The reason why 'on-line' doesn't mean it's over.. in the property sense!

October 27, 2014 by Rob Kahl from Scott & Stapleton

Do you need an estate agent? Well, duh! YES.. doesn’t everybody at some point.. or do they?!

With an influx of on-line agents offering to sell your home at ridiculous rates, saving a fortune on more traditional ways, means and fees, do you really need to instruct a traditional High Street estate agent for it?

There was a headline in estate agency industry press this week where a chap had put his house on the market himself for £15,500,000 and paid an on-line agent just £499 to put it on rightmove! 

Based on competitive estate agency fees in the traditional sense, this would see him make a saving of approximately £260,000 in fees, all seems a bit of a no brainer doesn’t it?! Being in the business I am in, I thought I best look into this all a little bit more ... please bare with me, as clearly, I am going to be a little biased, but...

In line with this article and incredible savings this guy, with a £15,500,000 house was going to make, I watched a program by Sarah Beeny this week on Channel 4. She talked in detail about how on-line estate agents can offer a very similar service to the traditional agent for a fraction of the price and that in her mind, this was the way forward. I have to say, I am a big fan of Sarah Beeny and her clearly exceptional expert knowledge of the property market, however, what wasn’t mentioned in the program, was how she actually owns her own on-line estate agency! Call me an old cynic.

I like to think that at Scott & Stapleton we offer an excellent service for a fair fee, but I can appreciate that in a market where anything can sell usually in a matter of days it may seem costly to that of an on-line agent.

The great thing for those of you thinking of selling in Leigh and the surrounding area, is that there are lots of estate agents to choose from so you have plenty of choice on who you instruct.

Whether you are only interested in the agent that gives you the cheapest fee or the one who values your house at the most it is up to you, but, their are other things to consider when making your choice. For example, how are they going to market your home? What advertising do they offer and where? How experienced is the agent? What is there local knowledge like? Finally what systems do they have in place for chasing the sale to make sure it completes quickly once has been agreed?

From a cost saving perspective, I can see why an on-line estate agent is very appealing, that said, don’t be fooled as technically, you are selling your property yourself!

So, just some food for through really. This would mean you would have to write and type up the details yourself and take what are normally professionally, camera enhanced pictures. The pictures especially are so very important as they are the first impression that any potential purchaser would get of your home so it is vital that they show your property off in the best possible light.

Most estate agents have years of experience of doing this and in addition to using state of the art camera’s for your pictures, they will also provide detailed floor plans of your property (something we have had fed back are very popular) and know how to word any detail in such a way as to appeal to applicants.

The next part is viewings. If you are happy with your private contact details being made public, comfortable liaising with people extensively on the phone and happy to show them around your home then maybe the on-line agent route is for you!? If however, you don’t like the idea of people turning their noses up at your wallpaper, then the only real alternative is to employ an agent to do this for you.

The next step is the most important one I believe to consider when selling a property yourself - Negotiating the deal.

Once the viewers have been round and start to make the hopeful offers (this is what you were hoping for right?), would you be able to detach yourself from the emotions of selling your own home to negotiate the best possible deal? Do you know genuinely know what their financial situation is and if they are in the position they say they are?

As estate agents we are trained to not only negotiate the best deal for you but to check out the extent of the chains below and verify applicants financial capabilities before submitting offers.

Looking at it another way, if you are selling a property yourself for £300,000 for £499, but an estate agent, who does all the work for you could get you £310,000  with a fee of £4,500 then you would still be £5,000 better off. Not to be sniffed at surely?

After the sale has been agreed then the estate agent really earns his crust. Chasing the sale through to completion is a huge part of our job and not something that you could do yourself. We chase all of the solicitors up and down the chain, purchasers & vendors, surveyors, mortgage brokers, everybody to ensure that everything runs smoothly and swiftly. In most estate agents offices it is a full time job for at least one person. The question is, would you have time to do all of this and do you really need the hassle?

The thing that I must stress when instructing an estate agent is listen to them. They have the knowledge of what other properties have sold for in the area, what demand there is and will also give you an honest assessment of what your property is worth. You are paying a professional for a service so get your moneys worth and don’t just ignore it.

This Article is by Rob Kahl at Scott & Stapleton
To discuss your propoerty, please call Rob on 01702 471155


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