It’s now easier than ever to bypass the estate agent and sell your property privately.
There are dedicated online portals for private sales, reducing the cost of selling significantly. Instead of a £4000 estate agent fee, homeowners are opting to pay around £500 for a platform to advertise and sell their property through.
Today we’re looking at an alternative method to the private sale, using Squarespace to create a website and sell a property privately.
Is It Worth Cutting Out The Estate Agent?
Estate agents take a cut of the sale price in exchange for providing services such as photographs, valuations and promotion.
Whilst you can retain more of the money from the sale of your home by undertaking these tasks yourself, it would be naive to assume it’s easy.
You will have to provide the photographs, arrange the viewings (and conduct them), close the sale and a myriad of other jobs. This is something to consider carefully. Is it worth saving money if you don’t have the time nor ability to undertake these tasks yourself?
Squarespace is the easiest tool to build and host your own website without looking at a line of code.
It provides customisable templates, all of which look great out of the box and are fully responsive. This means potential buyers can access your listing from any device—mobile, tablet or desktop.
We’ve created a beautiful site showcasing our fictional home for sale, using high-end photography and inviting copy to lure potential buyers.
You can view our live site here (note: this is just a demo and not a real property for sale).
The Cost Of Using Squarespace
Squarespace gives you the option to pay annually or monthly ($96 and $12 respectively, which converts to about £67 and £9).
Whilst paying the annual fee nets you a free domain, it could leave you with a site of no use if your property sells after just a few months.
Considering a domain costs less than £10 to purchase, it may be worth using Squarespace on a monthly basis if your property is in a high-demand area and you’re confident it will sell easily. Once your property has sold and the site is no longer needed, you can cancel the service.
Of course, a Squarespace subscription isn’t the only expense.
It’s important to invest in professional photography. This site is all about selling your home through visual cues, reinforced with positive wording. We want people to look at our property and visualise themselves living here, so we can’t cut corners when it comes to imagery.
Photographer rates differ depending on area and level of expertise.
We’ll leave the practical ‘how-to’ details of creating a Squarespace site to others, but it’s very easy and highly customisable. You can either work with a theme as it is, or change its look completely.
Selling Through Photography And Words
Our call to action is the ‘Schedule Viewing’ button, which we want potential buyers to click on to arrange a viewing. How do we do that? Through the use of photography.
It’s a fact that using great photos increases the number of viewings you get. Even property developer and TV presenter, Sarah Beeny, says it’s the single most important part of your property’s listing.
Advertising on a third party site is restrictive—you’re locked into displaying information in the way they require. With this site, we get to show off our property in all its glory.
Make It Personal
It’s not just about presenting your property in an attractive light, but to tell a story. We want potential buyers to imagine themselves living here—whether it be drinking their morning coffee at the table or winding down with a book in the evening—and make it easy for them to schedule a viewing.
What features sold your house to you? Was it the large and sociable dining space? How about the stream of natural light in the living room? Tell the story from that perspective.
The words you choose are equally important as the photography. In our demo site, you’ll notice we often refer to the home as already belonging to them.
“Welcome to your new home”
“Explore your neighbourhood”
Sell Privately, Save Money
While it may seem an unconventional method to sell your home this way, it can be done. We’ve seen this method adopted successfully in America, working particularly well in areas with high demand.
With social media giving you a bigger audience than ever before—and with many friends willing to share Facebook posts and increasing your reach—it could help you bypass the traditional estate agent fees and save money.