The traditional high street estate agent has dominated the British property market for decades, and the public’s love/hate relationship with suited and booted estate agents has been widely publicised in the press.
When the time comes for us to put a property on the market, the vast majority of people will compare and contrast different local estate agents before deciding on a way forward.
Shopping around before making a decision about one of the most valuable assets you will ever own is always a good idea, but are we all missing a trick?
Savvy consumers love comparing and carefully evaluating all their options to ensure they are getting the best deals, but by comparing high street agent against high street agent, you are only looking at ONE of your options.
Instead of comparing different traditional estate agents, we should be comparing the high street agency model against other routes to market, such as online-only estate agents and For-Sale-By-Owner or private house sales services.
While it is hard to argue against the fact that a High Street estate agent will provide the most comprehensive level of service, if you are willing to do a little bit of the work yourself, you can save thousands of pounds and take control of your sale.
Online estate agents are a relatively new entrant to the market, having grown in popularity over the past 5 years. Their main purpose is to secure you a listing on 2 of the most valuable online property portals – Rightmove and Zoopla.
Online agents have emerged as a lower cost alternative to the high street agency and with no physical office and costly overheads to contend with, they can afford to provide their service to sellers for a low cost fixed fee – usually between £400 – £700 for a basic package.
With 90% of property searches now starting online, more and more sales are going from listing to completion without ever meeting a slick salesman in a branded hatchback.
Image Source BettaLiving.co.uk
Online agents provide a sort of middle ground between the all-singing all-dancing high street service at one end and the DIY approach of the For Sale By Owner service at the other.
Private house sales, otherwise known as FSBO, direct selling or peer-to-peer selling, is the cheapest way to sell a home in the UK and gives you the most freedom in terms of how you market your home.
Both online and high street agents will apply the same blanket marketing approach to all their properties, making it difficult for your home to stand out in the endless sea of listings.
Private sales, however, allows you to be as unique and inventive as possible, and gives you more control over the progress of your sale.
It is true that a private sale is by far the cheapest route to market – 4 month’s advertising on property portal TheHouseShop.com will cost you £89.99 – but it is important to remember that you may have to pay for some optional extras, such as professional photography, floor plans, EPCs, and sales progression (if needed).
Looking at these different routes to market got us thinking… What else could you do with the money you shell out to find a buyer? And how much could you save by exploring alternatives to the traditional high street service?
The House Shop looked at how much it would cost to sell a home, worth roughly the UK average of £175,000, for each different route to market.
Check out The Cost of Finding a Buyer infographic below to find out!
Main Image Source