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Estate agents- are they worth the cash?

(16 Posts)
Salbertina Sun 17-Feb-13 08:07:11

Never really earn their keep but in some areas still not poss to sell without them. Even if you have private ad/board up, some buyers wd rather go thro agent. We've done both.

sleepdodger Sun 17-Feb-13 07:57:11

Last time we moved market was buoyant and we sold ourselves, and wondered what we'd payed them for with previous moves...
Fast forwards to slower market and we were moving again, got through 2 ropey agents and took market off property
Another 4 years and we've just sold and EA have been fantastic
When you go and view other properties think Bout how that agent would talk about or not... Yours
We saw properties with agents who couldn't answer basic questions, sat bored reading books, slagging off offers shock you get idea!
So if you're time poor, and don't know many people to advertise to find and use a good agent
If circ are different then think about it!
The mover of right move etc is huge though...

jollydiane Sat 16-Feb-13 23:34:14

Did you ever see an episode of 'outnumbered' when she was trying to sell her house. If you live in a household like that then take the kids out.

I think you need to pitch your house to the widest possible market with very little distractions, e.g. you don't want toys everywhere and clutter. Put yourself in the buyers shoes. Most viewings take not more than 20 minutes so if you can take the children out might be a good idea. Price is the most important point.

southnorwoodmum Sat 16-Feb-13 23:27:01

I just have a question here. If I choose an online agency and have to do viewings myself, is it reallistically possible when having small kids? Do I just chuck them in the garden when the viewers come, or put them with DH in our car, or is it expected for them go stay in the house? If I can sort this bit, I would defo use an online agent...

jollydiane Sat 16-Feb-13 22:36:42

I think your house must be on rightmove, with good pictures and a floor plan. There are a few good online estate agents where you can pay un upfront fee of about £400. If you intend to do your own viewings then it is worthwhile doing this.

I would also suggest that you look on Zoopla to see if their estimated value of your house matches your expectation.

camtt Sat 16-Feb-13 19:01:51

I would say my agent has worked hard for the 1% price - it was not just the lengthy process of selling our house, they have also been a good source of general advice about handling my onward purchase and lots of little details where their experience proved useful. The also recommended an excellent local solicitor who has been worth every penny, totally professional and everything done promptly, although I could have got the conveyancing done much cheaper online

Squeegle Sat 16-Feb-13 18:47:41

Thanks, and good advice re personal safety- it is only me and the kids, so I do have to be extra careful.

humboldt Sat 16-Feb-13 18:43:29

The last agent we paid was on 1%. It's really, really hard to find an EA who is skilled and engaged and has an empathy for the buyer and seller.

It's a job which has no entry qualifications and really suffers for that.
I haven't met any individual EAs that I felt I could actually trust - at any level -whether as a buyer or seller.

Unless your market has very unique characteristics i.e. £1m + and would benefit from word of mouth or the elderly who don't use the internet and will only buy/sell with high street agents, then use Housenetwork for £500 cash upfront.

In a normal market you won't get any 'added value' from a high street agent so don't pay extra.

ImpatientOne Sat 16-Feb-13 18:42:24

We had already found a house we really wanted before putting ours on the market , when the EA phoned for feedback on it I said we loved it now we need to sell ours...

We agreed a fixed fee of £750 - being 0.75% of our asking price (in 2010). When it came to it he waived his fee as we did manage to get an offer while our dream house was still available. We were cash poor though and it helped us with the huge deposit - obviously he was earning much more commission on the house we were buying.

So obviously for us it was well worth it as we actually didn't pay anything grin

I would be very cautious about personal safety selling it yourself as unfortunately a friend of mine was raped by someone viewing her house on spec sad I only had accompanied viewings when selling because of this but I know in some areas you have to pay the EA per viewing shock

CokeFan Sat 16-Feb-13 18:35:11

It was a guy in Frome (little pigs). There's probably others around if you search for them.

Squeegle Sat 16-Feb-13 18:17:28

Thanks all, really useful. I haven't heard of Hatched. And to be honest I don't know any of the online agents so I will research them. Fixed price sounds great also - who was that, or is it an agent that is just local to you?

CokeFan Sat 16-Feb-13 17:56:31

We had a "fixed price" estate agent (was, I think, £1000 2 years ago - just had a look at the website and it's now £1200). Initially we didn't have a property in mind to move to, just knew the general area, so we thought we'd go with the fixed price guy and then change to a "proper" estate agent if we found somewhere and needed to move quickly.

It turned out that the fixed price guy worked really hard for us (and the "proper" agents for the house we were buying were complete jokers).

Most people find houses to buy on rightmove/zoopla/whatever the latest property website is so I don't think it matters much which agent you go for.

nocake Sat 16-Feb-13 17:56:00

1.25% but worth it for a good agent who can negotiate the best price. A bad or lazy agent isn't worth 50p.

Have you considered an online agent like Hatched?

Rhubarbgarden Sat 16-Feb-13 17:53:00

We paid 1.5%. Not worth the money. I would say its definitely worth having a bash at selling it yourself first. If you have no joy, try one of the online companies who you just pay to put it on Right Move then you do everything else yourself. I believe they are much cheaper.

AugustaProdworthy Sat 16-Feb-13 17:48:55

We're paying 1 percent on ours if we ever manage to sell.

Squeegle Sat 16-Feb-13 17:45:17

Hi, looking for your experiences- what is a normal rate to pay an estate agent?
Do you think they are worth it, or would I be as well to stick a sign in the garden and get people to phone for a viewing appointment?
I live in quite a desirable road, and I would expect our house to sell quite fast- but of course want to get the right price, particularly as my ex and I will split the proceeds, so of course every penny will count

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