The Differences Between Selling Privately And Using An Agent


There are really only two ways to sell a property – you either use an estate agent, which is the traditional route, or you find a private buyer. Finding a private buyer can be more difficult because there is no intermediary making an introduction, but there is of course the advantage of cutting out the middleman and avoiding the need to pay a commission to an estate agent.  

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Using An Estate Agent?

Using an estate agent to sell a property is the normal route and one that most people are familiar with. The usual process is to find an estate agent, agree on the commission for selling the property, enter into a contract, and provide the agent with all the required information needed to sell the property. It can take some time until this is all completed and it’s not necessarily easy to select the right estate agent. There are lots of questions about what actually defines the best estate agent.

Estate agent home for sale signs

Perhaps the main advantage of using an estate agent is to gain access to their advertising and their list of buyers. The agent also conducts all the viewings and negotiates on the price, which is why they are paid a commission. The commission due is often a significant sum. There is however no guarantee that an estate agent will find a buyer and it is not unknown for property sellers to waste 6 to 12 months with an agent who continually asks for more time, only to be constantly disappointed.

If an estate agent is unable to find a buyer, then there are a number of options available. Rather than lose the business, an agent will usually recommend that the listing price be lowered in order to encourage new prospective buyers. The downside to this of course is that you will achieve a lower price for your property, even though you still need to pay the agent a commission. Another alternative is to change the estate agent, which is possible as long as the contract has expired with the original estate agent. It is therefore very important to understand the contractual terms before signing anything.

In summary, the main advantage of using an estate agent is that they do the work in finding a buyer, and the main disadvantages are the commission that needs to be paid and no guarantee of when or if a buyer will be found.

How Do I Find A Private Buyer?

There are two types of private buyers that buy residential property – individuals and companies. Finding an individual is very challenging because there is no normal route to finding this person. Private individual buyers don’t normally advertise themselves. A private buying company is easier to find because they generally do advertise themselves, especially online.

Once you find a private property buying company, it is very important to understand their financial position and in particular, do they buy using cash or do they need to take a mortgage. Companies that buy cash will be able to complete on the purchase of a property much faster than those that require a mortgage, so it’s vital to get this information. More information on house cash buying companies can be found on our What Is A Cash Property Buyer page.


Serene Homes is one of the leading property cash-buying companies in the UK and offers a 100% guarantee to complete on a purchase once the final price is agreed. Serene Homes pays less than the market value for any property purchased but offers an advantageous service for those who require assurance or need a sale completed quickly.

The process that Serene Homes offers is very simple and includes only three main steps:

  • Leave your details on the Serene Homes website in order to receive a call from the team
  • Receive a free survey for your property with no obligation to proceed
  • Accept or decline a final price offered to you following the free survey

What is very important to be aware of is all the figures that need to be taken into when choosing to either use an estate agent or select a private buyer. Once all costs and time are taken into account, the result can be quite surprising:


The outcome being that the difference between using an estate agent or opting to use the service of Serene Homes can actually be marginal. And as Serene Homes can complete on the purchase of a property in as little as 7 days, there is a distinct advantage in choosing this route.

Every person who contacts Serene Homes and accepts an initial cash offer will be offered a free valuation for their property. More information on receiving a free valuation for your property can be found on our Property Valuation page. Further to this, Serene Homes covers all fees including survey and legal fees, and at no point before an exchange of contracts, are you tied in.

When choosing a property cash buying company, it is important to select one that genuinely has its own funding in place. Without this, it will not be possible to achieve a quick sale. Serene Homes is fully funded and does not need to apply for a mortgage or seek external investors. The service is completely hassle-free and once the final price is agreed upon after the survey is undertaken, Serene Homes guarantees to buy the property. More information can be found on our What To Look For In A Property Buying Company page.

Serene Homes will buy any property in any condition and in any location. Our friendly team has vast experience in selling property across the UK and this includes many remote locations. Contact our team today to receive a free valuation for your property and learn how quickly and stress-free your house sale can really be.