When looking to sell a house, homeowners have a few different choices that they may not be aware of. Most homeowners think that they can only sell their house through a traditional estate agent, but they don’t always realise that there are other ways that they can sell. Here, we look into the reasons that more homeowners are selling their properties off-market instead, and why this selling method might appeal to you.
- Faster sale
One of the worst parts of selling a house as a homeowner is the time that it can take to sell. On average, it takes 6 months to sell a house, and this can often be too long if you’re looking to sell in a shorter time frame. There are several reasons that homeowners want to sell their house quickly- whether it be a change in circumstances meaning you need to move elsewhere, a divorce that has meant you want to sell the house and move on, or if you’ve found your dream house and need to sell quickly to buy it, they all come down to the same need. Selling your house off-market can be much quicker than going down the traditional route, making it appealing for lots of homeowners. The downside to this is that while the sale itself may be faster, it can take longer for you to find your buyer, so you will need to think about how you will advertise your property is for sale if you’re not interested in going on the open market.
There is also usually more security, as these buyers will often be cash buyers that aren’t relying on a mortgage approval or on their own sale in order to complete with you. This means less chance of a break in the chain, which can be catastrophic to any homeowner selling their house. Another advantage of selling to a cash buyer, such as We Buy Any House, is that the process moves faster as there is less paperwork involved to approve. This speed is one of the biggest benefits of selling off-market, as it sidesteps the general delays that homeowners face when selling on the open market – it also avoids slow-downs in communication, as there are less middle-men in the form of estate agents.
- Keeping costs down
When selling your house through an estate agent, there will be fees that you need to pay. This can be anything from 3-5% of your sale- but you may not want to pay this on top of the other fees involved in selling a house. Along with the additional fees, such as stamp duty, legal fees, moving costs and your deposit, buying and selling a house is one of the most expensive purchases most people will make, so anything you can do to keep that cost down is often a blessing to homeowners. Selling off-market means that you can avoid estate agent fees, saving money. You can take your own photos to advertise your house rather than paying an agent to take these photos too, to keep costs down.
- Clearer selling prices
If you choose to sell your house on the open market, you will usually have an asking price that’s higher than the price you’ll settle for. This is a standard procedure and allows for bargaining for both the buyer and seller, but can mean that you end up getting a lower price than you wanted to sell for if your buyer isn’t prepared to budge. You can decide to wait for the next buyer, but this could take weeks or months, by which point with your house having been on the market for an extended period of time will result in your value dropping. Deciding to sell off-market can allow you to advertise for exactly the price you want and let you test the market without damaging your value and risking a loss when you sell. It gives you more security as if you don’t get an offer you’re happy with, you can wait without having your value put at risk. This is an excellent option for homeowners who know that they want to sell, but also want to wait for the best timing – it gives more freedom than selling traditionally and means you won’t suffer from being on the market for months on end.
What are the negatives to selling off-market?
Selling off the market isn’t for everyone, as there is a risk of a lower offer than you may have received on the open market. Often, however, this risk is worth taking if you’re looking for a faster sale with less strings attached. Especially now, with house prices decreasing, more and more homeowners are having to accept lower offers on the open market anyway, while waiting 6 months for the sale to complete. Choosing to sell off the market cuts those times down, which is usually more than worth the risk of a lower sale price for homeowners wanting to sell.
You may also find that advertising yourself to sell off the market is harder, as an estate agent would usually handle this when you’re selling in the traditional way. This can be combatted by doing your research and finding out what has worked for other homeowners who have sold off-market.