Whether you’re buying or selling a home in the UK, there’s one thing that you have to often look out for — estate agent fees. They can be a high percentage of your total home’s selling cost, so make sure that you calculate this in if you’re going to use an agent.

Of course, there are a growing number of people across the UK that are starting to honestly doubt whether or not they really need an estate agent in the first place.

The truth is that agents are pretty secretive about how much they charge sellers, and there’s a big of wiggle room n the overall pricing structure. There’s no one set price, which means that many estate agents will undoubtedly charge whatever they want to charge, and most importantly — what they think their audience is going to be able to bear.

Why do these costs matter? Well, let’s take London for an example.

In London, the average price for a home is about 342,749 GBP. Most London agencies are quoting 1.5% commission, but there are others that quote 2.5%. That’s quite a bit of money!

Including VAT, we’re talking about 4113 GBP all the way up to 10282 GBP. What if you could put that cost into your pocket instead? That’s what a few people are starting to think, and many are taking the steps to find out for themselves.

If you’re trying to bypass these fees, one of your first stops is going to be trying to sell to family or friends. You can also try word of mouth, and just hope that someone is looking for a good home. You can also put up for sale signs around your home to attract people on foot or in their cars.

If you are Internet savvy, you can always market your home on line, which means that you will attract tons of buyers even from outside your area. You never know who is looking for a home, so casting a wide net can really become a good thing.

What about getting the price right when selling a home? Well, that’s going to be important too. Estate agents are going to use comparable properties around your area in order to set a price. There’s no reason that you can’t do your homework in the same fashion. Essentially, what you’re paying the estate agent to do is use their resources, network, and skills to sell your home. Doing the research yourself is essentially doing their job, but there’s still a lot to do. You will really have to make sure that you put effort into your advertisement, including great photographs.

A lot of amateur sellers try to go off of just photographs taken with point and shoot cameras. It’s really worth your time to go with a higher quality product.

You will also have to conduct all of the viewings on your own — something that the estate agent would be more than happy to do for you. You will need to point out the best features of the house, and trust us — you’re going to have to do this quite often. Many houses need several showings in order to be worthwhile, so you have to make sure that you’re thinking about everything that you want rather than just scratching it off your list and trying to go on just a few showings. That will make you a lot more aggressive and pushy — two things that buyers really don’t want to see in their seller at all.

Negotiation will be something that you have to do on your own. If you’re not someone that can negotiate well, you’re going to have a long road to go in terms of getting your house sold. That’s not something that you can take likely — bad negotiation could cost you thousands of pounds.

While you can go without an estate agent, you really can’t go without a solicitor — unless you’re a solicitor yourself! And even then — do you really want to do all of the legal legwork on your own property? Probably not.

You will need to make sure that you have a solicitor that comes with good reviews, because they really do make all of the difference.

As you might imagine, selling a home without an estate agent — one of the top questions that comes up online in real estate circles — isn’t easy. This is not something that you choose lightly. Because if you do it the wrong way, you will end up costing yourself the real value of your home and possibly scaring off buyers. Not every buyer wants to purchase a property that’s being sold by the seller themselves, because they tend to feel more comfortable with an estate professional present. It’s going to be a matter of figuring out how much time you really want to take out of your day and how much time that’s really going to cost you. If your life is already busy enough, you might be better off hiring the estate agent!

By Jasmina