When we decide to trade in our car we sell our old one and then see what dealers can do for us on a newer model. Thanks to the internet, Ebay and the like, more of us are selling more of our old stuff than ever before. When it comes to buying and selling houses, as buyers we make full use of the internet, but as sellers most people still seem to go the way we always have, straight to a high-street agent.
Estate agents have always charged 1.2-2% of the home's value for selling, and before the internet they would have to work to get your property in front of the buyers in your area, arranging and managing press ads and what-not. But while house price growth has seen the amounts they receive increase faster than inflation, now pretty much all they have to do to get your home in front of all the buyers in your area is put it on the major portals (Rightmove, FindaProperty, Zoopla and Primelocation), where it is estimated that 95% of all UK home-searches begin. The agents are getting paid a lot more to do a lot less.
It would be great if we could put our own properties onto those portals and save the estate agents fees. Unfortunately we can't, Rightmove shareholders are estate agents and so is its client base; Rightmove knows that it could never make the same from private sellers as it does from agents so it keeps the private sellers out and so do the others.
So, you can't get onto those sites without an estate agent, and it is a lot harder to sell without access to those portals, thank fully there is a middle option. The new breed of online estate agents, which charge a fixed fee to market your property on the major portals and offer a wide range of service choices.
The best thing about online estate agents is they tend to lay out clearly what you get for your money, some packages include valuation while others don't, most online estate agents don't handle viewings and negotiations, but some allow you to tag in on for an additional fee, much the same with for sale signs.
Housesimple charges either £195 plus VAT for a marketing-only service that includes valuation, home visit, professional photos and listings on the major portals, or £445 plus VAT, which includes professional help with negotiating the price and pushing your sale to completion.
Founder Alexander Gosling said someone selling a £400,000 property could save £7,446 in estate agency fees. "If your estate agent charged commission of 1.6 per cent plus VAT, you would pay £7,680 in total."
Selling your house privately and want international exposure? See the private sellers options on Propertyshowrooms.com
- Monday 18 March 2013