When you decide to sell your property, the majority of people choose a local estate agent to do this.  One reason is that estate agents advertise on Rightmove, and its common knowledge that this is by far the biggest (and best) property site in the UK.  Almost everybody knows it due to their TV advertising, and almost everybody has used it at one point to look for property.  Functionally it’s still the best to use, and the site isn’t filled with adverts like some of its competitors, which makes the task of browsing more enjoyable.

Another reason is that estate agents have the knowledge and experience to sell your property for the highest price possible.  Because all estate agents undergo rigorous training to ensure their knowledge about property is technically far superior to that of a home owner.  Most are also highly proficient in the art of selling and closing (due to the lengthy training they have), and using skilled techniques such as open and closed questioning.  An estate agent always works by the old adage ‘you have two ears and one mouth’, and that’s why they are usually brilliant listeners.

Perhaps another reason is because an estate agent knows exactly what your property is worth, and this way you won’t waste unnecessary time on the market at an inflated price essentially putting off would-be buyers.

OK, I’m just having a little fun.  The point is that estate agents are human too.  They don’t actually know what your house is worth at all (it’s a subjective opinion); They offer an educated guess based on factors that you can easily research for yourself on the World Wide Web.  The fact that so there’s such a difference between ‘marketed prices’ and ‘sold prices’ in the UK indicates they aren’t actually that great at getting the valuation (marketing) price correct after all at the first attempt.   An example I can quote is one of property that’s been on the portfolio of a ‘major London agency’ locally for about a year now and the price over that time has been reduced by almost £100,000!  Not a hugely successful initial valuation then?

Most estate agents aren’t brilliant sales people either.  Successful cold callers are brilliant sales people.  Many estate agents have never ever even been on a sales course.  They usually talk far too much to be brilliant sales people.  Most will admit if pushed that nice property sells itself anyhow so the need to sell, or negotiate is minimal.

We have just instructed a lovely property (which I’m very confident will sell).  The owner wanted us to do the viewings (although I tried to talk him into our non-viewing service, as it would save him quite a bit of money which could be better spent elsewhere).  He felt an agent would do a better job of the viewings, yet the way in which he explained the benefits to a prospective buyer of the property having a share of the freehold, and how quickly he could walk to the station in the mornings and how easy it was to always get a parking space in the road was something I simply couldn’t have done as well, or as believably.  He confidently answered all the prospective buyer’s questions, and she left happy and feeling fulfilled.  I’m not sure any agent I could think of could have done a better job, and I was pretty much left a bystander.  Afterwards the viewer spoke to me and had a few questions, and I would have given the same answers had I been there or not.

My point is, if you live at the property and you want to sell it, why not try a different way of doing it.  Why not try an online estate agent, who can value your property accurately, advertise your property in much the same way, and speak to the viewers to negotiate just the same way as any agent does.  The only discernible difference is that online estate agents ask you to show people around.  It’s not exactly taxing, and in fact it can actually be quite exciting.  And for doing this simple job, we’ll save you a small fortune.  We also think it’s a greener way of doing things.  Less driving (from the estate agent) means less co2 emissions, and this can only be a good thing.

I heard from a very reliable source last week of a recent seller locally who wanted the ‘high street’ agent to reduce their fees on her £500,000 house as the original quote was nearly £10,000.  They agreed to reduce their fee to £5,000 if she agreed to do the viewings.  If only she looked a little further afield than the high street, she could have found an online estate agent who would have done the same job for hundreds, not thousands.

The property is now listed as under offer.  Proof that the viewings part of the process does little to influence whether a sale is made or not?  Her buyers also had no issue with the fact the seller was showing them around.  Or perhaps it just sold itself.

Fishneedwater is an online estate agent, and also: