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House selling novice. Any tips or advice please?

(30 Posts)
Monroe Sun 02-Nov-14 18:52:38

Dh and I have been talking about moving for a long time and have decided to take the plunge. However, as neither of us have sold a property before I'd love some tips or advice please?

We are both off work next week so are going to use the time to give all the rooms a luck of paint and then I guess we start contacting estate agents.

Does anyone have any recommendations?
How many valuations should we get?
What kind of fees can we expect to pay?
Is now a good time to put it on the market or should we wait till after Christmas?

As you can see I am full of questions! If any can recommend a website that might help that would be great too.

RudyMentary Sun 02-Nov-14 18:56:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

wowfudge Sun 02-Nov-14 23:22:44

Hi - look at what similar houses have sold for in your area and ask the EAs for details of comparable properties they have sold recently before deciding what price to market at - don't just be flattered by who tells you it is worth most.

Look for which agents have the most SSTC properties on Rightmove of comparable houses when deciding who to have round to give a valuation.

Who is the likely purchaser and how do you think the EA will relate to them?

Locally I wouldn't consider an agent who isn't open at weekends (you wouldn't believe it, but some don't) and if they won't be flexible on when they'll value it gives an indication of what they might be like for viewings. Make them work for their fees and have them conduct viewings.

Ask about the Ts and Cs and don't get tied in with an agent for six months. You may be able to negotiate on fee levels.

Try to disengage from thinking about your house as home and think what someone else will see and think when they look at it. We all live with and put up with things which might be off putting to a potential purchaser.

Theorientcalf Mon 03-Nov-14 06:16:41

You don't need a local solicitor. We did everything via post, email and phone.

bungalowroofonit Mon 03-Nov-14 07:58:27

get valuations from 3 local agents then go with an online agent - you will save yourself at least £2,000 - at least - watch Sarah Beeny on C4 tonite - Selling your house Online -

wowfudge Mon 03-Nov-14 08:22:50

Er bungalow that's a bold statement: we have no idea of the value of the OP's house AFAIK therefore to say an online EA will save at least £2k could be way out!

bungalowroofonit Mon 03-Nov-14 09:44:33

@ wowfudge - not really - and not without foundation

recent property I sold was on market at £175K sold at £163K - 3 years ago

The high st agent involved quoted 1% or £2000 + vat - whichever was the greater.

Average house price in UK now is about £180k ish so it's not unreasonable to think that an agent will charge a minimum of £2000 + vat

Many agents will charge 1.5% or anything they can get away with

Many online agents have deals at much less than £500 total

Obviously there will be exceptions but I don't think my statement was generally bold or inaccurate.

Monroe Mon 03-Nov-14 13:25:05

This is all brilliant, thank you.

I would never have thought to use an online agency. Also how do you avoid using a solicitor?

We are very lucky in that my dm has offered to let us stay with her if ours sells before we find somewhere to move to. I'm hoping this works in our favour as we can say we're not in a chain but Dh is worried this could increase our fees as we will be dealing with solicitors etc twice if we use them

bungalowroofonit Mon 03-Nov-14 13:49:45

Personally, I wouldn't have the skills/confidence to not use a solicitor/do my own conveyancing. The scope for error and the repercussions could be huge.
I believe it's do-able, but I wouldn't feel comfortable doing it.

In the past, I've often spent ages comparing quotes from online and high st solicitors but rarely found enough difference (between ones I had confidence in) to say online is better than high st or vice versa.

I wouldn't economise on legal advice which is not to say that you always get better by paying more.

The only difference between online estate agents and high st estate agents is that generally, with online agents you do the viewings - the scope for disaster is much more limited than in doing your own conveyancing.

Generally, I rationalise that if an 18 year old school leaver can be an estate agent and there are no qualifications required of anybody to be an estate agent, then I can probably do the simple bits myself given that I've at least bought and sold a few houses where many estate agents haven't.

The same would not be true of solicitors - but if you put in the time and effort - it might be worthwhile but not just for a one off house sale.

bungalowroofonit Mon 03-Nov-14 13:52:38

ps I've only ever saved a couple of hundred pounds by buying and selling at the same time and using the same solicitor for the double transaction. You'll have the same issue I guess with using removals twice but somethings just can't be avoided ... solicitors are not huge discounters for two transactions as opposed to one.

currieaddict Mon 03-Nov-14 16:12:15

We'll, firstly if you are in Scotland disregard all of the above!

Secondly, if you are in an area that sells well then by all means use an online agent however, if there is even a whiff off needing a high street agent use them. Online agents are based in call centres, probably hundreds of miles from where you are and are unable to offer any real assistance with the local area, help with viewings, have any inside knowledge of your property etc.

currieaddict Mon 03-Nov-14 16:14:01

Many agents will charge 1.5% or anything they can get away with


RiverTam Mon 03-Nov-14 16:19:16

get your EA onto a 2 week rolling contract, this should hopefully stop them from taking some sub-standard photos, bunging them on to their website with a bit of blurb and then sit back and wait for buyers to come to them. Make it clear that you expect your EA to actively sell your house. Make sure you see photos before they go up. Go on the basis that most people have no imagination and make your house as neutral as possible - too idiosyncratic and someone with very different taste will struggle to envisage their stuff in your house.

at least 3 valuations, and have a good look at their websites, and see what boards are around your area.

currieaddict Mon 03-Nov-14 16:22:24

Make sure you get a floor plan.

bungalowroofonit Mon 03-Nov-14 17:22:48

@ currieaddict - you would be an estate agent or relative of an estate agent?

There was a thread on here a couple of weeks ago where a poster wanted to know the likelihood of negotiating the agent down from the 'bollocks' of 1.5%

Beyond being more familiar with what buyers are likely to pay in a specific area 'local' agents bring nothing extra.

Which is why you should get 'local' agents to value your property but despite their 'local' knowledge you will find that their valuations vary often by tens of thousands because they are not primarily interested in getting the best price for you, but primarily interested in securing the instruction for them and will do whatever it takes to get that. - either value your property up or value it down - depending on how they have 'read' you the vendor.

It's worth remebering that 'local' agents on for example 1% commission will only earn £100 for every £10,000 extra they earn - not enough to keep them in iphone contracts, branded Minis, bubbly and shiny suits for very long - so don't ever make the mistake of thinking a 'local'agent works for you any more than any other agent.

The clue is in the name - they are an agent - and they work exclusively for themselves - buyers and sellers are just the means to commission and they don't care what your house goes for as long as it goes.

bungalowroofonit Mon 03-Nov-14 17:26:22

And yes, you're right, I don't like the way estate agents operate and don't have a positive view of the industry and estate agents have only themselves to blame for that and the low opinion many people have of their unregulated shennanigans of an industry.

currieaddict Mon 03-Nov-14 17:32:37

Yes, I am an estate agent. Based in Scotland where we are regulated and don't behave in such a manner so please don't tarnish is all with the same brush.

I don't have an iPhone, a branded mini and I don't wear a suit (norks are far too big for that) and in my area, online agents have all failed. So please don't patronise me.

I don't work for myself, I work for my client but then as we are regulated I am bound to. I do care what price my houses go for and I don't charge anything close to 1.5% or £2k what ever was mentioned above.

That enough for you bungalow?

bungalowroofonit Mon 03-Nov-14 17:38:29

Quid pro quo - don't patronise or insult me and I'll be as nice to you.
The OP didn't say they were in Scotland.

What do you mean is that enough for me?

currieaddict Mon 03-Nov-14 17:47:06

With respect bungalow, you came onto this thread slagging of local agents. I corrected you. The OP didn't say where she was, I simply advised her to get a floor plan and disregard your sweeping statements regarding agents. I also advised, that if the OP were in Scotland to completely ignore all of the above.

Monroe Mon 03-Nov-14 18:53:51

Thanks again. I am in the north west, not Scotland smile

At the risk of sounding stupid what is the importance of the floor plan? Told you, complete novice!

We are freshening up the paintwork but keeping it all neutral.

Dh thinks we should wait till after Christmas but I'd like to get it on the market sooner rather than later. I am returning to full time work soon so would like to get things sorted before then.

Prices in our area for similar properties are around £140,000. I have been watching other properties in the area on right move to see what they are going for.

bungalowroofonit Mon 03-Nov-14 19:07:08

@currieaddict -

You live and work under a different legal regime so you have no grounds on which to deny the accuracy of my opinion on estate agents in a country you neither live nor work in and also appear to have very little knowledge of popular opinion in this country - yet you put forward your argument as though it were fact!

With respect, you may as well be arguing on the basis of what estate agents in France or Australia are like compared to England - you just don't share the same experience.

When you've walked a while in the shoes of those who deal with non-Scottish agents then you'll have a more rounded view.

You need to separate the personal from the general - you are so personally angry about an opinion expressed about agents not even in your country!!!
You were not personally criticised, nor was your profession in your country and nor was the OP requesting info on estate agents in your country.

Frankly, I don't know anything about how estate agency in Scotland works which seems about the same as what you know about how it works in England - and I would not defend the way any profession operates in a country I don't live or work in because I would have no solid grounds on which to do so beyond the personal, the subjective and mere conjecture.

You need to stop defending people you know nothing about.

currieaddict Mon 03-Nov-14 19:10:42

Aye, whatever bungalow.

currieaddict Mon 03-Nov-14 19:12:15

OP. Back to floor plans. They are very helpful. Lots of buyers won't consider viewing a property without one. Buyers like to see the layout of a property, ie to see if bathrooms are downstairs off the kitchen etc. I'd strongly recommend getting one.

bungalowroofonit Mon 03-Nov-14 19:13:00

Floorplans are a great help for buyers in visualising how your home works on Rightmove etc before they make a decision on whether to view.

If, for example, an agent hasn't made it clear that bedroom 2 is off bedroom 1, rather than off a hallway - the floorplan will show this to the buyer.

The standard of estate agent descriptions in England can be woefully poor.

Some agents in England aren't fussed about floorplans because they pay a contractor to do them and there's no money in it for the agent and it's just generally extra hassle and if the house sells anyway they don't much care.

For clarity I'm sure it's wonderful in Scotland and Scottish agents would describe the house so clearly you generally wouldn't need a floorplan unless you're English.

Monroe Mon 03-Nov-14 19:21:06

So it would be my responsibility as the seller to get the floor plan and it's not something the agent would typically do?

Where would we get this done? And would we then give it to the agent to include in the listing?

Arghh, I hate being so clueless. I do appreciate people taking the time to talk me through this

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