Selling your home has changed dramatically in recent years.
Online options have sprung up and disrupted the property market, allowing you to seize control of the sale from traditionally used high street estate agents and, more importantly, save money.
Here CashLady looks at how to really save money selling your home, exploring online estate agents, along with other simple, low-cost ways to ensure that you get the highest value for your property.
Saving money when selling your home online
One of the biggest recent shakeups to the property market has been the emergence of online estate agents, the most well-known of these being Purple Bricks.
In the past, you would have relied on a traditional high street estate agent to sell your home for you in return for a hefty fee of up to 3% of the sale price.
Now, online estate agents allow you to sell your property online for a flat fee, which is usually thousands of pounds cheaper than with a high street estate agent.
Some online firms can also provide you with a local agent who can perform house viewings for you for an additional cost, perfect for when you are short of time or would rather not do it yourself.
It is worth bearing in mind, however, that there may be more input required from you than with a high street agent, who does most of the legwork for you. For example, you usually have to arrange your own Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).
Popular firms for selling your home online
There are three main firms used in the UK.
These all vary in price and offer different services, so it is worth researching which one is going to provide what you need.
Below is a round-up of the typical prices that you can expect.
Offers a flat fee from £899, which includes photography, floor plans, online advertising, access to a local property expert, a UK support based team and listing on all the main property websites.
You can also buy optional extras including accompanied property viewings for £300, and advert upgrades.
HouseSimple recently became the first UK Estate Agent to sell homes for free. This amazing service covers the inclusion of a property expert, ‘for sale’ sign, professional photos, floor plan and a six-month advert on three of the major property sites.
Offers a 24-hour hotline, free property valuation, property site listings, an account manager and weekly reports as part of its £99 ‘basic’ package.
The next package up costs £199 and includes professional photos, a 2D floor plan and full property description. The premium package costs £599 and includes a ‘for sale’ sign and premium site listings.
Selling your home privately
If you are confident managing the sale yourself, then a private sale will provide the biggest savings, but it will require significant input from you.
A private sale means that you can’t make use of the usual online channels for advertising homes, such as Rightmove and Zoopla.
There are, however, plenty of other options. You could try advertising in your local newspaper, using online property market places such as HouseWeb, and even Facebook.
Getting the right value when selling your home
Whatever method you chose, you want to ensure that you ask for the correct value.
Check online first, using sites like Rightmove and Zoopla, looking at house prices in your local area for the last 12 months, paying particular attention to properties that are similar to yours.
Then organise for at least three estate agents to value your home – don’t worry, you won’t have to use them for the actual sale.
Ideally, use one online estate agent, one smaller local one and a large high street firm so that you get a balanced view.
It’s likely that they will come back with different values, so aim for a value in the middle to give you the most realistic figure.
Low-cost ways to improve the value of your home
Before inviting the estate agents around, there are lots of low-cost ways that you can improve the look and feel of your property, inside and out, to help boost its value.
Think about making your home look clean, inviting and liveable, not forgetting to highlight the important features that made you fall in love with it in the first place.
Outside your home
- Mow the lawn and tidy the garden
- Clean those windows
- Paint the front door
- Clean the driveway
Inside your home
- Deep clean and declutter
- Showcase interesting property features
- Make the rooms look less personal and more inviting
- Ensure that each room shows its purpose – for example put a bed inside a bedroom that is used as a study