The era of relying on old-fashioned newspaper adverts and photographic listings on the wall of an estate agent are numbered. RightMove and Zoopla started the housing revolution 15 years ago, linking the searcher with relevant properties.
We’re now rapidly reaching a time when the high street estate agents themselves are under threat, because online only agents are streamlining the process and slashing costs for the seller. If you want to sell your home with quit claim deed, without taking on the abilities of a traditional estate agent, here’s how in eight easy steps:
1) Make the house look good
Even if you don’t end up selling it for whatever reason, at least you’ve made your house look nicer for future use. Sweep over it and replace tiles and carpets, cracked windows, old-fashioned lights and broken doorknobs, and anything else that should really have been revamped several years ago.
2) Arrive upon a realistic price
The delicate decision of the price needs careful and considered research, because it could add months or years onto the term of the home being on-sale. Try to establish a few prices of similar properties in the neighbourhood, and then arrive at a realistic value. It’s a risky business and one of the toughest challenges of the process as the current market hits a new high.
3) Look for an online estate agent website
You won’t struggle for online agents, but there’s a huge array of diversity and options that must be reviewed before proceeding. The one thing you do know is that the surprise costs and multiple phone calls should reduce in volume, and that the seller largely fits the service around what they are willing to pay.
4) Create a checklist
There are several ‘must haves’ on the list of items that an online estate agent should offer. Is the agent a member of The Property Ombudsman scheme, a voluntary membership that shows good customer care? Are the costs of selling clearly visible? Can you reach a human being on the other end of a telephone? Some sites, such as HouseSimple.com, provide a list of their benefits in easily digestible form.
5) Get it on the market
If photographs and floor plans are included as part of the package (and they should be) a professional will come and snap your house in its best light, and a written description will be crafted. The process is usually a fairly speedy one, getting your house on the market within a few days.
Once your property is on the market there’s no need to stop working. The world of social media can spread the word rapidly; for example, if you have 200 Facebook friends, and they share your sale with their 200 friends, then 40,000 people (give or take) could potentially see your beautiful home.
7) Arrange viewings
Viewings will be organised through the online agent, but be prepared to be flexible with your times. Even though home life is clearly different from the online world, homebuyers will expect to be given a wide range of times when they can pop in and see your house. Good online-only agents will provide you with statistics concerning the number of people browsing your advert.
8) Offers and completion
Much of the process will continue as you would expect from here: negotiations will probably take place on your behalf once you’ve received an offer and the legal minutiae will be ironed out. Once a date is agreed contracts will be exchanged and a date for completion will be set – and then you’re virtually home and dry.