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Why selling your Lancaster home privately could end up costing you £1000’s

Posted on Sunday, March 27, 2022

If you are tempted to sell your home privately, maybe to a colleague, a friend or just someone who happens to have popped a note through your door, please think twice and read this article first. Most people who sell their homes privately think they are saving thousands in estate agency fees. Often though the reality is very different and they end up costing themselves thousands instead. Sadly I have seen it happen several times over the past few months.

Property prices have been going upwards and buyers have been becoming more and more desperate to find their dream property - ideally at a price that suits them. Both sellers and buyers want to achieve the best price. However, a buyer's idea of the best price tends to be lower than the sellers.

Today I want to tell you a true story of a broken friendship after a private sale agreement went wrong. Names have been changed.

The Situation

Sue and Ben have a beautiful 2-bed terrace in Lancaster. Ben mentioned at work that they were going to sell their home as they need more space. Ben’s colleague and work friend said they were looking for a house and would love to buy their home as they had always liked it.

They agreed they would get 3 estate agents around and take the average valuation. Ben and Sue would save on estate agency fees if he sold privately to his colleague, plus it would be less hassle having people want to view their home. It sounded like the perfect plan.


Agreeing to a sale

Sue and Ben agreed on a sale based on the average of the 3 valuations.  The valuations ranged from £145,000 - £150,000.  The price agreed was £147,500.  Their buyers though wanted to knock off a further £1350 as they felt the savings on estate agency fees should be shared. They agreed on a price of £146,150.

Sue and Ben went on to offer on a home they really liked and their offer was accepted. All good, so far. 


What happened next

It took Sue and Ben’s buyers a while to get the survey done. No one was pushing them and Ben didn’t know how to.  When it was finally done 4 weeks later, their buyer wanted a £5000 reduction. Ben’s friend daren’t ask him directly so he asked via their solicitors.  The survey had commented that the roof was older and that a damp inspection was needed.  Relunctantly and without getting it checked out, Ben and Sue agreed.  The new price was £141,150.

I won’t bore you fully with what happened next but 5 weeks later, Ben and Sue’s buyer went on to ask for another £2000 off towards jobs they wanted to do in this. This was the final straw for Ben and Sue and they told them the deal was off.


Our involvement

 Ben and Sue called us back in.  We agreed to market the property for £150,000. We created a bespoke marketing campaign which included targeted Facebook advertising, a coming soon campaign, database call out and full portal launch.  We arranged an open day with pre-booked, qualified viewing appointments.  14 people booked to see their home. 8 offers were received. Best and Final offers were obtained. The end result - the home sold for £157,000.  £7000 more than we were asking for and a whopping £15,850 than their friend was offering them.

The survey still mentioned the roof however the buyer was happy knowing they are buying an older property.



Thankfully Ben and Sue still managed to buy the home they wanted.  Even after paying fees our fees, they are still £13,024 better off.  It goes to show that selling your home privately can often end up costing you £1000’s.  And in this instance a friendship too.  


If you would like to talk about moving and how we can help you save money not lose it, please get in touch. At JDG we are here to help. Call us on 01524 843322.


Thanks for reading