When making the choice to sell your home, most people immediately decide to use the traditional route, An estate agent. There are various reasons why this is often seen as the best, or indeed the only viable option out there with people often assuming it is the fastest way to sell a property, the easiest way, and the way to get the best price for the property you can.
Whilst it is true, estate agents do have their advantages, they also come with a whole lot of disadvantages. Not only this, but they are also surprisingly not always the fastest, easiest or most cost effective way to get a sale. In fact, they can become quite the opposite in the long run.
Many people assume selling via an estate agent will give their property more exposure and therefore a faster sale. Whilst this is true in theory, you only need one person to want your property for it to be sellable and the fact is you could advertise your house to the whole world, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you will come across that one person who matches your exact taste and wants a property in your exact location, that person might not even exist!
Selling property is hard work and estate agents charge hefty fees to compensate for this, and even once a buyer is found, assuming that the sale does not fall through for any reason it can still take on average at least 17 weeks (over 4 months) to complete the sale. This is not exactly the fastest way to sell a property, especially when compared to an alternative such as a property buyer.
Despite the advantages of selling directly to a property buyer, they are a much lesser known way of selling a property. So, what is a property buyer and how exactly do estate agents compare to selling direct to a one of these companies?
1. A property buyer will generally purchase your house within 28 days from start to finish. An Estate Agent could take between 17-24 weeks to complete the sale.
2. A property buyer will purchase the property no matter what condition it is in. The style you have decorated your home in does not affect their decision to buy your home. An Estate Agent can only market your property to a vast audience of people in the hope that someone will either match your taste, be prepared to give the whole house a makeover upon completion or even be willing to renovate the property if necessary.
3. A property buyer will charge you no hidden fees or charges; they will generally pay up to 500 pounds towards your legal fees for you. An estate agent will typically charge you 1.75% + 17.5% VAT of the sale price in fees amounting to at least 2000 pounds in most cases, you will have to pay out for legal fees, usually around 500 pounds and you will also require a HIP, around 200 pounds. Other costs include valuation and survey fees.
4. A property buyer will make you an offer which will be the final price you actually receive for your property, typically up to 82% of the open market value. There will be no fees or charges taking value away from this. An offer made and accepted through an estate agent is typically only 90% of the open market value of the property. When you deduct from this all the extra fees and charges associated with a sale through an estate agent, and the fact that re-negotiation of around 2.5% is commonplace following the survey it becomes clear why a sale through an estate agent may not actually be the quickers or most cost effective way of selling a property!
5. A property buyer can give you the option to rent back the property as a tenant, a useful advantage if you need to release equity but remain in the home. A genuine and honest property buyer will NOT evict you soon after you have completed the sale so that they can sell the property on for their own advantage, indeed a reputable one will see the advantages of having a trusted and familiar tenant living in a property they have known and cared for many years and will prefer to keep the property in this situation as part of their portfolio than sell it on at all. A company such as the one I run specializes in this.
6. An estate agent will not give you the option to rent back, and should you need to rent alternative accommodation, you will then need to put down a deposit for the property you intend to rent, having moving expenses such as a removal van and all the upheaval of moving to a different property.
7. A property buyer is capable of moving fast to stop property repossessions and evictions no matter what stage the seller is at. It has even been known for property buyers to get vendors back into their property after eviction. If there is any spare equity left over following the sale of the property and repayment of debts, the seller will be able to keep this.
An estate agent sale has very little hope of stopping repossession due to the time taken. If a property is repossessed and goes to auction because of this, it is unlikely the much reduced sale of the property will cover the entire debts owed and will more than likely leave the previous owner cash strapped and homeless.
When all this is taken into account, it is easy to see why more and more homeowners are choosing to sell directly to a property buyer rather than use an estate agent. With a property buyer, the whole transaction is in the hands of the buyer who genuinely wants the sale to proceed as quickly as possible, and you can rest assured that you will not have the all too familiar lack of communication often associated with an Estate Agent.
Nor will you have to constantly chase them to push the sale forward faster and have to wait the unacceptable time scale an estate agent expects you to wait for contracts to be exchanged. Should you decide that this is an option for you, it is important you find a reliable and honest property buyer; I personally recommend that you submit your details to a company with a network of buyers available throughout the UK, to save you the time and hassle of submitting to several different companies. A company such as this will do the searching for you meaning again that you only have to have one point of contact which keeps it nice and simple and consequently stress free!
Sally Slater is the managing director of the UK property buyers We Buy Nationwide. Her company deals exclusively with homeowners wanting a quick house sale and communicates with an entire network of investors nationwide to get the homeowner the best price for their property from a local buyer.
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