ‘feel’ for the company and to read customer reviews and feedback on their websites.
Other property selling options
There are two other ways in which to sell your house. DIY private house sale means the most work for you, but yields the biggest saving.
Advertising your private house sale effectively can be difficult as you cannot use most of the property platforms. The other way to sell your house is through an online estate agent. These companies charge 0.75-3% for their services.
On top of selling your home using whichever method, you will also have solicitor and conveyancing bills to pay and will need to have a current Energy Performance Certificate for your property.
The bottom line
There is no right or wrong way to sell your house as much will depend on your personal circumstances.
If you’re not in a rush to sell a more traditional sale might be a better option. If you’re a bit of risk taker or have a more quirky property, the auction house may be a better option. And finally if you’re looking for a quick sale then a house buying company may be your best bet as some of them can complete a sale often within 7-14 days.