Our client had been trying to sell her property herself with an online agent in Herne Hill SE24.  After an unsuccessful NINE months of attempting to sell online the vendor came to us.  She had initially met us before but she decided against going with a traditional agent as she felt estate agents did not offer value for money.

I stayed in touch with her and noticed it was sticking on the market.  Our client was getting ZERO viewings with her online agent so first we discussed how her initial price was not realistic and that she needed to bring it down to an achievable level which would attract buyers through the door.   In the 9 months with her online agent they had never discussed the reasons for the lack of viewings and what could be done about this.

Despite our advice our vendor was not keen to drop her price initially and she wanted us to give it a go at her price of £596,000.  In the first two months of marketing the lack of viewings continued. We had many discussions about how we would go about selling eventually the vendor agreed that we needed to drop the price.  We agreed to drop the price to £565,000 on the 23rd April 2015 by the 1st May we had an offer of £550,000, although the £550,000 was not acceptable to the vendor at least we were starting to make some head way.

After much persistence on our end the buyers increased their offer to £555,000 which was accepted by the vendor.  The buyers’ position was ideal as they were chain free and had a large deposit which meant our vendor was in a better position for her onward purchase.

The property was at 1930’s apartment block in a fabulous location on Herne Hill Road but was in need of some TLC internally which meant buyers would need to look past the internal condition and see the potential of the place.  This was the main reason it was difficult to sell,  as well as competing against more desirable Victorian flats in Herne Hill, albeit at a slightly higher price band.

Fishneedwater are proud of our ethos to never give up, we were persistent and honest with our vendor who may not have always liked what we had to say.  Clear honest advice is sometimes needed if you are serious about selling and this is what we give our clients. There are many agents who would have given up and not put in the required effort and just let it sit on the market.  Especially the Online Agents where you have already paid an upfront fee, they wouldn’t be too fussed if it sells or not when they already the money in the bank.

Although we did not achieve over the asking price (in this case) our vendor had clearly had her head turned by a high initial valuation.  Our advice to anyone considering selling their property is to ensure the agents they bring round for a property appraisal bring a detailed valuation report along with them showing what similar properties have sold nearby to support their valuation.  If they do not do this then I would treat their valuation with caution.  One other thing to consider, especially when trying to compare the perceived savings many Online Agents report.  A property that is priced properly with good marketing (professional photos, videos, property information packs) and a negotiator who is motivated to achieve the best possible price for you will generally out perform any savings you are likely to achieve from an online agent.


Let’s face it most people are not born sales people, they don’t like negotiating with multiple people to achieve the best price.  Unless you are one of those people who likes to push for a higher offer and enjoy the thrill of the sale then you are likely to very quickly lose the average £5k savings reported by many online agents.  And what if the Online Agent offer this as part of their package?  Remember these are sales people on a £800 fee the sales person would be looking to earn £80 commission.  Do you think they will invest much of their time trying to get the best possible sale price?  It’s not going to earn them more commission.  They’ll want to be moving on to their next sale.

We’re always happy to discuss the local property market in Herne Hill SE24.  Feel free to give me a call if you need advice on the property market or help with selling or letting your home.