A Guide to Private House Sales

What is a private house sale?

A private house sale is the sale of a property without the services of a traditional estate agent. If you sell your house privately you have the responsibility of organising the marketing process, conducting your own viewings with potential purchasers and negotiating the final sale price.

Who can sell privately?

Legally, any home owner can sell property privately. Practically, private house sales usually take place between family members or neighbours who are already familiar with the property and feel comfortable in negotiating a fair price with each other. 

What are the advantages of selling privately?

Traditional estate agents on your local high street charge commission for introducing you to your purchaser and for helping you agree a final sale price. Commission is usually in the region of 1 - 1.5% of your final sale price. Your can therefore save this cost if you choose to sell privately. 

What are the disadvantages of selling privately?

Selling your home is usually quicker and less stressful if you have the right support and marketing tools to do so. Professional estate agents have the expertise to introduce potential buyers and to decide what price will be the most sensible for your property.

Once your sale has been agreed in principle, there may be structural issues highlighted by your buyer’s surveyor or legal issues raised by their solicitor during the conveyancing process. Estate agents can assist you and your legal representatives with any further negotiations needed until exchange of contracts takes place. In addition, estate agents can also liaise with your buyer’s solicitors whereas the solicitors will not be able to speak with you directly due to principles of confidentiality.

Using an online estate agency may be a compromise if you are looking to save money but do not feel confident with a completely private sale.

Do private house sales require legal assistance?

All property sales should involve the assistance of a legal professional to ensure the correct legal procedures are followed up to, and including, exchange of contracts and the transfer of property ownership.

If you have a mortgage on the property, your lender may require you to instruct a solicitor to redeem the mortgage. The buyer’s solicitors may also require a solicitor to ensure that the legal formalities of redemption are completed and that the legal mortgage charge is removed from the property on completion.

If you have agreed to sell your property, privately or otherwise, and wish to instruct us to act on your behalf, please call us on 01925 263273 to obtain a quote. 

Post By: Catherine Gibbons


Article Disclaimer

This article is for general information only and does not constitute specific advice.  You should not rely on the information in this article.  Fiona Bruce Solicitors recommends that you seek our specific advice if you wish to rely on the any part of this article.  Whilst Fiona Bruce Solicitors makes every effort to ensure that the article is accurate, Fiona Bruce Solicitors excludes all liability for claim, loss, demands or damages of any kind whatsoever (whether such claims, loss, demands or damages were foreseeable, known or otherwise) arising out of or in connection with the use of this article or any other information contained on this website.  Any information provided only applies to England and Wales.


Posted on January 20, 2015 and filed under Conveyancing, Property, Personal.