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Selling a house privately? Any advice much appreciated

(11 Posts)

The long and short of it:

My DM's house is in a state of disrepair. After many years of inertia she finally accepts that she needs to sell.

A few days ago (after mentioning possibility of selling to NDN), a letter appeared from another neighbour, asking that if she does want to sell, would she consider them. They are currently renting and missed out on another house sold in the same street a few months ago.

From what DM has told me (I haven't seen the letter yet), they are talking up the fact that it could be done privately. They know that the house needs work and have the time to do it whilst staying in their current rental. They are desperate to stay on the street for family reasons and, to be honest, they tick a box that, quite rightly, couldn't be guaranteed on the open market, which is that my DM wants the house to be sold to a family that will love and cherish it. I don't doubt for one moment that this family would be the perfect owners.

We are clueless though! What are the legalities of selling privately? I've only just found out about it, so will do as much research as I can, but if there is anyone out there with any experience or advice it would be very much appreciated.

specialsubject Mon 17-Feb-14 14:44:39

it's all perfectly legal, all that is different is that no estate agent involved which will save your mother some money. There is NO reason to knock this off the value though, despite what the buyers are saying!

pricing it correctly will take some research but you can see what local houses have sold for and are on for. Of course if it is in a state then it will be worth correspondingly less.

use a solicitor for the legalities and I see no problem.

Molecule Mon 17-Feb-14 15:16:20

It's perfectly easy, so long as you or your DM are happy to talk to the buyer, rather than use an estate agent as an intermediary. Might be worth getting a valuation done if no similar properties nearby are being sold, so you have a benchmark figure with which to negotiate.

Once the price is agreed then the solicitors deal with the legalities.

Fantastic, thanks to you both.

We have an idea of value if no work was required as the house that sold recently is almost identical, but we need to find out how much the required work would cost, in which case I'm assuming we'd need a survey?

I've never been involved in buying or selling property so am very appreciative of your advice. Time to find a good solicitor smile

specialsubject Mon 17-Feb-14 17:30:56

survey is done by your buyers, not you. Surveys also don't always give costs.

I assume you want an idea of the costs of the work in order to set the price. Do you have any friendly tradesmen you could ask for a rough idea?

chaosagain Tue 18-Feb-14 20:54:05

We sold a property privately and it was just the same, except for not paying the estate agent's take. We hadn't intended to sell ours privately, it just happened that way (block of flats and we put a notice up in the lobby on the off chance whilst the estate agent was doing his thing and were approached by someone who was renting and loved the block).

If I were to do it again I'd get 2 or 3 estate agents round to value the house and then let them know you haven't decided to go with any of them. That should help you in agreeing a price with your vendor. You then get solicitors in the same way you usually do and the buyers will want to get a survey and may want to re-discuss price with you dependent on what the survey finds.

Having spent the last 3 years living in a 'fixer upper' house I'd caution against getting friendly tradesmen to give you a rough idea - I think surveyor work is quite specialist as it spans so many areas of trade (and the surveyor who did our house did give us ball park costs for the big stuff (roof repairs, insulating the property, replacing full water system, rebuilding a ceiling etc) and has been broadly accurate).

Thanks chaos - my DSis is keen to go down the estate agent route for valuation as it turns out that prices have risen considerably since the last house was sold on the street.

There's an awful lot of work to be done and to be honest I think we would feel happier getting a survey so we have an idea of the costs. Hopefully then the buyer's survey will match up with ours and we can agree a price quite easily.

Crutchlow35 Thu 20-Feb-14 18:09:21

If you are in Scotland, rules are different but yes, get a few estate agents out and get a good idea of valuation.

greenfolder Thu 20-Feb-14 20:46:26

If I were you, I would get 3 valuations and then just invite them to offer. We had a remarkably similar situation with my pil house. Next door neighbours were renting, keen to stay on street. The house needed complete refurbishment. They made an offer which was accepted. They has plenty of opportunity to cost any work before offering. Once they have made an offer you are happy with, instruct a solicitor

Frogbyanothername Fri 21-Feb-14 21:56:16

I sold my house privately. I had it valued by three estate agents, then I received a private offer before it went on the agents books. I haggled with the private buyers (I had a minimum that I couldn't go below), placed it in the hands of solicitors and it was all done very easily.
The weirdest bit was handing over the keys, as I did that in person rather than via an agent.

nauticant Sat 22-Feb-14 08:17:36

One thing to bear in mind is that they buyers might make out that they are doing you a favour and you should sell at a discount to them. If you sell at the going market rate, you still both win. They get the house they want and buying and moving become very straightforward for them and you get to save costs on an agent being in the middle and raking off some of the money.

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