SNIPPETT: Many people selling their home look to save thousands of pounds by ditching their estate agent. Here’s why this move could be a false economy.
It takes an average of just under six weeks to sell a home in the UK, according to property market analyst Hometrack, but could vendors be on the move quicker if they used the growing number of websites that allow them to dispense of the services of an estate agent?
It depends on where you live. In London, properties take an average of less than a month to sell, whereas in north-east England it takes an average of 10 weeks to conclude a sale.
So with London property in high demand, could sellers who put their home on the market with Wimbledon estate agents, for example, achieve their asking price in a shorter time by going down the DIY route?
How Much is your Home Worth?
With property prices in most parts of the UK continuing to rise, judging how much your home is worth can be difficult. Homeowners who fail to tap into the knowledge of a local estate agent risk over-valuing their property and not receiving offers that come anywhere near their asking price. Worse still, they could under-value their capital asset. This could lead to an ultra-quick sale but for a price far less than the property is worth.
When you approach an estate agent with a good local knowledge, its property professionals will visit your house to give you an appraisal of a likely sale price and they will advise you as to the best way to present and market residential properties.
An estate agent should also be able to arrange an Energy Performance Certificate, which is now a legal requirement when it comes to selling property.
The next hurdle DIY sellers must clear is preparing the sales material for their home. Marketing a property yourself may be a hit and miss experience, as well as time consuming. You’ll need to take photographs of your home, prepare descriptions of every room (including the measurements) and bring in professional help to create a floorplan.
When you use an estate agent, they will prepare sales particulars or brochures with professionally taken photographs and floorplans.
But if the thought of saving many thousands of pounds by conducting your own sale is too good to pass up, DIY sellers are strongly advised to explore how estate agents market the properties on their books. You can click here to see how hyper-local Battersea estate agent Eden Harper presents the homes it has for sale and how its sales professionals use good quality photographs to draw in potential buyers.
Database of Available Buyers
Estate agents do not just have marketing skills. Local agents who have been established in your area for many years will also have a database of buyers that they can reach out to quickly. Many will be contacting these potential buyers even before publishing listings on their website.
Listings with Most of the Major Online Portals
When choosing your local estate agent, it is important to check that they will also be listing your property on the major property portals. This will mean you will have nationwide coverage, after all, it is just not local people looking to buy in your area.
Not only that, check that they are regulated by the RICS. This will mean they have developed a stable working relationship with architects and solicitors, and structural engineers and surveyors, allowing you to tap into a valuable pool of professional advice.
Reduce Your Workload
Estate agents earn their money by handling viewings and enquiries from potential buyers. You will speed up the sale process if you are able to allow the estate agent to run viewings on your behalf.
Using an estate agent doesn’t just mean marketing your property, an estate agent truly comes into their own after the sale has been agreed. They will manage the chain process, as there could be other buyers depending on your sale to sell their own home. A chain could involve three or four more other properties across the country and using an estate agent means they will keep in touch with each other to drive the completion of the sale forward.
While specialist local agents will typically charge more to sell your property than a DIY website, the time they can save you is well worth the expense. Every week your property remains unsold is a drain on your finances and is likely to cause you a large amount of stress, particularly if you are handling viewings and dealing with enquiries.
Just as you wouldn’t attempt to fix a piece of high-tech equipment in your home without specialist knowledge, it can be a false economy selling a high value capital asset without enlisting the help of an expert.