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Which estate agent would you go with?

(21 Posts)
PoochiePie Tue 21-Mar-17 12:27:45

Backstory: trying to sell our house to relocate 600 miles to DH new job before baby is born in June.

Exchanged on 3 bed det house with garage and garden for £206k in Feb 16, completed October. New build, we put in luxury tiling etc. No new builds of this type available unless you pay £250k for a 4 bed, and the older properties in our area tend to not be detached and don't have parking.

Been on market for 3 weeks, 220k, now 218k. On with an online agent who attends viewings, he is hard to contact I think and some viewings fell away because of that. Had some very helpful advice about it maybe being overpriced via mumsnet which I accept. We have had 4 viewings via that agent, 3 are no's for genuine reasons (ie no parking for a camper van), 1 which we have no feedback from Saturday but they seemed interested, and another booked for Friday. So DH maintains that the price must be somewhat acceptable.


We are going to go with a traditional agent, and I can't decide which. The Crux is 210k is the lowest we can accept, as after EA fees and solicitors we will still be making a loss overall, but salvageable to buy something else (if we don't port our mortgage within 3 months we also have to pay the bank an additional 4K in ERC - hence why we can't make a massive loss)

Which agent would you pick? Neither will budge on commission and contract 12 weeks.
Agent A:
-Sold lots in our price range within a week or two recently and for asking price
-Seemed positive when they visited
-will edit photos to brighten them and fix grass etc
-do viewings 7 days a week
-seem convinced they can get asking of 210
-want us to list at 210 and not 215 which I'm worried is too low and automatically limits us to being in a financially tight spot and there's no way really to say offers 210-215 I don't think....
- say they have 24 people to hot phone about the property....

Agent B
-appear proactive, but could also be just trying to win us over. E.g. when then weather was nice offered to go round and take photos.
- want to market at 215 but say will likely get offers 5% lower...
-apparently have 137 people to hot phone but again not sure how much of that is bending the truth
- £200 odd extra to have a professional photographer take photos and be featured listing for 2 weeks. But they don't photoshop any pics otherwise.
- don't seem to have a strong record of selling in our price point and location other than one recently
-didn't seem that positive about our house when he actually came round.

DH says put it on with agent A for 215, but agent A is saying that's only a 3k drop and won't generate any new interest so they say 210.

What would you do? Agent A or Agent B? 210 or 215?
Would you leave it on with the online agent as they are getting viewings (but match the price to the traditional one) or take it off completely?

AgathaF Tue 21-Mar-17 12:35:46

It could be that Agent A gets so many sales because they under price. I think I would go with Agent B. Have you tried phoneing their office to make finctional enquiries about properties they have? The agent that visited you may not have seemed over enthusiastic, but the others in the office may be more dynamic.

JoJoSM2 Tue 21-Mar-17 12:35:57

Put in on for offers over 210. Agent-wise, I'd go with a cheap online one that is very contactable but you do own viewings (unless you really don't want to). That way, you'll save money and have more wiggle room on the sale price.

PoochiePie Tue 21-Mar-17 14:02:03

agatha why would you choose agent B? My concern with them is that I'm worried they won't have the same client base? But I do share your thought in the idea that agent A may underprice and hence achieve more sales!

PoochiePie Tue 21-Mar-17 14:03:59

jojo Ive read a lot that people hate offers over, and to be honest I always feel a little uncertain about them when I'm looking at properties. And certainly both agents were very against using an offers like approach. I feel like the benefit of a traditional agent is that they will be actively trying to sell whereas my online agent is just waiting for rightmove enquiries and that's it. And I have to pay him now whatever happens...

Bamaluz Tue 21-Mar-17 14:09:06

I would agree with putting it on for offers over 210. That would get it into the lower price range on rightmove. People search up to a certain price, so it would open it up to buyers that may not have seen it before.

Agent A sounds keener, just check the photos before you agree to them. And doing viewings on Sundays is another positive.

AgathaF Tue 21-Mar-17 14:16:43

Attention wise I agree that Agent 1 sounds better, but I wouldn't like the lack of flexibility around the price. It's your house and if you want to try it a little higher then that should be your choice, within reason. Agent B seems more accommodating on that score.

It's worth considering if the lack of offers so far has been down to the online agent being hard to contact to arrange viewings. We moved last year and had exactly that issue when trying to view a couple of properties that were being marketed by onloine agents. It really put us off dealing with them. We've also had friends that have had bad experiences with them. So it could be that £215k with a 'proper' agent would have a completely different result.

highinthesky Tue 21-Mar-17 14:22:03

Honestly? Screw these EAs, go with Purple Bricks / Tepilo.

That way you can be far more flexible about price if you have to.

PoochiePie Tue 21-Mar-17 15:32:07

highinthesky we are on with an agent like that, and he's very hard to get hold of and generally I feel like he's been paid so he's just not bothering :-/

highinthesky Tue 21-Mar-17 15:51:02

Sorry to hear that OP shock.

(I suggested this as I watch the market in my selected area carefully - Purple Brick properties tend not to be on Rightmove for long, whereas I see other properties on for months and moving between different bricks and mortar EAs before shifting).

everybody Tue 21-Mar-17 19:00:50

You don't think you might be being a bit harsh/hasty with the online agent?

After all, you've effectively hobbled them by forcing them to market it at a price which every high street agent has told you is too high and then you're criticising the online agent for no sale!

If you can sell at £210,000 with the online agent having already paid for that service, it makes more sense than paying a high street agent another £3000 on top.

If £210k is the right price for that house in this market - it will sell - no matter who is selling it.

I imagine the online agent gave you the final say so over the marketing price - which the high street agents are telling you is wrong - so basically, it's your mistake, not the agent.

Don't pay out twice for your mistake - you've been taught a lesson by the 'marketplace' - which is telling you that it's price that dictates sales not whether you go online or high street.

MissDuke Tue 21-Mar-17 20:10:22

I wouldn't agree to having pics edited - fix the actual problems, not the pictures! It is dishonest and that is off putting.

Personally I wouldn't view a house on with an online agent (call me old fashioned!) I prefer being able to call into the office and chat to them face to face. However now you have paid them, I agree with the previous poster who said you may as well stick with them now especially when you are dropping the price further - no point in being out even more money now.

PoochiePie Tue 21-Mar-17 23:43:15

everybody - the price we marketed at was the price advised by both the
'Online' agent and the other main agent for our area. Since instructing the online agent we have lost a number of viewings due to him not responding to people, and he doesn't even respond to us for a number of days so I'm suspicious that might be happening with enquiries. The main benefit I suppose if possibly going with a traditional EA is that they would be actively selling, whereas our online agent is just waiting for rightmove enquiries and 60% of the time managing to actually arrange them. We are concerned about dropping the price with the online agent, because one of the reasons the traditional ones are saying to go with a lower price is to generate interest. So I'm concerned that dropping it with the online agent will leave us nowhere further to drop it to, should we end up turning to a traditional eventually?

PoochiePie Tue 21-Mar-17 23:47:01

missduke I actually completely agree with you, the problem is one of the main assets to our house is our large gardens. Where we live has had torrential rain now for a long time, and as the turf was new when we moved in our dogs have destroyed it. It looks really bad in photos - and we think would put people off viewing. Leaving photos out of the garden instead seemed to make people think it was nonexistent. I'm going to have it replaced when we move and Ive been making that clear to viewers but No point whilst our dogs are still here, as it'll be destroyed straight away...

everybody Wed 22-Mar-17 11:30:03

@PoochiePie - the price we marketed at was the price advised by both the 'Online' agent and the other main agent for our area.

As I understand it you're marketing now at £218 - £220.

Agent A is 'convinced' they can get £210 and
Agent B says £215 - haggling drop of 5% which is £205 ish.

Sounds like the main high street agent gave you an 'optimistic' price to try and get your business - you used this as a guide for the online agent, who also wanted your business and you agreed that was the price to market it at.

The advantage that Agents A and B have now is that they already know (because you haven't sold) that £218-220 is overpriced.

They know you know this and fundamentally - you too know this to be true.

I think your house will sell fine with the online agent at £210 because that price will bring in buyers who can tell you're a genuine seller on Rightmove and the online agent will understand you are motivated to sell.

Take any bullshit of high street agents having 'hotlists' of ready buyers waiting to take their calls with the biggest pinch of salt in the world.

Are you on an estate agent 'hotlist'? Do you ever get any calls?

I am (supposedly) and the lazy buggers never call me about anything although they do occassionally email unsuitable properties.

Unless your potential buyers are retired or elderly or other non-computer literate buyers - then they will all come through Rightmove.

Don't blow your cash on EA commission because the thing that will get you the buyer is the price reduction - not the different name on the For Sale board.

I feel I speak from personal pain on this having learnt the hard way but we're all on our own journeys so feel free to disregard.

SnowGlobes Wed 22-Mar-17 11:41:22

I agree with everybody - keep with the online agent when you reduce your price. I'm on 'hotlist' with agents and 2 call immediately they view a property but other 2 don't but I check Rightmove daily and get Rightmove alerts. The potential buyers on your agents hotlist will be looking on Rightmove and will have set up alerts. Save the EA fee. At least until you give online agent a chance.

everybody Wed 22-Mar-17 11:42:30

Just to note, you say that £210 is th elowest you can accept.

That's a fiar point and it's good to know your maths and where you 'break-even' or win or lose.

Your circumstances (and I appreciate that potential buyers won't know this) are that you are going to sell because you are leaving anyway!

What are your other options? Give up on Dh's new job or keep the house and rent it out?

You have a new start ahead of you. Losing a few grand is painful but don't hang on to the house in the hope of getting a few grand more 6 months down the line.

It's better to start a new future with a clean slate, put the house behind you, move on. You haven't gained, maybe you've lost a bit but you could have lost more if you'd been renting...

contractor6 Wed 22-Mar-17 20:12:13

Ignore EA hot lists I am registered on them all, and they NEVER call. I see houses on right move and call them.
I even spent an afternoon visiting the shop just in the hope they would remember me.
My ideal home went on to internet whilst I was in their offices and they didn't mention it! Rant over.

everybody Thu 23-Mar-17 11:14:27

@contractor6 - such a perfect illustration of estate agency as so many of us experience it.

The bottom line is, estate agents don't 'sell' houses - people 'buy' houses.

It's a 'buyer led' transaction which (unfortunately) is still mainly conducted via the medium of the high street estate agency.

gemsie009 Thu 23-Mar-17 15:54:28

Go with a good high street agent that are very pro-active and can provide sales history of similar property.

We recently accepted an offer on ours within 2 weeks with a high street agent. It was on the market with an online EA for 8 weeks beforehand, had 8 viewings with them in that time and half the people seemed like they'd arrived at the wrong property. The online agent wanted us to drop our price by 10k after 2 weeks, eventhough he said it was worth much more!

Now we have to pay for both agents which cost us more, wish we'd never instructed online agent!

Bluntness100 Thu 23-Mar-17 15:58:22

Agent a, 210. Do you want to sell it or not...,

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