Property experts are urging people selling their homes to get creative after the number of homes bought and sold in the UK fell for the third month in a row.

  Across the country, there were 96,910 residential transactions in June. It was the lowest total since October last year, according to figures released by HMRC.

   John Laurie from Leeds-based property experts First Time Buyer Solutions said the figures were “unfortunately nothing surprising”. “Between May and June of this year the number of sales for residential properties dropped by 3.3 per cent when seasonally adjusted,” he added. “With the cost of both renting and buying rising, this is to be expected. Potential buyers are struggling more and more to save for the deposit needed to buy a home and the reduced number managing to do so reflects that. “It means people have to look at different options apart from estate agents. People need to think outside the box a bit more.”

   Hayley Abbott (pictured) says she had months of “messing around” before changing tactics and adopting a different approach to selling her two-bedroom semi-detached house in Shipley. It was on the market with an estate agent for six months. When she finally found a buyer, her dream of tying up the sale quickly was shattered when they pulled out two days before completion was due. “At this stage, having already agreed to buy a new house I really did need something to happen quickly,” she said. “I spoke to a quick sale company but was gutted when they made me an insulting offer of £20,000 less than I was originally getting through the estate agents.”

      She then contacted First Time Buyer Solutions, which matches  up people who are trying to sell their homes with first-time buyers who would otherwise have struggled to raise a deposit. Within a few days she had more than 200 enquiries and the house was bought on the first day of viewings by Ryan Le Huray who was ‘delighted’ to be on the property ladder. “After months of messing around and lots of false hopes it was nice to deal with people who actually kept to what they promised,” said Miss Abbott. “Most importantly I received the same money I was getting through the estate agents but without having to pay a penny in fees or commission.”

  There are currently three main ways people sell their homes – through an estate agent, quick sale companies or at auction. However, Mr Laurie said while all three had their merits there are potential pitfalls that buyers should be aware of. “Estate agents can be a very slow process with no guarantee of a sale,” he warned.  “With strong competition between estate agents often properties are overpriced at first to get them on the market, only then to reduce them months down the line in the hope of a sale.

   “With quick sale companies, you’re looking to get at most 80 per cent of what they consider to be a quick sale price – if something would sell normally at £100,000 they’d be looking to give you £80,000.

   “At auctions, you’d get similar to the quick sale companies with the most expensive fees and usually quite a hefty fee even if you don’t sell.” Mr Laurie said one way to ‘think outside the box’ when it came to selling was to specifically target first-time buyers. Last year, the average house price in West Yorkshire was just under £175,000. According to the government’s English Housing Survey, about two thirds of first-time buyers now pay a deposit of up to 20 per cent. This could leave those trying to get on the property ladder having to save thousands of pounds for a deposit, often while also paying rent.

   First Time Buyer Solutions, helps people with little or no deposit into a position to buy. This gives home owners looking to sell access to a new pool of potential buyers not normally available through an estate agent.  The company works independently and with estate agents. Sellers can use the service without worrying about fees - they are paid by the first-time buyers. And they can keep their home on the market through their existing estate agent and have no obligation to finalise their sale through First Time Buyer Solutions. The company reports it has a large number of people currently looking waiting to buy houses throughout Yorkshire, and has called for homeowners with homes suitable for first-time buyers which are valued between £60,000 and £150,000, to get in touch. For more information call 0113 3470227 or visit www.firsttimebuyersolutions.co.uk