Rightmove's guide to selling

Selling through an estate agent or privately

Step 3 - Selling through an estate agent or privately

It is possible to sell your property privately, but there are significant risks attached. For most people, selling a home is the biggest and most important transaction they will ever make. Using professionals for each part of the process provides you with expert knowledge and legal protection. Besides, selling on your own can be expensive and time consuming.

You will be responsible for:

  • Setting the price
  • Marketing
  • Arranging viewings
  • Negotiating the offers
  • Progressing the sale through solicitors and conveyancers.

Private sale websites are usually only popular with one type of person - other sellers. There is not usually enough property stock on these websites to lure serious buyers and keep them there.

In order to give buyers and sellers the best possible protection and service, Rightmove does not accept property advertisements from private sellers or private landlords. All the property featured on our site must comply with the requirements of the Property Misdescriptions Act 1991.

Jargon Buster - Property Misdescriptions Act

The Property Misdescriptions Act 1991 makes it an offence for an estate agent or property developer to make false or misleading statements in the course of their business. The Act is enforced by Trading Standards Officers. Find out more on the DTI website.

We recommend using an agent registered on Rightmove who can apply their expertise, local knowledge and marketing power to add real value to your sale.

The advantages of using an estate agent

Estate agents spend all day, every day selling property and as a result have built up a vast knowledge and expertise in the whole buying and selling process. They will conduct a valuation on your property, handle viewings and negotiations on your behalf and make sure your property is marketed properly. They will strive to achieve the best possible price for your property and the best buyer, thereby avoiding disappointment and stress from less serious potential buyers.

On top of this a good estate agent will also be able to offer you plenty of advice along the way. This includes guidance on conveyancing and financial services.

How to choose the right agent

Make sure your estate agent comes with a glowing reference. Ask your family, colleagues, friends and neighbours about their recent selling experiences.

Use the find an estate agent facility on Rightmove, which is a simple way of short listing potential estate agents in your local area. Pick an estate agent with a proven track record in selling - a quick look around your local area looking for 'Sold' boards is a great indicator for this. Search for your selected estate agents on Rightmove to see if they have experience in selling your kind of property.

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Our top tips for choosing an estate agent so you know what to look for.

Once you have chosen your three agents, they will visit your property and recommend an asking price. Ask them how they plan on marketing your property. A good estate agent will invest in marketing on behalf of the seller, take photos of your property and compile the description; so be very wary of those that ask you to do this yourself.

Finally, check the small print. Once you have selected your agent, make sure that you check the terms of appointment. It is your responsibility to know what you have agreed to before signing anything legally binding.

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