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Estate agents - which is better - Independent small business or large chain

7 replies

spokette · 11/02/2008 15:54

Looking at the estate agents in my area, there are the large chains like Halifax and there are the smaller independent ones with one office only.

Before I make a short list of those to approach for a valuation etc, would like to know more of the pros and cons of either.

TIA

OP posts:
SoupDragon · 11/02/2008 18:08

Check whether the independant ones are part of rightmove.co.uk or findaproperty.com etc.

Iota · 11/02/2008 18:12

last time I sold a house I used a really dynamic small agent, who sold my property in a week - but that was years ago before the internet

Iota · 11/02/2008 18:15

wow - I just googled my small estate agent - he's a bit bigger these days

Millarkie · 11/02/2008 18:51

We used a small independent one to sell our last house - which surprised me because I thought that we would end up with one of the big chains..however, when we had local bloke round to quote he showed a real knowledge of the local market (was London so prices changed from one street to the next) compared to the chain agents. He was fab and sold it before it was officially on the market!

FrayedKnot · 11/02/2008 18:58

We used an independent franchise (one man band) on recommendation and he sold it within 24 hours

He needed every sale just to keep afloat whereas the big chains, I suspect, make more money out of selling finacial products

whoops · 11/02/2008 19:03

I would suggest a local firm, But whoever you choose make sure they are part of the Ombudsman.
We had problems with an estate agent a few years ago and couldn't complain as they weren't part of the Ombudsman when I questioned this with their head office they claimed they were 'too big'
The main thing any estate agent is interested in is the money

badgermonkey · 11/02/2008 20:06

We just sold our house straight away with a franchised branch of a big chain. In our little town, which is kind of a backwater, there are 6 or 7 independents who have all shuffled along nicely for the last few years, firmly in 1980s mode (minimal web presence, tatty offices, crap sales techniques). The new chain branch has lovely premises, market aggressively (texting potential viewers etc), do all agent-led viewings and charge LESS than the others! Plus their photos and brochures are better.

I had already made the decision to go with them when I went round the other agents to grab the details of some places. I walked into some offices and took four or five brochures without anyone even looking up from their desks! Our agents put us on their database immediately. How can you sell houses when you pay absolutely no attention to potential buyers who are in your office?

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