The internet is increasingly the preferred method for buyers to search for property in the comfort of their own homes. 70% of buyers search for property on the internet. 60% of households
have internet access. However, be aware that currently Rightmove and most of the larger property portals will not advertise a 'private property sale' either directly or via private property sale websites. They will only deal with property
marketed by Estate Agents who are registered with the NAEA and have more legal restrictions to their property marketing and abide by the Estate Agents Act and regulations put in place by the Office of Fair Trading.
To sell property privately you could advertise your property privately with a dedicated websites for private property sellers such as
Houseweb. or The Little
House Company. They can provide a for sale board, free property selling guides and additional inclusive online advertising.
Advertising your property for sale in online classified ads such as Gumtree and ebay is also possible. Newspaper classified sections will also cover private property adverts but
this can be expensive.
It's important to be careful when searching for advertising options online for your private property sale. The lines have become a little blurred and previous private property
advertisiers, such as
My Property for Sale, have changed over to become an online estate
agent, fully signed up to the NAEA and the Property ombudsman, they charge significantly more but do offer all of the usual Estate Agent services
at a cheaper flat rate.
There is a fine line between the definition of an "Estate Agent" and private property sale websites which may also fall under the definition of "Estate Agent" if they provide
a for sale board and take calls or liaise with potential property buyers on your behalf. As such there are now many "online estate agents", who offer an excellent service.
After advertising privately for 4 weeks, if you do not go under offer, you would be well advised to aim for maximum potential home buyer interest and ensure that your property is marketed on the
biggest property portals such as Rightmove, Find a Property, Zoopla and
Primelocation. To do this you would require an Estate Agent or an Online Estate Agent to market your property for you.
A clear alternative to expensive high street agents and cheap private property advertising would be to instruct an online estate agent such as
Housenetwork.co.uk or House simple who
can advertise your property on Rightmove and the major property portals. They do not have high street offices but do offer a full estate agency service including photography, floor plans, booking viewings, negotiating offers on your
behalf and full buyer liaison. They don't conduct viewings. Set fees instead of percentages can potentially save vendors thousands of pounds in agents' fees.
Use promotional code GUNYOMLLDM at
Housenetwork.co.uk for a 5% discount on services.
If you are already with an Estate Agent and wish to advertise your property privately in addition then you need to check your Estate Agent's contract carefully for possible clauses. In particular
look out for the following:
You cannot usually add a second Agent to market your home or put up another For Sale board in addition to the Agent's board without incurring additional fees at sale, but you can take out an
online web advert and deal with viewers personally who contact you directly from this advertising.
If your contract was a 'Sole Agent contract' then according to the Government's Office of Fair Trading, you can sell your property privately and not have to pay the Estate Agent's
commission. Although you may have to pay for the property board or newspaper advertising fees incurred to date, if you do sell your own home privately, you could save thousands in
Estate Agent commission charges.
However, check your Estate Agent's contract and always let them know you intend to advertise privately. It should encourage them to work harder to get the sale and earn the commission. See also 'Estate Agents' contracts' in this
When a house fails to sell and the owner wishes to change Estate Agents the Contract usually ties them in for a 2 to 4 weeks notice period before being able to advertise with another Estate
Agent. During this time the vendor is restricted from putting up a For Sale board of another Estate Agent. Most Agents abide by this contract clause to stop vendors 'Agent hopping' to change Agent's after all the costly marketing particulars
have been produced.