HouseWeb Testimonials

Lesley Newton told us about her first experience of selling privately

I had been in my flat for 9 years, but I wanted a garden and to get away from the high management company charges.  I’d also grown out of the 'communal living' thing and wanted more privacy and to be responsible for my own space. My boyfriend and I had decided to buy a house together and had our eye on a specific house. When we saw it for sale on the internet we decided to sell my flat. 

After trying to sell via an agent last year and being frustrated by their practises and the lies they told, I wanted to try and sell without their ‘help’ They had assured us that people they brought round  had secure jobs, passports and deposits but I lost two buyers over passport issues, which cost me over £2000 in legal costs.

I had read about private sales in the Sunday Times and knew that my flat did not require a hard sell and  would view very well. HouseWeb was mentioned specifically and I liked the look of the site when I checked it out on line. I was in a hurry at that time as I had found my dream house but thought I would give the private sale two months and see what happened.  

Doing the advert was very easy - I took photographs of the flat - some on my phone but later on a standard digital camera and uploaded them – it was very straightforward to cut and paste the property description on to the site. HouseWeb helped me with advice regarding the photographs and there was always someone available to speak to.

We sold the flat in 4 weeks. Although we lost the first buyer we later accepted an offer which completed within 10 weeks. Doing it this way we saved approximately £3,000. I sold it for the valuation less what their charges would have been as I wanted to pass on the benefit of selling privately to my buyer - so I made the same profit but without the hassle of dealing with a third party.

The process was far far less stressful than using an estate agent - there were only three of us in the chain of two houses - any questions we had were done by emails so it was instant response.  The solicitors are the ones who do all the work for far less money! There was no stage of the process which a fairly capable person with access to a phone or email could not do themselves.

Unless you have a problem selling your property I  would say never use an Estate Agent. It is not a profession - we realised very quickly that most of the agents who came round were not to be trusted and in several cases were downright dishonest.  After we accepted offers privately an agent tried to get us to take higher ones from a buyer they found - we would not and they kept increasing the offer. Perhaps if you would not be available to show people around you may want to use an agent - but we went on holiday during the sale and left the keys with a friend - we were still able to manage the process via email/the phone

The tips and hints I would like to pass on to future clients are

  • Ensure house is immaculately tidy for the pictures and show all rooms (pay for the package with  more photographs); the more they can see on line the fewer time wasters you will have . 
  • Definitely get the 'For Sale' sign as this does get enquiries. 
  • Keep contact details of all who enquire in case the first offer you accept falls through.

The business of buying and selling is stressful enough and there is so much to do that you don’t need to add to it using estate agents - it is so much quicker to just call each other direct - we had an issue as the survey said a new roof was needed - we were able to just deal directly with the vendor and come to an agreement regarding the cost - I know if an agent was involved it could have got difficult as their main priority is keeping the cost up as high as possible.  The solicitors were happy to deal just with us rather than agents as well.  Every person who came to see the property was  a serious buyer (all who saw it made offers!) where the agent will bring round people who they know are looking for something else just to get viewers through the door.  Even if people give it a  go for three months - they may lose £200 but the chances are they will save far more as we did . I was delighted with the service from - they were so helpful - I had problems getting the sign delivered at work etc and they went out of their way to help.  I can’t fault them at all.  I think most people who did call saw the house via the other external sites HouseWeb upload their properties to.


More Case Studies

Selling or renting a property? Click here to find out about advertising it on HouseWeb.

To see how easy it is to advertise, try out the one minute demo.

View the current properties.