Selling your own home? Avoid the pitfalls that put off 8 in 10 buyers

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Thousands of homeowners are choosing to bypass estate agents – and their commission fees – by choosing to sell their properties online instead for a fixed fee. However, research by AXA Insurance has shown that inexperienced sellers may be putting off buyers by being overly zealous.

Recent statistics show that over one third (35 per cent) of people feel the commission paid to estate agents is the most annoying cost of moving home, which is why many are choosing to bypass estate agents entirely and sell their properties online.

However, even though selling properties online can save homeowners money, research by AXA Insurance has found that when it comes to being shown round a potential property, respondents were split on whether they would prefer to be accompanied by an estate agent or the owner.

Forty-three per cent of people said they would rather the owner show them round a home compared to 33 per cent who chose estate agents. However, 22 per cent said they wouldn’t mind the owner showing them round, but only if they gave them space. Unfortunately, owners can often fall into the trap of being too involved when it comes selling their homes, but with eight out of ten per cent of people saying an owner acting strangely would put them off, they may want to start taking a step back. 

“Selling your home via a website is becoming increasingly popular with people who struggle to, or want to avoid, paying commission fees to estate agents. However, if you’ve never sold a home before you could fall foul of putting off potential buyers by being over-zealous or making small mistakes. People are often attached to their homes, even if they are selling them, but by being too involved in the selling process you can ultimately put buyers off.” Gareth Howell, Managing Director, AXA Direct.

To help homeowners thinking of selling their properties on their own, AXA has created an infographic showing the biggest “dos” and “don’ts”. Along with not acting strangely around buyers, the infographic includes some seemingly obvious yet important issues, such as making sure there are no strange smells, which a massive 9 in 10 said would put them off. Issues with neighbours (89 per cent), lack of natural light (89 per cent) and dirty bathrooms (82 per cent) are also huge “no-nos” – mistakes that estate agents know not to make.

In terms of advice, AXA’s research shows that homeowners believe a well decorated home would sell a whole month quicker. What’s more, 56 per cent of homeowners said they would be put off from buying a property if the design was outdated, even though most people think they would only need to spend £373 on decorating their house so that’s its fit to sell. Again, this may sound like something most people know, but those new to selling properties may want to take extra care to make sure their homes are up to scratch.

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