Private property sales double in year as sellers spurn agents

An increasing number of home owners chose to avoid estate agents and sell their houses privately last year, saving a total of more than £100m in fees.

An increasing number of home owners chose to avoid estate agents and sell their houses privately last year, saving a total of more than £100m in fees.

A study of house sales, published today, shows that private property sales are doubling each year, and now represent more than 5 per cent of the total market. The growth in private sales has been aided by the internet and online services that allow people to advertise their homes for a small fee.

"It seems that we're fast catching up with our European neighbours, where selling privately is considered as normal as using an estate agent," said Mark Desvaux, founder of HouseWeb.com, an online service that helps people buy and sell houses.

More than 1.4 million people buy and sell houses each year in Britain and the independent study, commissioned by HouseWeb.com, estimated that this year, 100,000 home owners will sell privately, saving on average £1,500. By 2002 this is expected to have grown to 280,000, with more than half the sales taking place over the internet.

Hugh Dunsmore-Hardy, chief executive of the National Association of Estate Agents, said that the number of estate agents with internet sites was growing daily. He added that private sales were fraught with difficulty. "It is more difficult to get the price right and more difficult to negotiate without the interpersonal skills of an estate agent," he said.

However, Simon Cummins, 38, had no problems selling his house in north Devon privately over the internet and saved more than £5,000 doing so. "We only put two Sundays aside to show people round and had a buyer within three weeks. The cost was just £40," he said.

Family-sized homes are likely to become the most in-demand properties this year. Six per cent of families with children are "very likely" to move in 2000, compared with 4 per cent of the overall population, says the Alliance & Leicester.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Convicted art fraudster John Myatt
art

Life and Style
fashion

News
The Magna Carta
archaeologyContemporary account of historic signing discovered
News
Jeremy Paxman has admitted he is a 'one-nation Tory' and complained that Newsnight is made by idealistic '13-year-olds' who foolishly think they can 'change the world'.
peopleFormer Newsnight presenter is being touted for a brand new role
News
The two-year-old said she cut off her fringe because it was getting in her eyes
news

Video: It is the type of thing no parent wants to hear

Arts and Entertainment
Avatar grossed $2.8bn at the box office after its release in 2009
film
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    h2 Recruit Ltd: Business Development Manager - Credit Reports - £100,000 OTE

    £50000 - £100000 per annum + benefits: h2 Recruit Ltd: Are you a high achievin...

    h2 Recruit Ltd: Sales Manager - Contact Centre BPO - £100,000 OTE

    £35000 - £100000 per annum + benefits: h2 Recruit Ltd: An award winning, marke...

    Recruitment Genius: Financial Sales Executives

    £19000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to our clients continuing s...

    Argyll Scott International: Service Desk Analyst

    £20000 - £22000 per annum: Argyll Scott International: Service Desk Analyst Re...

    Day In a Page

    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

    Christmas Appeal

    Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
    Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

    Is it always right to try to prolong life?

    Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
    Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

    What does it take for women to get to the top?

    Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
    Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

    Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

    Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
    French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

    French chefs campaign against bullying

    A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
    Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

    Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

    Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
    Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

    Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

    Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
    Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

    Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

    Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
    Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

    Paul Scholes column

    I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
    Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

    Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

    So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
    Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

    Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

    It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
    Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

    Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

    The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
    Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

    Sarkozy returns

    The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
    Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

    Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

    Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
    Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

    Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

    Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game