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Are you thinking of using an estate agent to help sell your property? Although this is a traditional route that many people typically go down, it more often than not, ends up costing the seller more in the long run. From over-valued properties, badly taken photographs to inaccurate house details and cancelled viewings, many sellers are left with unsold houses and empty pockets.
To make sure that you don’t miss out on selling your house quickly and at the best possible price, we’ve listed below the reasons sellers are choosing not to use estate agents so you know what to look out for.
1. Over-valuing property
The bottom line is, estate agents want your business. And as the demand for their service has declined rapidly over the past decade, they’ll do anything to secure it. So what will attract sellers the most? A large, over-the-top, non-realistic, asking price.
If you’ve done your research, you’ll be well aware of what the average house price is going for in your area for a similar house to yours. The estate agent will predict you have a figure in mind and they’ll not only match this, they’ll add 10s of thousands onto it. Why? So you get lost in the numbers and can’t refuse their business.
But what does this mean for you? Not only will you not get the asking price they have set, potential buyers will instantly be put off, meaning less viewings (if any at all!), and the longer your house takes to sell, the more it will cost you.
Initially, you’ll have to reduce your asking price just to secure viewings but because it’s been on the market for months, buyers will make lower offers as they think you’re in a more vulnerable position to accept.
An attractive asking price may seem appealing at first, but in the long run, it isn’t.
2. Fake viewings
That’s right. FAKE viewings! It is known among the industry that estate agents get their friends and even families to pose as interested buyers, to make it appear their hard work is getting people through the door. However, weeks later there are still no offers. Why? Because it was a set up purely to get your business.
It’s important that you don’t fall for this scam, as you will believe that your property is desirable at the high asking price you wish to secure. However, you’ll realise quickly that there are less and less viewings and no interested buyers. So if the estate agent, promises you viewings before signing a contract, know this is likely to be a false incentive for you to work with them.
3. Potential buyers
Estate agents will also be full of promises that they have a database full of people who are searching for a property just like yours. Amazing, right? Wrong! Sure the estate agents may well have a database full of people BUT many of these will be either sellers rather than buyers OR have found a new home now and aren’t on the market to look.
Don’t be fooled and try to ask for evidence from your estate agent to prove they can back up what they say. If they can’t, then using an estate agent might not be right for you.
4. Commission is not based on sales
A popular misconception is that estate agents get commission based on selling your home, but in fact their commission is based around getting your business. This is why we’ve pointed out the above points.
With no benefit of selling your property added to their pay check, estate agents often become less reachable, and seemingly not in a rush to sell your house as they originally made it seem. It can lead to a lot of frustration and back and forth from your side, which ultimately costs you more and more money.
5. Contract lock down
Beware! Many estate agents will have you sign a contract before starting work with them but read the small print! Often you are tied into their service, meaning you can’t use another property agency to sell your property or sell your house through a cash house buying company like We Buy Any House, without having to pay to get out of your contract, where you’re usually locked in for 6 months.
6. Poor photography
If you do choose to sell your home with an estate agent they will come and view your property, taking photographs to advertise online. However, you need to remember that estate agents aren’t professional photographers and sometimes the photos that they take can do your property an injustice.
It’s important that all photographs of your property are clear and are ideally taken on a bright day, especially for external images (though this isn’t always possible, especially during winter months). Make sure that the photos which will be advertised on property websites such as Rightmove and Zoopla, give a clear indication of the size of your home.
Prepare your house for potential buyers as best you can with our helpful guide. And remember, by using images that enable buyers to visualise themselves living in your property, you're providing more of a chance of them booking a viewing, meaning they are one step closer to making an offer!
If you’re wanting to sell your home, and decide to go down the route of using an estate agent, make sure you really do your research before choosing one. Remember, there are other ways to sell your home; We Buy Any House can help you sell your property fast, with no legal fees to you.