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Selling Property in a Falling Market

Things have changed in the UK housing market in recent months – no doubt about that.

But you can still sell your house in a falling market and selling privately makes even more sense when you need to maximise the profit from your sale.

The true cost of using an estate agent is not just the commission you pay them, an average of £5,500.

To understand the real cost, you need to look at how much your property has increased in value since you bought it and what the agent's commission represents of that figure.

For instance, if you bought for £170k and sell for £200k, paying 2% commission at £4,700, that’s actually 16% of the £30,000 capital you have earned on your property.

If the value of your property is falling, you might feel reluctant to let an agent take such a chunk of your capital, particularly if they do so little to earn that money.

Selling privately costs as little as £47, a tiny percentage of your home’s value. A £199 package gets your property an online brochure with twenty colour photos, advertised on an extensive number of property websites (reaching up to three million house-hunters each month), plus a For Sale Board, important at any time, but vital in a falling market as you need maximum exposure in your own local area.

Think what you could do in your new home with the £5,500 you save in estate agents fees, which will stay in your pocket, instead of lining an agents.

New kitchen, bathroom or garden makeover! Or to cover the other costs of moving house - removals, legal fees, stamp duty on the house you are buying. You could even use it to help secure your buyer – people often share the saving they make with their buyer – it’s a great negotiating tool too. You might also be worried that there are no buyers out there. But there are always people who are looking to move because of changes to their personal circumstances – a new baby means that one-bedroomed flat just isn’t big enough, a new job makes a difficult commute impossible, or reaching sixty-five means downsizing to free up the capital to fund retirement.

So if you are want to sell but think now’s not the right time, think again. Putting your property on the market now could be a good tactic, particularly if you share the view of some housing market experts, that prices will fall further still.

There are bargains out there to be had now and there are people who are looking to move but can’t find the right property. Is your property the one for them? Selling privately gives you the option to find out with minimal risk. A small upfront fee and no commissions to pay. The best site to use is HouseWeb. They‘ve been established since 1996 and pioneered private selling on the Web. It shows as their site is very simple to use and your property can be on the market within thirty minutes. This accounts for some of the time saved when selling privately versus an estate agent.

Alliance and Leicester’s survey showed that the average time to sell privately is one month quicker than using an agent.


No middle Man

Did you know that over 5% of Homeowners sell their property without an estate Agent ?


Selling your home using the Internet is now as effective as using an estate agent, with one major difference... You don't pay the agent's commission. That's a typical saving of over £4,000.

For a limited period we're giving away HouseWeb's 21-page "Guide to Selling Your Home", which includes:

  • Selling - Options & Costs?
  • Agent or the Internet?
  • Reducing My Costs
  • What is My Home Worth?
  • The 6 Myths of Agents
  • Marketing my Property

Click here for your free copy

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  • Virtual Tours

    Did you know that 1 in 20 people sell their home privately and save on average over £4,000 in Estate Agent fees?

    Using a Virtual Tour you have the ultimate marketing tool. Combine this with a non-commission advertising package from a private sales specialist and you have a huge saving.

    If you are interested in getting a Virtual Tour, we recommend HouseWeb. A complete advertising package including Virtual Tour costs only £299. Click here for a free Guide to Selling Your Home. HouseWeb also market your property across the top property web sites in the UK, promoting your home to over 2 million househunters.


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    Estate Agent


    Estate agent is a United Kingdom term roughly synonymous with the United States term real estate broker, a business that arranges the selling, renting or management of homes, land and other buildings. However in many instances, estate agents are mainly engaged in the marketing of property available for sale and a solicitor is used to prepare and exchange contracts. It should be noted that, in Ireland, real estate is generally referred to simply as property.

    The term originally referred to a person responsible for managing a landed estate, while those engaged in the buying and selling of homes were "house agents", and those selling land were "land agents". However, sometime during the 20th century "estate agent" started to be used as a generic term, perhaps because it was thought to sound more impressive.

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    Legal Frame

    In the United Kingdom residential estate agents are largely unregulated (although legal provision exists to introduce regulation). Some estate agents are members of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the principal body for UK real estate professionals. However, the vast majority of RICS members — known as Chartered Surveyors — who practice estate agency do so on commercial property. For residential property a trade association, the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA), exists, but as a non-professional body it has limited scope for disciplining members when appropriate. The Ombudsman for Estate Agents Scheme, which obtained the British Government's Office of Fair Trading (OFT) approval for the Code of Practice for Residential Sales in 2005 and, as of November 2006, claims to have 2532 member agencies. There is no legal requirement to belong to either organisation in order to trade as an estate agent. Due to the lack of effective regulation, dishonest and fraudulent practices may exist in the industry



    Since around 2000, a new breed of online estate agents is challenging the traditional fee structure with cheaper, fixed fee selling packages. These online estate agents give private property sellers the ability to market their property through the internet, something cannot be done through traditional private sale websites.



    Estate agents leasing commercial property normally charge between 7–10% of the first years rent as fees, this is in addition to taking the first month's rent in its entirety. This will be the total fee. If, say, two agents are charging 10%, they split this between them. Estate agents selling commercial property (known as investment agents) typical charge 1% of the sale price. Residential letting agent's fees are extremely variable, depending on whether the agent manages the property or simply arranges new tenants. Charges to prospective tenants can vary from zero to £300 in non-refundable fees usually described as "Application", "Administration" or "Processing" fees (or all three). There are no guidelines for letting agents with regard to charges except that they are forbidden by law to charge a fee for seeing a list of properties; otherwise, they are free to charge as they please. The first month's rent in advance plus a refundable bond (usually equal to a month's rent) is also generally required. Most residential lettings in the UK are effected through a particular form of contract known as an "assured shorthold tenancy". Assured shorthold tenancies give less statutory protection in terms of security of tenure than earlier, mostly obsolete, types of residential lease. Assured Shorthold Tenancy agreements are standard contracts generally available from legal stationers and the internet for around £1, the average letting agent will charge £30 to provide such a contract.


    Estate agents selling residential property generally charge between 1/2% to 4% of the sales price plus VAT, depending on the contractual arrangement and whether an individual firm has sole rights to the sale.

    Real Estate Contract

    A real estate contract is a contract for the purchase/sale, exchange, or other conveyance of real estate between parties. Real estate called leasehold estate is actually a rental of real property such as an apartment, and leases (rental contracts) cover such rentals since they typically do not result in recordable deeds. Freehold ("More permanent") conveyances of real estate are covered by real estate contracts, including conveying fee simple title, life estates, remainder estates, and freehold easements. Real estate contracts are typically bilateral contracts (i. e., agreed to by two parties) and should have the legal requirements specified by contract law in general and should also be in writing to be enforceable.

    A real estate contract must:

    * Identify the parties: The full name of the parties must be on the contract. In a sales contract, the parties are the seller(s) and buyer(s) of the real estate, who are often called the principals to distinguish them from real estate agents, who are effectively their intermediaries and representatives in negotiation of the price. If there are any real estate agents brokering the sale, they are typically listed also as the real estate brokers/agents who would earn the commission from the sale.

    * Identify the real estate (property): At least the address, but preferably the legal description must be on the contract.

    * Identify the purchase price: The amount of the sales price or a reasonably ascertainable figure (an appraisal to be completed at a future date) must be on the contract.

    * Include signatures: A real estate contract must be entered into voluntarily (not by force), and must be signed by the parties, to be enforceable.

    * Have a legal purpose: The contract is void if it calls for illegal action.

    * Involve Competent parties: Mentally impaired, drugged persons, etc. cannot enter into a contract. Contracts in which at least one of the parties is a minor are voidable by the minor.

    * Reflect a meeting of the minds: Each side must be clear and agree as to the essential details, rights, and obligations of the contract.

    * Include Consideration: Consideration is something of value bargained for in exchange of the real estate. Money is the most common form of consideration, but other consideration of value, such as other property in exchange, or a promise to perform (i.e. a promise to pay) is also satisfactory.