Why sell your home privately

Obviously for some, the skills, resources and experience of any professional are worth paying for. However some people quite simply prefer to do things themselves. To use a simple comparison, why would someone paint a bedroom rather than pay for a decorator? Because they can and because it saves money.

And just like when you do something yourself along with the cost saving, there is quite a sense of achievement. So if you can sell your home and save money then why not?

Historically sellers have been held back because without an estate agent it has been difficult to get your home in front of potential buyers. However we now have a truly liberating tool at our disposal – the internet. It empowers, educates and entertains us. It also connect us; with family and friends or, in the terms of house sales, millions of potential buyers. It is also possible to present your property in a highly professional manner.

Neither do you need estate agents to act as an intermediary. You can sell your house on your terms. This can save confusion, time and quite obviously money.

Clearly a big factor in deciding to sell your home privately is that you want to save money on commission fees. Estate agent commissions range from 1.5% to 3%, which if you’re talking about, even say, a £250,000 house, it is not chicken feed. At roofoveryourhead there is no commission charge to us, estate agents or otherwise.

We are not suggesting this is an easy option and certainly it is not right for everyone but for those with energy and initiative, selling your own home can bring rich rewards.

Avoid taxing problems when buying or selling your home

Tax is rather dull but understanding the basics is pretty useful and could help you avoid any unnecessary and expensive surprises.

Property Tax – https://www.gov.uk/buy-sell-your-home/tax

Tax when you buy your home – https://www.gov.uk/stamp-duty-land-tax/residential-property-rates

Tax when you sell your home – https://www.gov.uk/tax-sell-home

Tax when you sell a property that’s not your home – https://www.gov.uk/tax-sell-property

The full house of property taxes – https://www.gov.uk/topic/business-tax/stamp-taxes


Negotiating your home sale

How to negotiate the sale of your home

careful consideration

When the buyer makes an offer, stay calm. It’s not sold, the money isn’t in the bank. It is just the start of the process. Time to ask more questions:

  • How does it sit with your target price?
  • What is their situation, e.g. chain free, need to move immediately.
  • What are their financial circumstances, e.g. cash buyers or approved mortgage.
  • How has the response been to date?
  • How is the market fairing?
  • How does this all sit with your desires and circumstances?

reach agreement

The market, and certain TV shows, have made it common for a ‘game’ to be played so the first offer is quite often not the buyer’s absolute highest price they are willing to pay. So if you feel you’re in a strong position and the offer is below what is required, you could politely reject it or even offer a counter offer.

Negotiating is part of the home selling process and the offer and counter-offer process can be repeated until either both parties agree to the terms of the sale, or both parties stall or end negotiations. We are not suggesting this is a game of bluff and counter bluff; negotiations can be frank, open and honest – they want your house and you want a certain amount of money for it – somewhere in the middle is a point where both parties are happy.

Listen, speak frankly and ask the same of them. This is good negotiating. This leads to a committed sale.

When you get to the point you reach agreement, be professional and get your solicitor to review the seller’s offer and position.

selling your own home

You are your home’s best salesperson. Nobody does it better

Nobody knows your home better than you (and you certainly know it better than an estate agent who may have only spent a few minutes in it). Nobody can impart as much passion as you and clearly no one has a better motivation to sell the property than you.

prepare yourself

That said, you don’t need to be an expert salesperson, just well prepared. Use the brochure to understand your property. Remember what made you buy in the first place. Why was it great then and what have you done since then to improve matters. Impart the positives but don’t ramble.

Practice viewings. Listen to feedback and adapt.

Be relaxed, enthusiastic and genuine. Read more about how to manage viewings and show your house off – http://www.roofoveryourhead.com/sell-your-home.php#marketing-your-own-home

Post pancake productivity plunge

For the grafters, if you’re starting a business, catching up after a long day or doing up your home, motivation to work in the evenings comes pretty easy. However, every now and then we trip up.

And tonight, after consuming two or three too many pancakes, I’m now feel like sinking into a mild coma. IQ lowering; the sofa and TV are calling. But this is what it’s about, working hard so that sometimes you can overdo it and relax. Cold beer or glass of wine on Friday.  Or too much flour, eggs and milk once a year.

So before the sugar and lemon spree gets the better of my brain, I hope that you too downed tools and enjoyed your pancakes. Here’s hoping that tomorrow brings a more balanced diet and our over indulgence doesn’t lead to too much of an economic battering.

Definitely not estate agents

OK we’re definitely not estate agents but we still made Estate Agent Today – https://www.estateagenttoday.co.uk/breaking-news/2017/12/yet-another-new-for-sale-by-owner-website-launches. Pretty balanced article too; you can sell your home for free with roofoveryourhead.com or pay an estate agent to do it for you. Thankfully the choice is now yours.

how to market your own home

roofoveryourhead gives you the tools to shout ‘MY HOUSE IS FOR SALE’ to local and national audiences. Here’s what you’ll need:

website – Using roofoveryourhead you will create your own individual and unique website for your home.

Your website will allow you highlight the general and individual features of your home to literally millions of potential buyers, and produce more targeted campaigns to attract, smaller more focused group.

Your website will be accompanied by your own unique and memorable website address or URL , e.g /29 Acacia Road, that will be used on Google, other search engines, social media and on marketing material to direct potential buyers directly to your home’s home page.

Running parallel to this will be a more descriptive URL that describes what your are selling, e.g. /three_bedrooms_oxford, which is simple, informative and helps with the all important search engine optimisation.

brochure – hard copy and electronic version – When you upload your information and photos to the Roof Over Your Head website, it automatically creates your marketing material. This will be similar to those that most estate agents produce and can be easily printed or sent electronically. It can be used to:

  • Distribute online, e.g. email to interested parties.
  • Share it on social media
  • Give to potential buyers when they come to view.

flyer – hard copy and electronic version – Again this is generated by the info that you add in the Sales Room. The flyer is a snapshot of the property containing the photo of the front aspect of the property, brief details, including price and of course a link to your unique webpage.

This is probably best used for advertising; put it up locally where it will get noticed, e.g. notice boards, newsagent’s windows, telegraph poles. Always ask for permission but you will be surprised how helpful people will be when they know that you are doing this for yourself.

online marketing – Unlike other ‘independent’ private sale sites, we do not pay well known property portals for the privilege of appearing on their listings, we do not use temporary pay for click promotions to draw clients in then drop them when we have their custom, nor do we have pages with every property permutation known to man. Instead to keep your costs down and focus on your home rather than everyone else’s, we make great efforts to organically register and climb your property through the search rankings.

Your personal website will be online immediately and will be reviewed by Google and other such search engines within 24 hours. It is your site, the more you add and update the better ‘- search engine Optimisation is often over complicated, if your home’s website is relevant and thorough it is not only good for the search engines, it’ll be good for your buyers too. A win win.

social media – Anyone who has viewed one of the many millions of photos, clips and messages posted online, will be aware of the fantastic marketing reach and power of social media. How many people do you know? How many do they know? And so on. The world is at your fingertips, let it know that your marvellous property is up for grabs.

for sale board – Even in these days of multi channel, multi media marketing, the simple board that sits out of the front of the property is a critical sales tool. At a basic level it lets everyone know you are open for business, it also draws attention to your home; not just for your neighbours and friends, who may know of someone that’d be interested but visitors to the area, including people that may be visiting other properties for sale in the locality.

advertising – You can advertise in the property section of the local paper. You can get small adverts in local papers for a few pounds. Linking this to your roofoveryourhead website makes a cheap advert very professional and effective.

You can obviously make use of further advertising on the Internet, linking to your unique property website. Some websites will do this for a fee, others will list your property for free.

word of mouth – While we don’t expect you to become a salesman overnight, you need to appreciate that your potential buyer can be anywhere. Never miss an appropriate opportunity to let someone know that your house is for sale; even if its not for them, they may know someone that it’d be perfect for.

Certainly let your friends and family know that you, not an estate agent, are selling your home. You are leading the way so ask them for ideas and assistance. It will all help to get the message out there.

Valuing your home

Setting the value correctly is fundamental to selling your home.


What is it worth? How much do you want? What will you accept? How long can you wait?

To a certain extent the price determines interest; get it right and they’ll be banging at the door, get it wrong and they may never even get to the door.

price zone

So don’t over price, if you do you won’t generate sufficient interest. Here, clearly one of the great benefits of conducting a private sale is that you’re saving on commission so you may have more room to have a slightly lower cost to attract buyers. That said, don’t under price, people may think there’s something amiss, and you may equally sell yourself short.

steps to take

So how do you get the right price?

  • A good starting point is to look at similar homes for sale or those recently sold in your neighbourhood, use the internet and local newspapers.
  • The land registry is a reliable source of information www.landregistry.gov.uk
  • It is now also simple to review recent sale prices online. Some good websites are www.mouseprice.com, www.halifax.co.uk/media-centre/house-price-index/ and www.nationwide.co.uk and of course www.moneysavingexpert.com
  • Finally to get a definitive professional valuation, consider instructing a surveyor. It maybe an additional cost but by using a respected well trained professional will give both you and any potential buyer reassurance that the property is worth what you’re asking for.

It’s down to you, and them. Your home is worth whatever someone will pay for it. Be clued up, aim to maximise your profit but reasonable.

Preparing the property

The old adage ‘first impressions count’ is particularly apt when showing your house. The potential buyer is likely to make up their mind within minutes, if not seconds, of seeing the property so you must ensure that it is in the best shape possible. You want to draw a positive reaction from every room, even a cupboard “mmm what a handy space”.

first impressions

You don’t have to spend thousands on a complete makeover but whatever the property age, type or location, home buyers are attracted to clean, spacious and reasonably well looked after houses.

Try and sort all those little jobs that you’ve been meaning to do; cut the lawn, fix the squeaky steps, broken tiles etc. Unless you’re selling a real fixer-upper, it is unlikely the buyer will look forward to doing them.

create a warm welcome

Space is important too. Most of us live in an ebb and flow of tidiness with some days being better than others. However a quick tidy up really helps. Simply removing the clutter from counter tops, tables and rooms can make a huge difference. Make the viewer think that they’d like to live in such a clean and tidy space. Sell the dream rather than the reality.

When you have done the Mary Poppins bit, get a friend or neighbour to review the house like a buyer would. Get their opinion on how it “shows.”