I’ve always had a strong opinion on this one, but now we are in the process of selling & buying… absolutely.
This is a question we get asked a lot, almost every time someone has decided to start thinking about selling…
Can we do it privately?
Should we do it privately?
They get my / our opinion…
Then the next question comes…
Who would you recommend?
These are the 3 main questions we get.
What people probably presume is that we would suggest using an estate agent that we have a working relationship with, for example an estate agent that actively promotes and shares our services and recommends us for mortgage advice.
You would be wrong to think that,
In fact, we would recommend you contact as many as you can…
Meet them, talk to them and use the estate agent who best matches your needs and maybe someone you just click with.
In my opinion they all do a fantastic job, they all have different styles, they all have different strategies.
They are a good buffer when it comes to viewing feedback. If I knew you had worked your arse off to put an illuminous green bathroom in and it was your pride and joy and every viewer hated it id soften the blow of the feedback.
But like when selecting a mortgage adviser. We don’t expect every customer we meet to want to use us, we are not one size fits all.
We are different to the “usual mould” of a mortgage adviser
We do that on purpose.
We think the world of finance needs a new feel, new look, new sound.
We are breaking the mould.
My point being that’s not for everyone.
In fact it probably puts some people off,
Same with an agent.
You might have a better connection with an agent yet be not happy with the “value” they put on your property.
In most cases an agent doesn’t make any money unless they sell your property. And no agent is trying to undervalue a property just to get a sale.
There are 5 different values your home has.
- The value a bank or building society for security purposes
- What the average of 2 or 3 agents believe the property can achieve at open market. (this can vary depending on how quick you need to sell)
- The price someone is willing to pay
- The price you value the property
- Potential value, the price of the property and land to a person who wants to make significant improvements… i.e buy for this, do that, now the value equals this… so we call this potential value.
Now… so far I’ve not answered the question, I’ve just blabbed on about what you should look for in an agent.
Compare that to doing it alone…
Selling on Facebook marketplace for example.
You are going to have to do a lot of work. For example.
Arranging the EPC.
Providing photos, floor plans etc.
Dealing with all those that are interested.
Filtering out the time wasters and nosey folk…
Qualifying those that are interested to ensure they are in a position to buy.
Taking them around the property.
Then when it comes to receiving offers…
Qualifying those offers.
Negotiating those offers.
Securing the offer.
We could add about 20 more if we really got into the nitty gritty… but you get the point.
It’s a hell of a lot of work.
I honestly believe even an estate agent past or present would never even dream of marketing and selling their property privately to cut out an agent.
Did you know… that some lenders that your buyer may be using to purchase a property will not deal with a private sale. They would request it go through an estate agent.
Because it’s the biggest transaction of your life and you need a professional to help you with it.
Lets be clear.
There is a time for a private sale.
Buying off family, friends etc…
But still. Unless you are qualified to appraise a property.
How do you know its value.
You can get very close, but how do you back that up…
An agent needs to use comparable, which sometimes can be impossible, especially for a unique property.
You’re joking right…
That one tickles me…
Zoopla, and the banks or building society’s automated valuations are used from data, normally national data, they do not account for things like a new school, new shining offstead report, new park etc…
Zoopla doesn’t know if you’ve just spent 100k renovating a property before selling it…
It’s a good tool… but that’s all it is… a tool… a resource.
How do you value it.
The only way someone is able to really go private is by first using an estate agent or a few agents to come and give an appraisal.
So technically using their services for free… then deciding to go it alone.
I believe agents should charge for viewings / appraisals. As it must use up so much of their time.
Just to play devil’s advocate…
I say that at the same time as agent would say to me “I can’t believe you don’t charge for an appointment.”
I’d never charge for an appointment.
So I get why they don’t…
We give a little in hope that after meeting us if the customer wants to use our services they can.
Those that don’t can happily walk away and go to the bank direct. Even after we have told them which lender fits them the best.
Similar to an agent who will spend an hour at a property doing lost of research afterwards and providing an appraisal.
It’s a crazy world really but I get it.
For both sides.
It’s a business relationship that takes more than 24hrs.
It could take 6 months..
You need to be absolutely certain you are using a company that works with your personality and values.
Speaking from experience, the agents of today who are in the game, be it locally or nationally are still there for one reason.
Exceptional customer service.
Those online companies that have popped up.
Even the big big big ones…
You know who they are.
Won’t survive. You need interaction, experience, and reputation.
Those who have weathered the storm of covid etc really have grafted.
I take my hats off to estate agents, not just because I have many friends & family in that industry but just because I know they care.
It’s not all about making money at all.
Just like us it’s every good byproduct but it’s the customer service that counts.
So… sell your property privately that’s absolutely fine.
But if I can add two last points… my honest own opinion.
The percentage you pay an estate agent will be worth every penny.
The reach of an estate agent who puts a property on right move for example is 1:1000 compared to just sharing your property in groups on social media. If not more…
Get this one.
Ask an estate agent how much the rightmove fees are…
It will blow your mind…
Let the professionals do the job.