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Selling Privately

Trying to sell your home yourself, without an agent, could save you money but is it worth it?

Some people are naturally gifted with clothes or plants or DIY or cooking. Others are less so. Some people are really good at buying and selling property themselves. The process seems easy to them. But others can find it stressful, difficult and emotional, and they hardly enjoy the process. This is why most people turn to an estate agent.

To those outside the industry it’s understandable to imagine that an estate agent’s job is simply to find a buyer and that is it, job done. But in truth the role is as much about project management as sales. Finding someone who says they want to buy your property can be a far cry from their being able to buy your property.

Then there is chain management – several house sales and purchases may all be interdependent. Here there is a lot that can go wrong. Most property sales involve valuers, surveyors, local authorities, the Land Registry, solicitors, conveyancers, banks, building societies, head offices, other estate agents and umpteen other people, companies and organisations. Each of these will have their own agenda and timetable and most will be different from your own. Surveys can throw up difficulties, so too can status enquiries for mortgages. Most sales are inevitably subject to an emotional rollercoaster that may, in the end, rest on a group of strangers all behaving well and sensibly towards each other. It is an estate agent’s role to orchestrate all this and find ultimate harmony from inevitable discord.

A few brave souls will happily tackle a house move on their own. Doing it yourself or getting the service from a cut price agent could save you a bit of money – or even a lot - and it may work out reasonably well, if you remain focused, detached, flexible, reasonable, compassionate, completely understanding of your fellow man and have some luck.

But if you have little time, little relevant experience, little patience, don’t wish to gamble on luck and lack that natural gift for coolly buying and selling hugely valuable items of great personal importance to you and your family, it may be better to leave it up to an experienced and talented project manager to bring it all together. Successful house sales and purchases don’t usually happen all by themselves. They happen because skilful, experienced, patient, determined and tactful people make them happen.

Valuable and important items like fine art or wine, stocks and shares, cars, yachts or land and houses are often best bought and sold through a third party - and the better the third party the better.

So don’t compromise when selling your property. The property market is really no place for the inexperienced. Insist on the best sales and project manager you can get. It is the sure way you will get the best result. Or do you feel lucky . . . ?

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