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How did you decide on Estate Agent to sell your house?

(20 Posts)
flyinglotus434 Sat 13-Jan-18 19:30:05

Hi, First time seller here. Just wanted some advice on what to expect or look for when choosing a decent selling agent. We had three local agents round before xmas to value our house. One gave a higher valuation than i think the house is worth with a pretty expensive fixed fee. However, they've been very proactive about staying in contact and showing us good places they have on their books. The other two had reasonable fees but I've not heard from them since. Whilst I understand this may be because we're not proceedable yet I can't help feeling that they may stick our house on Rightmove and put their feet up. I considered online agents but as sales are taking longer in my area I think a proactive traditional agent may be better. They all had recent sales of houses similar to mine. It would be good to know some of your experiences. Thanks

flyinglotus434 Sat 13-Jan-18 19:34:02

Just to add that we told all of them we wanted to market our house around now.

Cavort Sat 13-Jan-18 19:49:59

Similar situation to yoirs OP. We had a few traditional High Street EA's in to see what they had to say, then we decided to list it with an online EA (whichever was the cheapest way of getting it on Rightmove) with a view to moving it to a traditional EA if we hadn't sold/had many viewings after 2 weeks. We sold on the first day of viewings and saved thousands on EA's fees.

ObiJuanKenobi Sat 13-Jan-18 19:51:28

Ahhh the age old question..
I've been an estate agent most of my adult life so plonking myself down in anticipation of learning a thing or two here grin

Which county are you?

fieldfox Sat 13-Jan-18 19:53:55

I'm a property solicitor and would say that a good high street estate agent can really make all the difference once the conveyancing process is underway when problems arise in the chain.

Something that some people won't take into account but there's one in my local area that is truly excellent at holding chains together when shit hits the fan!

flyinglotus434 Sat 13-Jan-18 20:10:31

Thanks Cavort - I understand that for online agents you're liable to pay the fee whether your house sells or not. I'd be interested to which online agent you used and the cost. What was your experience of the end to end process particularly during conveyancing and post sale support from the online Company ? I guess you did most of the viewings yourself?

flyinglotus434 Sat 13-Jan-18 20:10:55

I'm in Surrey

Rufustherenegadereindeer1 Sat 13-Jan-18 20:14:45

We had an estate agent round today

At the end dh told him that IF we put the house on the market it would be with him

Because he took his shoes off in the house with out being asked grin

missyB1 Sat 13-Jan-18 20:15:52

We were fairly confident our house would sell as it was in a very sought after area, so we went with an online EA and saved ourselves about 8k!

We used House Network, they were great, but I dont recommend their conveyancing department, I would always use a good local conveyancer.

Pixiedust1973 Sun 14-Jan-18 01:05:35

Im in Surrey too. Started off with the local bulldog agents because I felt it was necessary to get people through the door in this dead market. We got people through the door, but they were not proceedable buyers 28/30 viewings. Had a terrible experience with them to the point we refused to deal with them. We subsequently went on with Purplebricks & the viewers we are getting are all but one of the 13 so far, fully proceedable, mainly chain free! They're viewing because they want to, not because they've been bullied into it! Also, we can afford to drop the price a little if necessary to get a buyer because we're not paying to maintain an EA office.

As for conveyancers. theres some good & some bad, like EA. Ive used the local guy many times & mainly found them to be completely incompetent. Only had one decent experience with a high street firm out of 10+ sales & purchases. On this occasion we thought we may as well try a new way & are with an online firm. GREAT DECISION! Our conveyancer has 20+ years experience & has been incredibly helpful. Looking forward to catching up with her again when we get a new buyer!

Nevercleanmywindows Sun 14-Jan-18 11:28:48

We spoke to 3 local EA whilst deciding to put ours on the market- all seem relatively successful in our local market, valued our property at the same value and rates were all the same. We met another one who was very keen to get into ours when we were viewing another property he had listed- I found very bullish and slimey as f**k- horrible little man- part of nationwide group- dismissed him automatically. We were put off with online EAs at the fixed rates and in the end opted for another one that was the EA for the property we wanted- got us a good deal very quickly with his vendor under us saying “if we get this you will get ours”. Been good and bad tbh, thought it would be easier to have one point of communication as having the same EA but also don’t think they’ve pushed as much because they’re getting more £££ from the above property.

Don’t think there is a right or wrong answer- every time we have bought I’ve ended up hating them, they all seem to tell you what you want to hear rather than actual updates of the situation when in a chain...angry

CherryBlossom321 Sun 14-Jan-18 13:02:19

Hmm, I got 3 round to give a valuation. I felt a little 'meh' about one so wrote them off, particularly as the valuation seemed quite low. We were left choosing between one very established (but expensive) agent known for it's proactive approach, and one newer, cheaper and family run one. It came down to the fact that the former sent a really slimy, cocky and arrogant man I didn't take to at all, and the price - I wrote them off on that basis. It was a mistake. I should have gone with them regardless. We are finally at the end of a six-month, sole agent contract and are swapping to the expensive slimy one. I'm confident they will sell our house. As it is, the agent we originally chose have done a total of 9 viewings over a 6 month period, phoned with a general update once, I've persistently had to chase them for feedback, and we went to view a couple of houses through them and the lady we met at those was totally unenthusiastic, telling us all the negatives of the properties. No wonder ours hasn't sold.

ElsieMc Sun 14-Jan-18 15:22:59

I had a number of agents round because ours is an unusual house. I was more confused than ever afterwards. We are in the NW where prices are pretty standard but we had valuation differences of up to £200,000. Two low ones, who could not justify their valuations. One sold a property in the village two years ago for £100,000 more than he quoted us. The other said he felt it in his gut.

Two were the same and used local price comparisons along with properties they had sold recently. The last was a young lad, very enthusiastic, but hopeless over valuation. Quite liked him, very interested in the house etc, not slimy but wrong person for the job.

We have decided to go with the same price as the other two properties were sold for in the area. Sort of in the middle of the valuations, except the silly one.

How can agents be so far out, I just don't understand. Any reasoning from the Estate Agent on here? All of the agents have chased me up wanting the business and the lower two "re-thought" their valuations.

ObiJuanKenobi Sun 14-Jan-18 15:43:50

Some agents think over valuing will wow you and get your business by over promising to get your hopes up and under delivering.
Others will under value in hopes of getting it on and making a quick sale if they are no sale no fee agents.
All agents should show you their evidence and back up any value with comparables.

They should be looking at sold history, recently sold, current competition, demand reports and use their local knowledge of the general demand for your property type and area (plus obviously tailoring it to your needs).
Having said that some properties are just really really hard to value, especially if they are very unique or have no recent comparable evidence to support a price point.

I've worked in the high street for Countrywide and also online agents and now a hybrid.
In the high street we needed to exchange on at least 12 properties per month just to cover the office rent we - with the online ones you don't have all that so the saving gets passed on to you and the motivation is different to actually sell the house for the customer not for the commission.

I personally would use a hybrid agent (Purplebricks/YOPA..) which have the benefits of online with the local man power on the streets.

niknac1 Sun 14-Jan-18 15:53:20

A high street estate agent can answer telephone questions straight away , when I called one of the online estate agents you had to wait to get a reply. The real life estate agent got me more money than they charged me by negotiating with the buyer on my behalf. I think the estate agents that regularly sell in your are usually have a lot to offer as they know their market well.

BubblesBuddy Sun 14-Jan-18 17:00:52

Quality of what they write about a property. How is it presented to a buyer? Decent photos on Rightmove or Prime Location and not a silly valuation that you won’t get and puts people off viewing. A good, easy to navigate, web site. Hopefully people who will work for you and be positive about your property but also tell you what you need to improve to sell! Honesty and common sense goes a long way!

flyinglotus434 Sun 14-Jan-18 18:03:26

Cherry - This is more or less the situation we're trying to avoid. At least the slime balls appear to be pushy for sales. I may try one more local agent then negotiate the sole agency period down if not sure. I'm not so keen on the online agents due to lack of time to organise things and reluctance to hand over cash before tangible benefit. Also, the few properties that are on with online agents do not appear to be moving.

ElsieMc Sun 14-Jan-18 19:48:46

Obijuan thanks for the advice. Yes, the middle two offered comparisons, advice and had checked the sold prices locally. Low valuers had not checked nor could they provide comparisons. High valuer compared it to our neighbours 1.2 million home when ours looks like it's garage.

Sorry to hijack op, but advice relevant to you also. Good luck.

flyinglotus434 Sun 14-Jan-18 20:19:29

Thanks all !

GreenStripyTowel Sun 14-Jan-18 21:00:34

I chose the agent who was genuinely enthusiastic about my property, gave a realistic valuation (neither highest nor lowest and backed up by similar local recent sales) and had a good strategy for marketing. The enthusiasm was important - I felt like they would sell the place better if they seemed to actually like it smile

They were great on most counts, was really lucky.

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