“Do I need an estate agent to sell my home?” is likely to be a key question you ask after deciding to put your property on the market. And you might be surprised to learn that, actually, you don’t need an estate agent to sell a house or flat. It’s both possible and legal to sell without ever dealing with an estate agent, and some people do.
A better question to ask yourself is, “Should I use an estate agent to sell my home?” And the answer to that is almost certainly yes.
Selling property is a complicated, often lengthy, and sometimes stressful process. It takes expertise to ensure a smooth sale, for the best price possible. But how can you expect to be an expert at something you may have only done once or twice before, if at all?
From valuing and marketing to coordinating viewings and liaising with solicitors – a lot goes into selling a home, and there’s plenty of room for both error and heartbreak. An estate agent reduces the potential for mistakes – and will also guide you through any challenges.
Why use an estate agent to sell your home?
1. Expert valuation
An experienced, local estate agent will value your home and give you an expert view on the price you can expect to get for it. You can research local house prices to get an idea for yourself, but an estate agent will use their in-depth knowledge of the local market to make a more accurate judgement.
2. Effective marketing
Using a good estate agent means your home will benefit from professional photography to show it off, and a strategically written advert to highlight its best points to buyers. It’ll usually be listed on multiple property portals, such as Rightmove, Zoopla and OnThe Market, and often social media and local news outlets too.
3. Sourcing other professionals
There are many different people involved in the sale of a property, and an estate agent can usually recommend or help with finding solicitors, mortgage brokers, surveyors – even removal companies. Most will also arrange for your home to receive an up-to-date Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) – a legal requirement for selling.
4. Finding the right buyers
You may assume that potential buyers will find your house via an online portal, and while this is common, it’s wise not to rely on it. An estate agency will have a huge database of buyers, and can actively put your house in front of the right people, rather than waiting for them to find it themselves.
5. Dealing with viewings and offers
An estate agent will take away the hassle of dealing with potential buyers and offers. Your home is highly personal, and emotions can run high when selling, but letting an agent conduct viewings, liaise with buyers and negotiate offers helps remove emotion from the process and keeps everything running smoothly.
6. Liaising with solicitors
An estate agent’s job isn’t over once you have accepted an offer. They’ll remain involved through the conveyancing process, updating you on progress, and helping to keep things moving until the transaction completes.