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Selling a house without an estate agent

There is a rising trend in the UK to DIY sell your own house and the obvious advantage is that there's no commission to pay, which equals big savings. But can it really be as simple as people say it is?

One of the most daunting aspects is deciding the asking price. Even though you love your house, you must be realistic and it's only worth what someone is willing to pay. Find out what prices are like in your area from the Land Registry price data or from a company that tracks house prices.

Another big question is where and how to advertise/market your property. You will have to find all your potential buyers yourself. The more traditional methods of advertising locally, in shop windows, newspapers, etc. have a limited audience and can attract a lot of time wasters. The Internet is an enormous advertising medium and there are numerous sell-direct sites to help you sell your own for a small price. You can also erect your own "For sale" sign, but if you live in a conservation area or central London there will be restrictions, so best check on that beforehand. Printing your own leaflets is also a good idea.

Who better to sell your house than yourself? You will have a better feel for the property and be able to transmit its good points far better than any estate agent. One thing to remember is, especially if you're a woman, to always have someone (friend or relative) present when showing people around - never be on your own with potential buyers. Once you've decided to sell your house yourself, it will require time-consuming dedication to return people's calls, to be available for showings, etc.

Using an estate agent and selling yourself:

Make sure the contract with the estate agent does not say "sole selling rights", which would prevent you from selling either yourself or via an online agent/site. If your contract says "sole agent rights", you can still sell your property yourself or via an online agent/site. Telling your estate agent that you are also trying to sell yourself or via an online agent/site may encourage him to try harder so as not to lose his commission.

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