Q. I’m hearing a lot of rumbles on the street about online estate agents that can sell your property for a very competitive fee. Having never sold a property before and although just like most I am keen to save on the selling fees, I just don’t know whether it’s worth taking the risk. That old saying ‘you get what you pay for’ springs to mind. Any advice you may be able to share would be helpful?
A. Actually on line Agencies have been around for a while now but I think we have seen a more increased presence of this type of selling agency over the last couple of years or so. Of course just as your comments suggest you do absolutely get what you pay for so if someone is offering to do a job for the fraction of the price you absolutely have to ask yourself the question why? Of course as an agent myself I know just how fraught the sale of a home can be and there is for sure a huge advantage of using an agent to act on your behalf. Agents hold a very advantageous position because we are the only party that is able to communicate directly with all four parties, both the Vendor and their solicitor and the purchaser and his solicitor. This clearly gives us the edge as we can often get things agreed quickly between all four parties over a phone call or an email. Removing the agent and left to the solicitors only to communicate formally this same issue could take weeks to resolve. To have someone on the other end of the phone that is an expert in your area that can work tirelessly to push your sale through to exchange and completion will prove to be invaluable. Rolling it back to the beginning we will of course accompany all viewings, remember we are trained to sell houses so can use our expertise to secure a sale for you as quickly as possible. On the odd occasion that I have viewed with the seller present I have often experienced sabotaging by just a comment. I also fiercely believe that keeping the Vendor and the purchaser apart is crucial particularly as towards the end of the process things can get heated and we can try to smooth things over to get the job done, direct contact with your buyer can often lead to an abortive transaction. If you are an experienced property guru and have been through the selling process many times over I don’t doubt that you could successfully sell your home via an on line agency, but for the regular man on the street that only does this a few times during their life time I really do believe that hiring an NAEA (National Association of Estate Agents) regulated local agent is the best way forward.