A UK Homeowners Guide To The Options Available To Them To Sell Their Property Quickly In The UK.
|Traditional Estate Agencies Quick Sale Firms Online Estate Agents Sell House Fast Free House Valuation|
UK Home Sellers Guide To A Fast House Sale...
When I was looking to sell my property, I decided to shop around online looking at the different types of companies that are available to consumers looking to sell their property quickly for cash.
To my surprise a lot of the statements that were mentioned on these so-called ‘quick sale’ agency websites were very misleading and getting to the bottom of what the companies actually provided proved to be a very difficult and time consuming task.
The purpose of Estate Matcher is to match UK home owners looking to sell their homes quickly and affordable with the correct type of company that can realistically cope with the sale, and provide a suitable service to the end user.
Please note, although this website has links to other companies, such as Estate Agents, Quick Sale Agencies and Property Portals, we do not endorse any of these companies, and therefore cannot be responsible for the sale of your home.
Traditional estate agents are generally found on high streets and over the past few hundred years have been the only real way to sell your property other than going down the DIY route. As a general rule traditional estate agencies will not ask for any fee up front to sell your property. Instead they rely on a commission percentage which is calculated on the completed sale of your property.
This fee can vary from area to area, but as an average you can expect to pay 1% - 5% of your sale price. This can be as small as £800 if you are selling an £80,000 property, however if you are selling £800,000 home, that fee would then increase to £8000.
Traditional estate agents these days are quickly becoming a thing of the past, especially with the introduction of the internet. Vast improvements in technology have led to a massive increase of online estate agency firms, which differ to traditional estate agents. We have discussed online estate agents in more detail here.
Traditional estate agents will list your property for sale in the following places:-
Additional Portal Features – Additional portal features are a key part of an estate agents marketing ability. Rightmove and Zoopla offer a ‘premium listing’, which means that the estate agent pays a little bit more to the portal to have your property featured in a better position on the website. The other additional features available are videos, and 3D walkthroughs. All of these come at an extra cost to the agent, so you need to check what you get for free and what the agent will charge extra for when you sign up.
Shop windows – The oldest method of traditional estate agents is to list properties in their store window. This works well on busy high streets, however most people these days choose to go online.
Newspapers – Local newspapers generally have a property listing page, where you will find most of the traditional agents list their properties. It is always good to use a newspaper listing as an addition to your online listing, as in particular the older generation don’t tend to use the internet as much as the younger generation.
Some estate agents also have big databases of regular buyers, and your property will likely be actively marketed to this list of investors and buyers.
Fixed fee estate agents.
Recently there has been a surge in estate agents offering a fixed fee service, and still offering the above services. These fees range depending which part of the country you are in, typically you will pay a higher fee if you are in London or the surrounding areas.
Fixed fee agents suit some clients, however some fixed fee agents will expect you to pay up front, similar to online agents.
When it comes to deciding to use a traditional estate agent, you have 4 things to bare in mind. Firstly is the price that the estate agent claims they will achieve for you. Make sure you are realistic with this price as the only way you will get viewing's and potential buyers is if your price is in-line with other sales on the street.
This can obviously differ drastically if you are the only 5 bed in your street and every other property is a 2 bed, so bare this in mind when you are coming up with a value for your home.
The second decisive factor in choosing an estate agent is the fee that they will charge you. You should ideally shop around and get the best possible price in your area as well as the best possible service. The old saying goes 'you get what you pay for', so if you decide to opt for an agent charging under £300, the chances are you won't get a premium listing, and most likely won't be featured on the big portals like Rightmove and Zoopla.
Thirdly, you need to make sure the agent you choose is doing as much advertising as possible on your behalf. Any agent that takes a fee up front has that fee, and therefore doesn't really need to do any work for their money. We strongly advise against paying fees up front to estate agents.
Remember, the advertising should include the top online portals, newspapers and magazines, shop front, and whatever else the agent can throw in the mix to increase the amount of potential viewing's on your property.
The fourth and final factor to consider when choosing an estate agent is the contract that you will be signing. Some agents tie you in for 4 weeks, where as others will try to tie you in for 12 months.
This contract that you sign is very important and gives the estate agent power over your property. Most contracts these days are what are known as 'sole agency', meaning that the agent you sign up with have the sole rights to market your property. If you sell your home outside of their terms, they can in theory take you to court and make you pay their fees.
To avoid any potential disasters with estate agents, we suggest you only sign up for a maximum of 4 weeks. If an estate agent can't find you a buyer in that time, then you can question how hard they are working on your behalf and it may be time to change agents. Read more about estate agent selection here.
Online estate agents work very similarly to regular estate agencies however the main difference is that online estate agents don't usually have a high street presence. All of their advertising is done online, and even the handling of their customers is done over the phone/internet.
A regular estate agent will come out and view your home, take photographs and give you a valuation. With an online estate agent, 9 times out of 10 you will be required to do most of those steps yourself.
You will have to set an appropriate valuation (they may help you on this), you will need to take your own photographs and you will need to do your own viewing's
This is obviously not to everyone's taste, however what you do save on is the fees. 'Express' Estate agents that operate online don't have the overheads of high street estate agents, therefore they can directly pass those savings on to you.
Some online estate agents only charge £250, and that includes listings on the major portals like Rightmove. Obviously, like anything that is 'cheap' there are downsides to using an online type estate agent. The main being that the quality of service is not quite as good as a traditional agent. You will not get the same level of expertise, and therefore you may not get the same amount of viewing's
Everyone knows who the top Estate Agents are in their areas, and if you see that estate agencies branding, you instantly recognise it. With online agencies, it's different. They are targeting a national audience, and the majority of people will not know who they are. This can be off putting for potential buyers, and they may avoid considering your property because of this.
If you think online estate agents could work for you and you are willing to put in the necessary work yourself, then we suggest that you shop around. Try following the same rules we set out for traditional estate agents, and be sure to check out reviews. There are a lot of online agents out there, so you have a good range to choose from. Even TV property expert Sarah Beeney has one, Tepilo has been around a few years and is a safe option.
Selling your house 'for sale by owner' is typically something that has been done in the United States for a long time. In the USA many home sellers choose to advertise their property themselves, putting up their own boards and managing the whole sale process from start to finish.
There are many websites in the UK that allow customers to create their own property listing and advertise for free. The biggest in the UK is probably Sellers Meet Buyers which allows customers to write their own descriptions, upload photos and organise their own sale.
The downside to a FSBO sale is the limitations of not being on Rightmove or Zoopla, and not getting the same levels of traffic that they receive. This is no good if you are looking for a quick sale.
If you’re looking to sell your house in a hurry and are thinking of using a quick sale company there are a few things you need to be aware of and to look out for. firstly what are quick sale companies all about? Quick sale companies will promise to buy or get a third person to buy your property fast and for cash, there are many fast sale companies out there all claiming to be the best at what they do, however their promises are usually delivered with below market value offers. They seek to take advantage of home owners who are in desperate situations to sell.
They are often under investigation from the Office of Fair Trading for ripping customers off. the way in which the will rip the customer off can be as follows: making the customer an offer then changing the offer at the last minute, hidden fee structures, false valuations, tying customers into sales, and impending excessive penalty fees for those who want to back out of a sale.
Quick sale companies say they will buy your property quick and for cash but are they really your only option?; Before considering using a quick sale company you might want to review your options: seeking advice on managing your debt, talking to and negotiating with your mortgage lender, or selling on the open market or through a private sale. If these options aren’t for you and using a quick home sale company is what you would like to do there are things you can do to ensure you are ahead of the game and prevent you from getting ripped off.
Firstly do your own valuation getting valuations from at least 3 estate agent companies will ensure you are getting a fair deal from a quick sale company, secondly shop about there are more than one quick sale companies doing your research into the different offers available will help you to achieve the best offer for you home.
Further tips can be: Negotiate with the chosen quick sale company don’t just settle for something you’re not happy with its worth trying to see if there is moment on the offer.
Don’t rush into anything take your time to think through an offer or deal, you are in control! if you feel too pressured by a particular quick home sale company voice your dissatisfaction and tell them you need time! Ensure you get everything in writing don’t settle for verbal confirmation.
Seek advice from a solicitor if you are unsure about something or don’t understand the legality of the contract. Read through everything carefully and get a second opinion from someone else you trust to ensure of any doubts had.
Be honest giving wrong information can lead to long delays and further reduction in offers further down the line. Ask to see the survey if the company is reducing the offer ask why and if the survey is to blame ask to see it. Don’t commit too early, don’t sign anything until you are sure you have seen the survey and everything is as you want it to be.
It is not easy in the current market to spot quick sale companies that are going to scam you, especially when they all sound like they are going to give you what you are after, following the tips can help you to stay on top of the game and be aware of the possibility of being scammed. Recognizing the companies that are going to rip you off before you become tied in with them can save you a great deal of hassle and heart ache.
As stated early the Office of Fair Trading are currently investigating some of the quick sale companies if you do have to use them the OFT recommend not using companies who do not give you the following information: who is buying the property, how will they pay, is there proof of funds available, when will the sale happen, who is valuing the property and how, what is the offer price, will the offer price change if so why? what fees and charges will you have to pay, will you have to pay even if the sale does’t go ahead?
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