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buying property privately

(19 Posts)
bundle Thu 12-Feb-04 14:23:54

ie without going through an estate agent. has anyone done this? any tips?

stinky Fri 13-Feb-04 11:15:05

Haven't bought without an agent, but have sold without one. Very easy, you have to do a bit of chasing up yourself but well worth it for the money you save.

zebra Fri 13-Feb-04 11:34:34

We almost sold privately, can tell you about possible pitfalls as a seller! Not sure what, if any, pitfalls would be as a buyer, although if you get bad feelings towards the seller you may find it difficult to keep dealing with them directly. Anyway, as a seller, we saw the estate agent's fee as something we could split with the buyer, which may help you reduce the price slightly.

ks Fri 13-Feb-04 11:38:00

Message withdrawn

womba1 Fri 13-Feb-04 11:40:26

I'm so pleased that this subject has been raised! Our house is on the market with an agent but have had an offer from a couple who just knocked on the door on the off chance for a viewing.
We initially signed a contract with YOUR MOVE for 18 weeks and it's now been 9 months. My dh is really up for this but i've got reservations.
Would be very interested in hearing your experiences...thanks

soothepoo Fri 13-Feb-04 11:52:52

Womba1, you still have a contract with the estate agent unless you have written to them to cancel it. You would still be liable to pay them their fees even if you arranged a viewing yourself - check the small print in your contract. I would tell these people if they are serious about buying the house they should arrange a viewing through the agents. Personally, I would be very suspicious of the motives of someone who knocked on the door on spec, particularly if you have a for sale board outside.

womba1 Fri 13-Feb-04 12:02:43

soothepoo, thanks for that. The girl's Uncle lives over the road and apparently they saw our house on the website but didn't realise it was in the same road as her Uncle. I'm reading the contract as i type..have got my magnifying glass out!! :0

womba1 Fri 13-Feb-04 12:04:14

i'm crap at doing these smiley face thingies...lets try again...

noddy5 Fri 13-Feb-04 12:20:19

We did this and got a buyer but there was no-one to negotiate with when they had their survey done.They claimed there were a host of things wrong and tried to get us to drop the price but when we asked to see the report so that we could negotiate they pulled out and we lost the house we were buying.Estate agents found us another buyer at a better price and things are going smoothly so far.

zebra Fri 13-Feb-04 12:33:00

Our pitfall in selling privately was (perhaps) that our buyer lost his mortgage. We knew that he was fiddling the system, pretending it was a residential buy rather than a buy-to-let, but decided that if the Building Soc. was willing to lend the money, we'd let it go. We also wondered if he could really make the payments -- get the rent to cover, but again, didn't seem like our problem... It was after we exchanged contracts that the buyer's mortgage advisor got caught out, and buyer lost his mortgage. Buyer didn't qualify to get a legit mortgage.

We were naiive in thinking it "wasn't our problem" that we knew the buyer's mortgage wasn't legit, and I suspect the Estate Agents might have caught it because they seem very good (we are now selling through an agent) at checking financing.

*BUT*, a lot of people in our town (presumably almost all selling through agents) were caught out like us, where mortgage offers from a particular local Building Soc branch were no good -- it was a our own local version of the Self-Cert scandal. So I don't know if selling via an agent would have really protected us or not.

Lesson learnt: I would be blunt about asking about buyer's finances in the future, if selling privately. We were lucky we were planning to rent and hadn't even started looking yet, when our buyer fell through.

sobernow Fri 13-Feb-04 12:43:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Batters Fri 13-Feb-04 12:59:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

chickpea Fri 13-Feb-04 14:17:21

I think that buying privately is probably better than selling privately. With selling you save the agent's fees (that can be very substantial) but you are never quite sure if you are getting the best price as most people looking for property will just shop the agents. If you have found a property you are interested in then you may get a better deal as a buyer.

As the others have mentioned be prepared to deal regularly with the other party and call up and down the chain yourself if anything needs sorting out like arranging a completion date etc.

I am a solictor and deal with a lot of resi conveyancing (can give you a competitive quote if you haven't got a sol already!) I've said that twice now on mumsnet people really will think that I am touting for business!!

Happy house hunting

CP Fri 13-Feb-04 19:32:41

We have just moved and bought the house privately, the previous owners were a joy to deal with and although dh did all of the negotiating I know it went really smoothly on both sides, even when there was a slight hiccup with the survey/valuation. The hubby still works in the area and even popped in for tea last week. We were really lucky I think as we got on so well with them.

lalaa Sat 14-Feb-04 19:55:32

have just sold privately to friends and it's all been unbelievably straightforward. we've all been a step ahead of our solicitors and when there have been slight issues, have been able to talk direct to our buyers, explain things and get it resolved very quickly. highly recommend it!

Toots Sat 14-Feb-04 21:06:40

Sold our flat through (think that's right). Was also on with the Woolwich, this was 2001, don't know if policies have changed, but they were agreeable at the time - whoever got the sale first, won. Got a lovely buyer, and found the whole thing really easy. Helped that he came to view the second time with his parents who were backing him, they all seemed very trustworthy. Have stayed in touch and his partner gave me some work this year which has provided the bulk of my income. I think you have to be really careful that your buyer is someone you feel comfortable talking to about the serious stuff, and that you feel is decent. I'm really aware it could have been a nightmare.

tigermoth Sun 15-Feb-04 08:50:01

toots - hello! how are things at school now? sorry to hijack the thread!

bundle Wed 18-Feb-04 12:23:52

thanks everyone, and chickpea will bear you in mind. we're looking at buying a flat above our own so we can effectively double our space without moving out of the area (can't afford the hike from flat to house in our area). it would mean building a staircase up into the other property, and presumably having it regraded for council tax (there is another flat above that one too).

Sonnet Wed 18-Feb-04 12:50:03

Woomba1 - beware...
If the buyer found out about your propery because you have an agents board outside or on an agents website (did you mention website?) then the agent found the buyer for you and you are eligible for fees...
Good luck - hope it all works out!

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