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Do I Need an Estate Agent to Sell My House?

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If you’re in the process of getting your home ready to sell, you might also be considering your options on ‘how’ you’re going to sell it. Asking yourself, do I need an estate agent to sell my house or shall I do it myself, is a valid consideration. To use an estate agent or not to use an estate agent – let’s break it down.

Estate agents Vs selling yourself

Both home selling options have their advantages but it’s the challenges to be clear on.

The decision to go solo will largely be down to your personal circumstances, knowledge, expertise. And the level of involvement you’re comfortable with in the selling process.

Using an estate agent to sell your house

A well-established local estate agent will have been active in the local market on a day-to-day basis for a good number of years. They will very likely know the local property market inside out and have strong local connections.


  • Expertise and experience: estate agents have in-depth local knowledge of the property market, local house prices, pricing strategies, and legal requirements. They provide valuable insights and guidance throughout the selling process.
  • Marketing and promotion: estate agents know how to promote homes for sale. Listing your home for sale isn’t just about uploading to one of the major portals. It’s about advising you on the right asking price based on several factors too. They ensure your property is visible to as many potential homebuyers as possible. In addition, they will probably have a ‘hot buyers’ list. These are buyers who are organised prepared and looking for a home in the area.
  • Negotiation Skills: sales and negotiation is one of the key roles of an estate agent. This is what they are trained to do and have experience of as well as handling all other aspects of your sale, including viewings, and paperwork.
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Below are some of the downsides some homeowners raise about estate agents.

  • Cost: for some estate agents fees feel expensive. However, a good estate agent is worth their weight on gold. When you’re reviewing which agent to use talk about their fee and what they will be doing for you. A good, qualified estate agent will not just advertise your home for sale and get it under offer. They will be key to holding the deal together throughout the conveyancing process. This is often the most challenging part of the sales process. 
  • Less control: some homeowners don’t like the feeling of having less direct control over the sale of their most valuable asset. This is understandable as it’s such an emotional process. However, you are employing an agent to work for you, so it’s important to let them do what you’re paying them for. They should liaise with you throughout the process, so when you’re vetting agents it’s important you feel you can work with them.
  • Potential for misalignment: you might feel thatan agent’s interests might not align with your own. This can sometimes be the case when it comes to determining how much your home is worth to set an asking price.

If you feel your estate agent is recommending an asking price that’s either too low or even too high, ask them to justify this. They should advise you on the best course of action to secure you the best deal given the market.

Selling your home privately

Selling your home privately means you will go through the entire process without any estate agent input. It’s worth being fully aware of what an estate agent does as you will also need to do the same. 


  • Potential cost savings: one of the main reasons homeowners consider selling privately is to save on estate agent fees. However, be aware that it could also end up costing you more money in the long run. Both in your time and potentially expensive mistakes.
  • Direct control: by selling privately you will have complete control and sole responsibility over the selling process. From setting the price, advertising your home for sale, arranging and hosting viewings, negotiating with buyers. And overseeing the onward conveyancing process across both sides.
  • Personal touch: you can use your intimate knowledge of the property to highlight its unique features and benefits.


  • Limited market exposure: as a private seller you won’t have access to the main property portals as these are just for estate agents. This will limit your ability to reach potential buyers.
  • Could take you longer to sell: with limited market exposure to advertise your home for sale your home could be on the market longer than you anticipated.
  • Negotiations and legalities: handling negotiations and understanding the legal aspects of selling a property can be daunting without expertise and guidance. It could also leave you exposed if things got complicated. And you could end up losing a potential buyer for your home.
  • Time and effort: Selling a home privately requires significant time and effort. If you’re time-poor, then this could be challenging.

Use an estate agent to sell your house or sell privately

When deciding if you need an estate agent to sell your home or not, you’ll need to weigh up the costs and benefits of each scenario.

If you have the time, confidence, expertise, and willingness to tackle the sale process, selling your home yourself could be right for you. However, if you value expertise, convenience, and market exposure, an estate agent is a valuable partner in ensuring a smooth and potentially more profitable sale.

While selling privately can seem like a cost-saving exercise. The expertise, market knowledge, and convenience offered by estate agents. Especially those affiliated with Propertymark, can be significant advantages.

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Last Updated: November 22nd, 2023

Phil Spencer

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