Should you sell a property privately or with an estate agent?

Selling a property is an exciting experience. However it comes with a whole host of expenses (such as fees for estate agents, solicitors and removals) and can also be an emotional rollercoaster. Deciding whether you sell your property privately or through an agent is the first important decision to make, as while there are considerable cost savings to be made by selling a property yourself, you’re taking on all the advertising, viewing and negotiation work that an estate agent would otherwise handle.

This article will weigh up the pros and cons of selling your European property with or without an estate agent, to help you decide which is the best approach for you.

Why sell a property with an estate agent?

If you sell with an estate agent, you will have a choice between a traditional agent or an online or hybrid agent. Fees tend to be lower with online or hybrid agents and can often be fixed, however you may be expected to take on some of the selling tasks yourself such as conducting viewings. With a traditional estate agent, the fee you pay will depend on the level of service you require, the type of contract you enter into, and ultimately the price you sell your property for. While estate agent fees add more to the overall cost of selling, there are many positives to using a professional’s services, such as convenience and utilising their selling expertise.

Marketing the property & conducting viewings

A traditional estate agent will be able to create professional looking marketing materials for your property such as photographs and floorplans, and will have access to many different channels to promote your property. This not only includes getting the property listed on well known websites, but also in adverts in the local press and property publications, as well as their own branch windows. They may also know of buyers who would be interested in your particular property and can contact them directly.

An estate agent can also eliminate the time and hassle of showing potential buyers around your property, however with traditional agents viewings are usually limited to their office hours. Online agents may be more flexible, but they may ask you to conduct your own viewings to keep your fees low.

Market expertise & sales skills

Estate agents can use their many years of experience combined with local market knowledge to help you get the best price for your property. To gauge their experience in your market, you can ask them how many properties they have sold like yours in the last few months and what prices they achieved. They can also help you set the correct asking price for your property, to balance buyer interest while maximising your potential profit.

Estate agents are also expert negotiators, and they are likely to be able to obtain a higher price for your property than you would do yourself. Having an emotional investment in the property you are selling may impact your negotiating skills and prevent you from selling quickly.

Why sell a property privately?

The main advantage of selling a property in Europe privately are the considerable cost savings to be made as a result of not paying any estate agent fees. However, whether this is the right option for you will depend on a number of factors, and you should ask yourself the following questions before going down this route.

Do you already know someone who is interested in buying your property?

If you already have a potential buyer before putting your property on the market, then selling directly to them will avoid unnecessary estate agent fees. However, you should always use a solicitor when selling privately to handle the legal paperwork involved with the sale.

Do you have plenty of free time available?

Selling your house privately means managing your own advertising and conducting your own viewings. This requires many hours of time each week, so if you have heavy work or caring commitments, adding a property sale to your agenda may prove too much for you to handle comfortably.

Our recommendation is that you look at it as a second job and pay yourself a salary! There are three things to consider and these are: the value of the property you are selling, the commission you would pay to an estate agent and the number of hours you need to spend on advertising, conduction viewings and managing the sale. Check here how much you could pay yourself here:

Pay yourself calculator!

100,000 €
2.5 %
The estate agent commission is 2,500 €
168 hours (21 working days)
You could pay yourself 14.8 € an hour or 119 € a day!

Is your property straightforward to sell?

Common property types such as houses where you own the freehold are the simplest to sell in terms of legal details. However if your property has a complicated leasehold arrangement, a lease that is soon to expire, or anything else unusual about it, then navigating the legal nuances may be best left to an experienced estate agent.

Which selling option is best for me?

Ultimately, whether you sell a property yourself or through an agent will depend on your unique circumstances. Time and money are the most important factors, as well as the level of potential stress you are prepared to take on.