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How To Sell Your House Without An Estate Agent Explained

We've Poured All Our Knowledge About Private House Sales Into One Place! Read On And We'll Teach You The Ins & Outs Of Selling A House Privately.

Selling a house privately has become ever more popular since the recession in 2008. In fact, many of us are choosing to opt for this type of sale because it's perceived to be a way of avoiding an agent's fees. Or perhaps because you've already found a buyer, you won't really benefit from using an agent. Selling a house privately to a friend or family member is a prime example. However if you're yet to find a buyer, private house sales come with a LOT of hurdles, which you need to be aware of before diving in headfirst. Read on and we'll make sure you're aware of them all.

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What Are Private House Sales?

Private House SalePrivate house sales are when you sell your house without an estate agent. By doing so, you're putting the responsibility for the entire process onto your shoulders. So this means that tasks like seeking an energy performance certificate, advertising, viewings, handling negotiations and so on, are all things you now have to deal with. The only time you'll need to call on someone external when selling your house privately, is when you receive an offer and need a solicitor to sort the legalities.

To summarise, private house sales mean:

  • You as the seller, will be selling your house without an estate agent.
  • You'll be responsible for each stage on the selling process.
  • Any mishaps or errors incurred during the process will fall on your shoulders.

How Do You Sell A House Without An Agent?

Selling a house without an estate agent may seem simple on the surface, but the more you look into it, it's actually quite a task. Therefore it's no wonder the 'selling house privately VS agent' debate is such a hot topic at the moment. All in all there's around six steps you'll need to take before completing on your sale. So here's a rundown of the typical private house sale, to give you an idea of what they entail...

  • Make your home worth buying – When selling your own house privately, your property first needs to look the part both inside and out, especially if you've got no agent with the sales patter to talk it up. At the end of the day, buyers will be looking for picking points, so by giving them as few as possible, you're more likely to achieve the best price. 
  • Write a description and set a price – The price you set is arguably the most important aspect of your entire property sale, regardless of whether you're using an agent or selling a house privately. Therefore, it really does pay to do your research. So use all the tools you have at your disposal. Use online estimators to get a rough guide, use property portals and price indexes to monitor the change in your area and even call out a few estate agents if you must. You may not be selling your house through them, but most do offer free valuations - a handy hint.
  • Listing your property for sale – It's fair to note that when selling a house privately without an estate agent, you don't have access to the main property portals (Rightmove/ Zoopla etc.). However, that doesn't mean you can't advertise online full stop. There's various sites that are specifically designed for marketing private house sales - as an added bonus, most are also FREE! But don't underestimate the power of social media or even the local paper either. Both can be a great way to market your property to a local audience.
  • Arranging viewings – While the price can influence who views your property, it's the viewings themselves that are the deal breaker. Every time someone views your house they make a judgement. A judgment which in many cases can govern whether or not you receive an offer. But with selling a house privately not only do you have to worry about making a solid first impression, but also arranging the viewings in the first place. Filtering out all the time-wasters as well as booking and re-booking is just another chore to consider. 
  • Negotiating and Accepting offers – Receiving an offer is one thing, but negotiating it is another skill in itself. To do so affectively you'll need to develop a strategy and stick to it. We'd always suggest that when negotiating any offers that you endeavour to do so in person, or at the very least over the phone. Buyers can easily hide behind a text or an email, but less so when put on the spot in the moment. Not only that but by doing so gives you a great advantage. Although they don't realise it, the majority of buyers actually give away their hand through their body language and tone of voice. Someone who's fierce over email may actually be pretty easy to negotiate with in person. Plus, property sales are all about rapport, so the more of this you build, the less likely you are to be down bid.
  • Legal discussions - Do I need a solicitor to sell my house privately? Yes, you most certainly do. In fact, this is the one point in the entire process where you'll be somewhat able to relax. When choosing a solicitor you always bear in mind: reviews, reputation, experience, but most importantly speed. Bagging yourself a slow solicitor, is a sure way of holding up your sale and increasing the likelihood that it falls through. Not ideal. So when searching for a solicitor, try this. Pick out a few that you're thinking of using and reach out to them by your preferred method of contact - we'd suggest phoning them. Then simply wait. The first to return your call are most likely the ones who'll be of most value to you. Brownie points if they don't ask for a call back! Then all you have to do is appoint them, and your sale should be a foregone conclusion. 

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Selling House Privately Pros And Cons

Okay, so up to this point, selling house house privately doesn't appear to be that attractive. However, don't let that discourage you. There are several pros to selling your house without an estate agent, as well as cons too. So to help you weight these up and make up your own mind, here's a list of what we feel are the pros and cons of selling a house privately...

PROS of selling without an estate agent 

  • How much does it cost to sell a house privately? Not actually that much, which is exactly why a lot of people choose to do it. Advertising costs are small and in some cases free and you don't even have to cover an expensive agent fee, which can often stretch into the £1000s. And remember, their fee does not include the VAT - that's an added extra.
  • You can get straight on with organising your sale, unlike an agent which may have 20 + sales going through at one time!
  • If you're selling a house privately to a friend, there's no need for you to find a buyer.  
  • If you choose to sell your property privately through a cash buyer like us, you can cross the cons (below) off your list. We do all the admin for you!

CONS of selling a house without an estate agent

  • Any mishaps or school boy errors are on your shoulders (gulp).
  • Organising a property sale is time consuming, especially if it's completely new to you. 
  • You don't have access to the agent's contacts, which could drag out the time in which you sell, or reduce the amount of interest. And as we all know, low interest equals lower offers. 
  • Learning how to sell your house privately without estate agents can take some serious time both to master and educate yourself on. 

Is It Worth Selling Your House Yourself?

Whether a private house sale is worth it, is entirely depends on you and your circumstances. 

If you're cultured in sales and feel confident in selling house to the best of its ability, then a private house sale may be the way for you. That's if you have the time of course, as selling your house privately does require a large commitment. But that's not to say it isn't worthwhile. When you consider that the savings you'll make could cover over a year's worth of house repayments, to you it could well be worth be the hassle. Or you may be selling your house privately to a friend, so don't really need to worry all that much about tense negotiations or attracting interest.

However if you're feeling a tad apprehensive about a private house sale, then you're likely to be better off leaving your property in the hands of a professional. That could indeed be an agent or a trusted cash buyer like us. Difference being, an agent charges you a fee and we don't.

How Long Should A Private House Sale Take?

Just remember though, whether you sell your house privately or not, is only half of the equation. You see, your choice here doesn't really affect the speed of your sale all that much. Go with an agent or DIY, and you'll still be reliant on the pace of the open market. On average open market sales take around 2-3 months to even be agreed. So the question you now need to ask is, 'should I sell through the open market or opt for an off market sale?'. While you'd assume the open market is the way to go, when you consider all the factors you have to content with, it typically turns out to be a lot trickier than an off market deal. For instance, here's just a few on the factors which influence the speed of an open market sale.

How long your property takes to sell can be down to...

  • The area - is it desirable? Is it good school catchment? Does it have many public transport links?
  • The property market - are house prices up or down? Is there demand in the market?
  • A property's size and condition - Does its size appeal to the majority? Is it in a saleable condition or would it only appeal to a developer?
  • Your asking price - Is it too high? How do you approach offers? 

Tips To Sell Your Property Quickly

If you're not fond of waiting around to sell a house privately, then you obviously want to maximise your chances. So to help you do just that, here's some handy tips....

  • First impressions, they really do count! Make sure your exterior and interior is appealing. Outside, clear your garden by mowing the lawn or weeding. Inside, make sure you clean and declutter.
  • Have your walls seen better days? Add a lick of paint, it’s a cheaper alternative to other methods of sprucing up your home.
  • Become handy by fixing cracks, holes or areas within your home that are needing to be mended. Even the smallest fix can make a difference
  • Check that everything is in working order, whether it's bits of plumbing or electrics.
  • Make sure you get your EPC done as soon as possible.

How Do I Sell My House Privately Off Market?

In the case you've reached the conclusion that the open market isn't the right place for your property, then don't worry - there's a ream of off market options for you to choose from.

You could...

  • Go to auction - while this is technically an on market option, it is a way of clinching a quick sale, providing of course you have interest.
  • Sell your house privately to a friend or family member. This could be either be at the market rate, or if within the family, a heavily reduced rate.
  • Or if you haven't found a buyer and want a quick sale, then you may want to reach out to us at The Property Buying Company. We'll buy your house whatever its location, condition or size, for 100% CASH!

Now we don't like to sound big-headed, but we firmly believe that we're 'the' best way to sell your house privately - no questions asked. And here's why...

  • We'll buy your home in as little as 2-3 weeks (although we can buy much faster if need be - our record is well under a week!)
  • We buy ANY property - council, terrace, bungalows, character properties, the lot.
  • We cover all of your legal fees & survey costs too. 
  • We can have a CASH offer with you in under 24 hours!
  • Our team have over 50 years' experience in buying property across England and Wales.
  • We work to your timescale, be that next week or 3 months down the line.
  • Our Trustpilot reviews speak for themselves.

We think we're the best way to sell your house privately. Put us to the test today...

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Frequently Asked Questions

As you can imagine, being a trusted cash buyer of property, we get asked a LOT of questions about selling a house privately. Therefore, to help you out, we've written them all down to give you the answers you need...

What is a private sale?

Private house sales are when you aim to sell your property without using an estate agent. Essentially a DIY property sale organised and managed by the homeowner.

Can anybody sell there home privately without an estate agent?

Yes, however it can take a lot of work what with having to arrange photos, floorplans, sale signs and getting the property onto online portals.

How do you find a buyer without an estate agent?

There are several ways that you can look to sell your house without an estate agent. Spread the word yourself, use local advertising or noticeboards & use any websites you can to list your home such as Gumtree. There may also be alternative methods you want to explore such as cash home buyers like ourselves, house auctions or part exchanging.

What are the other alternative options to a traditional sale?

There are several alternative options to selling through a traditional method such as house auctions, part exchange companies, private sales and selling to cash buyers such as ourselves.


How much can you get from our we buy any house service?

Complete a few details to see if your property qualifies and get a cash offer – remember we buy any property, in any condition, in any location!

5 simple steps to having your property sold!

Our quick (but thorough) 5 step sale process means we can buy your house fast and at a great price

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  • 01.

    Check to see if your property is eligible check now

  • 02.

    Receive an offer from us within 24 hours

  • 03.

    We’ll visit your property & formalise our offer

  • 04.

    We’ll instruct solicitors and pay all fees

  • 05.

    Exchange contracts & complete as usual

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Why choose us as your cash house buyers?

We’re one of the leading we buy any house UK companies for residential/commercial property and land in England and Wales. We buy using our own cash house buying facility meaning we can offer the best prices in our industry and complete the sale quicker than anyone else.

Your options Average sale length Typical cost to you
The Property Buying Company 2-3 weeks £0.00
Other House Buying Companies 2-10 weeks £1000
Property Auction 6-10 weeks £2500-£5000
Online Estate Agents 16-52 weeks £1000(upfront)-£5000
Estate Agents 16-52 weeks £5000

Unlike most of the other options available to you, we are not a broker or middle man, meaning you skip the fees and get a sale quickly and easily.

The Property Buying Company is registered with the Property Ombudsman and is a member of the National Association of Property Buyers

National Association of Property Buyers The Property Ombudsman

Properties bought by us
for cash


Of our own money spent buying
property for cash

2-3 weeks

Average time taken from initial offer
to completion