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Has anyone bought direct from the seller, not via estate agent?

(9 Posts)
FingonTheValiant Sat 08-Jan-11 19:31:42

Hi, we've been house-hunting for a while now, and haven't had much luck (found one lovely house, negotiations going swimmingly, seller buggered off angry ). However on a website we've found a house that really interests us, but it's not via an estate agent.

We've contacted the owner for more photos and details (we're moving back to France, so can't just nip over for a viewing sadly), and if it looks promising we'll arrange to go and see it. But I'm just wondering if there are any major pitfalls when buying direct? Anything we need to make sure we find out, that the EA would normally tell us?

Thanks very much

1percentawake Sat 08-Jan-11 20:08:57

We bought our house directly from the seller because we were renting it and then agreed to buy it. The things we had to negotiate ourselves were:

Agreed sale price - obviously you won't get official letter from EA to confirm sale price. Fortunately we were buying from a business who had sold properties before so we did get an official letter from seller.

Fixtures and fittings - usually EA does all this but we just agreed on what was included in sale.

Who is currently in house - if tenanted could be an issue but your solicitor should provide advice.

A solicitor should be able to work through anything else with you but these are just the main things we were aware of.

Good luck with the house!

BodleianBabe Sat 08-Jan-11 20:47:34

I bought my first house directly off a friend so no estate agents. I suppose the big thing about EA's is they can do all the negotiating for you and if you're no good at haggling etc etc it can be a bit of a problem.

My first mistake was not to haggle on the price but it was v difficult because she was a friend.

Fixtures and fittings again I agreed to buy certain items from her based on the fact that becaus eI knew her i knew the fridge, oven and washing machine were only 12-18 months old. My dad hadn't thought it was a good idea and thought it would be better to buy new when I moved in. Wish I'd listened. Didn't get our agreement in writing.

Imagine my horror when moving in to find that the appliances I'd agreed to buy had been replaced by her boyfriends skanky reconditioned ones (she was moving into his house)!!! When I tackled her about it (politely) she expressed surprise that I thought she was leaving her appliances because they were 'only 12 months old!!!' and she paid a lot more money for them than she'd charged me - yes exactly. Of course I had nothing in writing and no one to back me up over what had been said so I was stuck with it.

I would say if you agree anything you need to get it in writing and passed via the solicitors (which writing down is pretty obvious but this was 20 years ago and i was young and naive!!).

FingonTheValiant Sat 08-Jan-11 22:17:25

Ok great, so I'll nail down the details and get everything in writing, signed and looked at by the solicitor.

I hadn't thought about sorting the fixtures and fittings, thanks for that!

And we'll haggle. I need to have a look at local EAs to see what everything else goes for around there.

Thank you so much!

cece Sat 08-Jan-11 22:26:04

We sold ours privately.

The difficult bit was the haggling over price. Took about 3 phone calls in total. The fixtures and fittings list was dealt with via the solicitor.

TBH our solicitor handled most of it. All we had to do was agree a price. Get the full names and address of our buyers and their mortgage company. We handed the info to solictor and that was it!

Oh and when the inevitable problems arose we phoned each other directly and sorted them out immediately between us. Communication was good I found, better than wehn selling via an EA.

DisparityCausesInstability Sat 08-Jan-11 22:43:34

I bought a flat via an estate agent - the new appliances were included in the deal but when we moved in they had been replaced with skanky ones too.

What was worse was that the seller had left the country and there was very little that could be done.

Some people are just crooks.angry

sunnylabsmum Sun 09-Jan-11 15:28:14

sold a flat without EA as someone we knew approached us to ask if it was for sale...wasn't but decided to offer it to her. She made an offer and we asked her to up it a bit and she said yes. Once in the hand of solicitors no real need in this case for an EA. Ours was chance and saved us alot

lalalonglegs Sun 09-Jan-11 16:33:02

Of the five properties I've bought, four have been private sales (other one was at auction so never used an estate agent). Compared to everything I hear on MN and elsewhere, it's an infinitely preferable way of doing business.

FingonTheValiant Sun 09-Jan-11 19:53:09

Thanks for all the advice and experiences everyone.

We've had the photos through and it looks really promising, so we're going to arrange a viewing for the end of Jan (it's been on the market since the summer, so we're thinking it should be fine to leave it til then).

We don't have any house buying/selling experience, so we're taking my DPs along, and they're going to do a list of the things to ask and get sorted.

I'm hoping that the owner will be open to haggling. He seems to be asking for an EA price, but won't be handing over the 10% fees, so fingers crossed we can meet in the middle somewhere. Plus it's a dead market in that area at the moment!

So far the EAs we've dealt with have been pretty useless, so I'm inclined to agree with you lala

Thanks again

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