In today’s housing market, everyone’s looking to maximise their profit. Many previous buyers looking to move home may have heard of the appeals of selling a property directly, but there’s a sense that the process is all too good to be true. Estate agents must exist for a reason, and the complexities of selling direct must far outweigh any potential pocket savings.

The truth is that selling a property, flat, apartment or condo without an estate agent is as simple as it sounds. By taking control of the sales process, you can ensure a smoother process, maximum profits and minimal stress for yourself and your buyers.

With bespoke platforms like 3xplor now accommodating for independent sellers, and technologies previously utilised by lettings and estate agents now commonplace in most people’s households, there’s nothing to stop forward-thinking movers from taking the sales process into their own hands. If you're wanting to sell, rent or let a property without an agent, and for much cheaper, take a look at how easy it can be to create your own listing in less than 15 minutes.


What’s the appeal?

A UK high street estate agent will normally provide all but the legal services for around 1.3% commission, so on a £220,000 house, you’ll be saving around £2860.  With an online estate agent, where you’ll likely get less services, you’ll save around £600 to £1200.

When you take into consideration buying and removal costs, moving home is one of life’s most expensive and stressful events.  Now that there’s more choice and flexibility than ever before, property owners can tap into sound advice and choose as much or as little help as they want along the way. With such low risk and cost, there will undoubtedly be a rise in property owners taking more of the sales process into their own hands and pocketing the savings.


How do I do it?

Selling or renting a house without an estate agent or solicitor may not be as tricky, complex or stressful as initially thought. Estate and lettings agents traditionally carry out most of the legwork, but in today’s decentralised sharing society, fuelled by online transactions and open communications, pretty much anybody can take this workload upon themselves at a fraction of the usual cost.

This does mean putting more time and effort into the sales process, but in turn you’ll relinquish a lot of control over how your property is marketed. A fairer representation of a property can mean a quicker sale overall and less problems further down the line for both yourself and the new owner.

Rightmove, Zoopla and other such property searching platforms are popular, although notorious for taking a cut out of the sales process. To advertise a property on Rightmove, only registered estate or lettings agents can upload listings. The good news is there are an abundance of new platforms popping up allowing you to advertise your home - even Gumtree can do a fine job of hosting property listings.


What to consider

The main appeals of selling a house independently are that it’s such low cost when compared to selling through a third-party agent and of minimal risk. You won’t be charged any fees if the property isn’t sold or let, and your overall costs are often as minimal as covering the price of any web space and the creation of media. The latter can be a crucial step in direct sales, so do be sure not to compromise or overlook the importance of varied media. More on that below.


Necessary steps: Valuations

These days, there are lots of tools to help you value your property accurately.

It’s worth taking a look at government websites and other property portals to see what sort of prices houses in your area are going for, or current asking prices. If your property is particularly unique or special, it might be difficult to place a value on it so consider paying for a valuation to make sure you’re getting the best possible price.


Necessary steps: Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)

An EPC is essential for selling a house in the UKAn EPC certificate is compulsory for selling a home in the UK. It shows buyers the energy efficiency of a property, the cost of running the home and any recommendations for improvement.  The certificate lasts 10 years, so if you’re lucky, your property may already have one.

If not, you can find a provider on Prices usually range from £50 to £120.

Many of the providers can also perform valuations, create floor plans and take professional photography and videos for your property’s media portfolio


Necessary steps: What kinds of media will I require?

Before you choose the media you’ll use to exhibit your property, you should be aware that it needs to accomplish two things. First and foremost, it’s a showcase to grab people’s attention and show off what’s so amazing about the property. Then, it gives buyers who are interested more comprehensive information and context on the property itself.

Therefore, it’s essential that your media is an honest representation of your home and doesn’t mislead potential buyers in any way.

Buyers are sure to research online and create a shortlist before committing to viewings. A comprehensive range of media will reduce timewasters and increase the chances of viewings turning to an offer. So, rather than just pictures, you might want to choose a selection of videos or a virtual tour, to give them a chance to see more of the property.

If you're not sure what virtual tours are all about, take a look at our advice guide for all the ins and outs of how they work and how you can go about making one.

If you or your friends are skilled at photography or videos, you might want to create the media yourself at minimal cost. Otherwise, consider professionals who will have appropriate equipment and editing skills, and can present your home in its best light. Professional photography and videos vary between £50 and £500 depending on the size of the property, the equipment used and time in post-production.


Do I need a virtual tour to do it?

There are varying arguments over the importance of virtual tours when selling or renting directly. Virtual tours might not be an essential part of the process of selling a property. However, they are the best way to showcase your property to its full potential, and this helps both you and the potential buyer. Therefore, if you want to maximise your chances of selling with as little fuss as possible for yourself and your buyer, it’s pretty much essential.

There’s a longstanding theory when selling property that holding back information creates more enquiries, and that there’s no benefit investing in a video if your property is likely to sell or let quickly. In 2017, a report by Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends suggested otherwise. It found that 99% of those aged 36 or younger go online to research properties. If you want to make it into search results and shortlists, it’s imperative to provide comprehensive information in the online space.

Chances are that if today’s prospective buyers were to come across something they’re unsure about in a listing they’ll skip to another property rather than call you for clarity, so there’s a strong argument for being customer-focused in your marketing.

Andy Porter

Content Marketing Specialist

3xplor makes searching for property, places and things to do an adventure with 360° tours, video and virtual reality.

Showcase your 360 videos to attract new business and visitors.