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Selling your house - a quick guide to a quicker, more certain sale

Selling your house is a risky business. Our house selling guide is here to help.

Trying to sell quickly or with a high degree of certainty can be hair-raising. Attempting to do both at once can be down right disappointing.

But you can do it.

The secret of success is to manage the risks – and your expectations. If you don’t, you’re unlikely to get what you want.

A recent edition of the BBC's Money Programme illustrated this beautifully. When it comes to selling your house there is no "one fits all" solution.

We are here to help. Help you, help yourself. Helping you navigate the pitfalls of selling your house. Not selling short but not setting unrealistic hurdles either. Well intended but unrealistic expectations are the enemy of the house seller.

For example, some house sellers appear to start their quest for a quick house sale with a figure in mind before they have even researched prices.

Selling your house - four main ways

Our 'at a glance' house selling guide below, shows the four main ways to sell your house. There are some variations including sale by formal or informal tender (sealed bids) or using online estate agents but these four represent the main options.


Speed and assurance - four ways to sell your house
Estate agents Selling privately Property auctions Cash property buyers
Who negotiates? Estate agent Seller Seller sets reserve & special conditions Seller
Seller's involvement? Low High Medium Medium
Buyer selection? Seller  Seller  No - highest bidder Seller 
Buyer's situation? Variable Variable Chainfree Chainfree
Achievable price? High High Variable Typically below market value
Timeframe? 3 - 6 months 3  - 6 months + 28 days or less 1 month or less
Reliability? Low - medium Low - medium High High - medium
Who's in control? Typically - buyer Typically - buyer Seller Seller
Out of  pocket costs? High Medium Medium Low

For the house seller in a hurry or in search of a watertight sale the table compares your options for selling your house on some key areas.

These strategies are not mutually exclusive ways of selling your house although they are often presented as such…. Under some circumstances it can be in your interests to use two methods or more. This can be effective as long as you keep your eyes peeled. Restrictive small print lies in wait for the unwary, potentially sending the cost of selling a house skywards. Also, the true cost of selling a house can remain hidden from view.

But more often than not what happens is that sellers progress through the various options in a more or less serial fashion….wasting time in the process. That can be OK if a quick sale means six months. But often it doesn’t.

Perhaps you’re determined to handle your own sale. You can cut costs but are you confident of your marketing ability? Can you find the best buyer for your sale?

There's a lot to think about..

Most people start by deciding to sell through an estate agent without giving it a second thought. Regardless of their circumstances. But you won't make the same mistake when selling your house, will you?

Up front you need to ask yourself some simple questions. Use our table for guidance. Focus on reliability, the amount of time you have and value for money. The latter is subject. It depends what you really want from your house sale.

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