Selling Your Home: Estate Agent vs. Property Buyers

by PropertyBlawg on December 20, 2012

  • Sumo

Guest post about selling your home and the difference between selling through an estate agent, property scheme or selling directly to a buyer.

If you are thinking of selling your home, then you have a few options available to you. You can either sell it through the conventional estate agent, through a property scheme, or sell it straight to a property buyer.

Selling a Home

You must provide an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) to potential buyers. This provides information on the energy efficiency of your home, graded from A (the most efficient) to G (the least). It is produced by an independent domestic energy assessor. You and those who may be acting on your behalf, an estate agent for instance, needs to ensure that one is available within a week of the house going on the market. You must then decide on what method you will use.

Estate Agent

If you’re going to use an estate agent, then you should research your local agents and find out their fees and what type of property they specialise in. The majority of estate agents calculate their fees as a percentage of the final price of the property. The rate of commission usually stands at 1.5 -2.5%. Some include extras such as advertising costs, preparations such as photographs, a ‘For Sale’ sign, and VAT, but some agents may not, so do be sure to check. Confirm all charges beforehand.

An estate agent will advertise your property for you, show round potential buyers, and negotiate on the price.

Property Buyer

A property buyer is invaluable if you desperately need to move. Companies like NPT guarantee to buy quickly, and the money is in your bank within a month at the most. There are no fees, and some offer to pay your legal fees too. There is no need to market or advertise as they will buy your house outright.


If you want to move but are having difficulties selling then there are a few more options available to you. These are more for those who want to stay in their homes, but need the money.

  • An Exchange with Delayed Completion means that you agree a sale price with your buyer, who then pays a deposit, but the completion doesn’t happen immediately, and happens after a few years.
  • A Lease Options Contract means that a buyer pays you a sum so that they have the right to buy your home in the future. The price does not depend on the value of your home when the sale is actually completed, but as it is now.
  • Sale and Rent Back schemes should be regulated by the Financial Services Authority, so if things go wrong you have someone to make a complaint to. These are risky because it means that you may still be responsible for your mortgage, even if there is a middle man involved. If they were to fall into financial difficulty or even bankruptcy, then it will still be on your head.


Property Law Blogger at PropertyBlawg
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