The short answer: yes, you can sell your house yourself. You do not need an estate agent.
That said, there is a slightly longer answer of which you should be aware! No, you are not required by any law to use an estate agent when you are selling your house, but that doesn’t mean you can do it all on your own. You will still need to work with professionals in the real property space, and you may run into complications that are difficult to navigate without extensive knowledge of the industry and market.
Let’s explore this slightly longer answer so you have all the information you need to make the best decision for you, for your needs and for your goals.
Sell Your House Yourself
Estate agents do come along with fees that can run to thousands of pounds. However, they do earn that money by taking on a number of critical tasks throughout the sales process. They:
- Help you establish the value of your home and set a realistic asking price.
- List and market your home. The best estate agents have keen insight into the local market and have vast networks that include other real property professionals, professionals in related fields (law) and potential buyers.
- Conduct viewings. Again, there is really no reason you cannot do this yourself – except that you may not have any experience and it often makes potential buyers uncomfortable when the owner is present at the viewing.
- Manage negotiations. They act as a key go-between between you and prospective buyers.
- Vet buyers. They must take “reasonable steps” to communicate with the buyer and ensure they have acceptable and sufficient financing for the purchase.
- Present you with all offers. They are required to do so under the law.
- Keep the process moving ahead. There are myriad steps involved in selling a house, and many occur simultaneously. A good estate agent keeps things on track.
- Works with related professionals, such as conveyancing solicitors and surveyors to ensure the process is as meticulous and streamlined as possible.
You are certainly within your rights to sell your house yourself. But be aware that you will need to take on all of these duties (and more!) all while cleaning, decluttering, arranging removals and otherwise preparing to move. It’s a full time job on top of all of your other responsibilities and obligations to work, family and community.
You will also need to connect with professionals on your own, such as solicitors and conveyancers. Home sellers often rely on their estate agents to provide these connections and to act as an intermediary. Again, it is possible to sell on your own. Is it feasible however? Is it the best move for you?
An Alternative When You Want to Sell Your House Yourself
Maybe you want to avoid as much selling related expense as possible and/or you are on a tighter timeline. Whatever the case, there is a viable option to working with an estate agent and selling completely on your own.
When you work with a cash house buyer, you negate the need for an estate agent. There is no reason to market the home, to arrange viewings or even to instruct solicitors or surveyors because these tasks are taken on by the buying company. And no reason to pay high fees.
A reputable cash buyer will also be the one to instruct valuations experts, surveyors, solicitors and others involved in a house sale. They do so on an accelerated timeline as well, knowing that for many home sellers, time is very much of the essence.
When you request an offer, you will receive an “offer in principle” within 24 hours. The buyer will instruct valuations, and upon receipt of these reports, they will make a formal offer. This is contingent upon the results of a RICS Homebuyer Report and Report on Title. If serious issues (e.g. faulty roof, extensive electrical problems, widespread mould, etc.) are uncovered, the buyer may revise their offer. An experienced buyer will only rarely completely withdraw an offer.
If your home is not in ideal condition, a cash property buyer will purchase as is. So, in addition to removing the costs of an estate agent from your mind, you can also take away the costs of expensive repairs and updates.
You can sell your house yourself. But make sure you have the right type of buyer in mind.