Housetrade aims to reduce cost of sale

Two Manchester-based entrepreneurs have launched a website to help home-owners sell their properties directly without estate agency fees. was set up by Shaun Coulthwaite and Neil Arkwright, initially focusing on Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Cheshire.

Coulthwaite said: "In the current environment, the property market has become increasingly stagnant. People simply can't afford to move house or get on the property ladder.

"The number of unsold houses on the market has reached its highest level in two years and with the average UK asking price discount now at £19,580, an all-time record and £1,105 higher than it was this time last year, an increasing number of sellers are being left out of pocket. Buying and selling property can be stressful and costly. Our aim is to make property transactions as simple and efficient as possible."

Housetrade gives buyers and sellers the opportunity to talk directly, without an estate agent taking a large percentage of the transaction of the value. It provides a step-by-step guide to selling your house privately, as well as looking at other routes to market including part-exchanges and auctions.

The start-up company is currently inviting homeowners to advertise their property on the site for free. This offer is open to the first 100 people who register to sell a property through the website. After this period sellers will be able to advertise a property from as little as a £99 fixed fee with no commission upon sale for a standard three months classified advertisement. Alternatively other sale types such as part-exchange and online auctions require no up front entrance fees and a £499 fixed fee is due upon sale.

Coulthwaite added: "The whole purpose of Housetrade is to make it easier and cheaper for people to sell their houses privately. Over the last few years, individuals have had to look for new ways of reducing their expenditure and we hope to instrument much needed cost savings in the property market."

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