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Using an Estate Agent to Sell a House (UK)

Written by Gavin Brazg - www.TheAdvisory.co.uk

It’s estimated that 90% of all vendors use an Estate Agent when it comes time to sell their property. 

Seeing as you’re here on the Internet reading this article, I think it’s safe to assume that you’re curious about whether you should do the same.

Should You Use an Estate Agent?

If you need a little handholding while you sell then yes, using an estate agent will be of benefit to you (as long as you find one of the “good guys”).

For the bolder, there is no reason why you need to expose your sale to the risk an expense or instructing an estate agent. 

  •    It is not a legal requirement

  •    It is not the only way to find a buyer

  •    It is no guarantee you’ll sell your property for the highest possible price 

Successfully selling property privately and pocketing the estate agent’s fee is very doable.

In fact, we’d go so far as to say that marketing property effectively and finding buyers is childishly easy when you know how.

Problems With Using an Estate Agent

Estate Agents are far from loved in this country – you’ll be hard pushed to find to many people that speak highly of the agent that they used. 

The quality of estate agency service in this country is a concern and it has in the past prompted investigation. 

In recent years there’s even been two major (Government initiated) studies into the problems of buying and selling in the UK:

>> Key Research On Easier Home Buying & Selling (ODPM)

>> Estate Agency Markets in England & Wales (OFT)

 

In particular, the Office of Fair Trading study highlighted serious concerns over the way Estate Agents serve the public. 

Which? (the consumer group) has also conducted research. 

They found evidence of serious violations of the law and a massive 50% of consumers voicing dissatisfaction over the service received from their Estate Agent. 

Which? reported that:

“Consumers entering the Home-buying or selling process are substantially disadvantaged by the way estate agents currently operate”

Most recently the BBC’s Whistleblower Documentary highlighted some of our estate agent’s shadier practices.

Bribery – Fraud – Deception! All pretty damning and extremely worrying if you’re thinking about putting your house on the market with an estate agent.

Benefits of Using an Estate Agent

Not all estate agents are rubbish. In most towns, if you look hard enough, you should find at least one consummate pro.

If you can find this person, you will have found an ally - one that will help to make your move go as smoothly as possible. 

In an ideal world, all estate agents will:

  •    Truthfully advise on price and not overvalue your home just to win your business.


  •  

  •    Market your property as if it were their own.


  •  

  •    Arrange and conduct viewings, making sure all buyers are properly vetted and ready to buy.


  •  

  •    Negotiate the best sale price for your property regardless of the fact that their fee structure does not encourage this.
     

  •    Keep supporting you and your sale all the way through to completion. Nothing is more disappointing than an agent that disappears after the buyer has been found, only to resurface upon completion with an invoice of eye watering proportions.


  •  

  •    Take the initiative in keeping you totally informed of progress.


  •  

  •    Not pressurise you into using associated services (such as mortgage brokers and conveyancers) from which they earn a referral fee.


  •  

  •    Pass on all offers, not just the ones from buyers that are using the agents associated mortgage brokers.

Given the number of complaints each year against our Estate Agency industry, the real questions are:

  1. Will you be lucky enough to uncover a good agent?
  1. Are you prepared to pay 1.5 – 2.5%+VAT (i.e. The price of a new kitchen) to find out?
If you are, then at TheAdvisory we’ll show you how to find a recommended estate agent in your area and how to cut estate agents’ fees and negotiate fair terms of business.

For information on selling property privately - click here

 

 

 

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