If you’re the owner of a house or flat that’s in poor condition but you’re eager to sell it soon, you might be tempted to contact an estate agent to handle the sale because of what seem like the initial benefits. Not only will choosing this option mean that the estate agent handles the listing and marketing of the home, they’ll also take care of viewings for potential buyers.
But it’s important to be cautious when thinking about selling a property in poor condition through an estate agent, because there are some drawbacks you might not be aware exist.
Because you’re trying to sell a home that’s not in the best shape, you run the risk of having a tentative contract for sale fall through if a buyer gets second thoughts.
And more ominously, not all estate agents are scrupulous about the sale process. Although many operate completely above board, there are still some estate agents who will make backhand deals without telling you – leaving you with a much lower sale price.
Thankfully there are alternative choices for selling houses even in poor condition, including auction or through a reputable property buying company such as ldn-properties.co.uk. If you are still considering an estate agent, then it’s imperative to be informed about the potential negative outcomes.
Estate agent sales of properties in poor condition often fall through
Even if you have a decent estate agency who works tirelessly to find a buyer for your home, you should know that sales of properties in poor condition can often fall through at some point in the process from the buyer making an offer through to the preparation of the final private treaty sale documents. And for those that do go through to completion of sale, quite often buyers will seek to pay a reduced price because of the state of the house or flat.
This means that you’re selling a house that’s already likely to generate less interest than a home in perfect condition, and you should be prepared for significant uncertainty in terms of the timing and the final sale price that the estate agent might secure.
Some estate agents may not be clear when selling your home
Unfortunately, not every estate agent is reputable, and some look at homeowners with properties in poor condition as a chance to make an easy gain.
Typically an estate agent will overpromise on a sale price for your home in order to convince you to give them the sale instruction. They often do this since they have already secured a buyer, even though that buyer plans to pay significantly less than the sale price that the estate agent told you. Essentially, you’re convinced to choose the estate agent without knowing that you will be tempted to sell for a low price they’ve already agreed with someone.
Alternative options for selling your property in poor condition
If you have decided against working with an estate agent to sell your home in poor condition, there are at least two alternative options for finding a buyer.
Auctioning your home might be useful if you’d like a definitive date for when you’ll sell, because the date of the auction marks the deadline for when someone will buy your home. If absolute certainty about the sale date is your top priority, this can be a good choice.
But auctions also come with a rather large downside with the uncertainty about the final sale price. Auctioneers often convince homeowners to set the opening minimum reserve bid at a low value in order to generate more interest in the house, even if that price is below what you’re really willing to accept for the home. The hope is that the low price will spur competitive bidding that significantly increases the bids above your minimum bid, so you make a good profit. However this is a gamble, and there’s no guarantee you’ll make more than the reserve price. If achieving sale price certainty is what you require, the auction room isn’t the best decision.
Another way to sell your house quickly and for a competitive price is to work with a reputable property buying company. As an example, LDN Properties has been buying houses and flats across London since 2003 and cuts out the middleman by working directly with homeowners to give them fast and zero-fee cash offers to buy houses, even when they’re in poor condition. This can be an ideal way to secure an acceptable price and a speedy sale.
Not all estate agents are acting irresponsibly, and there are many reputable estate agents who can work with you to sell a home in poor condition. But consider the above information to guide your final decision on which choice for selling is best for your circumstances.