buy or sell with­out an es­tate agent

Manag­ing a house sale or pur­chase over the in­ter­net can save you a whole heap of agents’ fees – and with our guide, it’s safe and easy, too…

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Buy­ing or sell­ing? Cut costs by tak­ing mat­ters into your own hands

Us­ing a high-street es­tate agent to han­dle the sale or pur­chase of your home has, up un­til now, been the tra­di­tional op­tion. But with the rise of on­line agents, do­ing it your­self is a lot less com­pli­cated than it may seem. In terms of how much in­put you have, you can go it alone com­pletely (in which case see cit­i­zen­sad­ to avoid any pit­falls), or choose be­tween var­i­ous web­sites that give you as much, or as lit­tle, as­sis­tance as you re­quire.


An on­line agent doesn’t have a walk-in of­fice or specialist knowl­edge of the area, but they could save you a tidy sum – enough to fit a new bath­room or kitchen in many cases. The way they do this is to charge a fixed fee (as lit­tle as £40, up to

a few hun­dred, de­pend­ing on the pack­age you choose), re­gard­less of your sell­ing price. By con­trast, a high-street agent will charge a per­cent­age of your fi­nal sale price, so this is only an es­ti­mate un­til you sell, and is usu­ally into the thou­sands.

Ac­cord­ing to web agent, 98 per cent of prop­erty searches now be­gin on­line, so it’s more im­por­tant that you’re there rather than in a shop win­dow. Web­sites such as are ideal for help­ing you get started and let­ting you take con­trol. For more as­sis­tance and, im­por­tantly, be­ing listed on right­ and, sites such as uk of­fer a choice of op­tions, from sim­ply help­ing you list your place, to pho­tog­ra­phy, ar­rang­ing view­ings and tak­ing on the ne­go­ti­a­tions (which can be good if you want to de­per­son­alise things). One as­pect they all have in com­mon is that you will han­dle the view­ings your­self. This might seem a bit daunt­ing, but you re­ally are the best per­son to do this as you will be able to an­swer all the ques­tions and you know the area. Mov­ing house with­out a high-street es­tate agent is a very real op­tion and, with­out a doubt, will save you money.


The big­ger on­line com­pa­nies, such as, ad­ver­tise on right­ and, so you can sim­ply browse these. Al­ter­na­tively, you can visit web­sites in­di­vid­u­ally – it all de­pends on how much time you’re pre­pared to spend. When you are in­ter­ested in a prop­erty, they will put you in touch with the owner and things will go from there. De­pend­ing on

what ‘pack­age’ the owner has signed up for, you may only en­counter them when view­ing, or they may be in­volved with the whole process, ne­go­ti­a­tions and all.

Pri­vate sale

If a prop­erty is be­ing sold pri­vately be­tween two par­ties you don’t need an agent at all. You may wish to use one for a free val­u­a­tion, but there are sites such as net­house­ which com­pare prices in your area if both par­ties are happy with that. You will, how­ever, still need an En­ergy Per­for­mance Cer­tifi­cate (see check­point 3, right) and a so­lic­i­tor for the pa­per­work.


Stylish pho­tos of your home will at­tract buy­ers

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Sell or buy a home easily with the help of your lap­top

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