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Are There Alternatives To An Estate Agent?



Many people get put off by the high cost of an estate agent. For many years, this was the traditional way of selling a home, but with the popularity of the Internet, sellers have other options.

The Do-it-yourself (DIY) route

If you do decide to do-it-yourself, you will have to take on all the responsibility of measuring your home, taking photographs and uploading them to a property listing site. You will have to arrange for the energy performance certificate yourself and coordinate with potential buyers. This means, you also have to do the viewings and once someone is interested, actually do the negotiations yourself.

You will then end up paying a very minimal fee for posting your property but have to invest your time and effort instead in doing everything else.

The online estate agent route

There are also the so-called online estate agents who promise a bit more. You pay for a package of services, the basic including a valuation of the home, a visit to take photos and floor plans, and creating the listing for you. A more advanced package can help in organising visits, as well as support in negotiating and completing the sale.

This will still cost you significantly less than an estate agent, though you would have to really to do your homework on the website to make sure that they are credible and will really help you sell your home.

The traditional way

As opposed to the 2 options mentioned above, hiring an estate agent will remove all of this work from your plate. Bringing with them local knowledge and a book of potential buyers, you are more assured that you will sell your property at the best possible price. If you are also not as great with haggling, which is not a very British trait, they will handle it for you.

It will cost you a lot more, up to 3.5% of commissions, in fact. But consider the value of your time, and include this in your decision-making process.

The multi-agency approach

You can also combine more than one route by doing a multi-agency agreement. You can then list your property with a few estate agents and even an online one. You just need to make sure that you are not signing up for a sole agency agreement with anyone, which forbids you from contracting someone else. Doing so will be a breach of contract, and you would still pay for both agents.

A multi-agency agreement, however, will mean you have to pay a bit more on commission but you benefit by having more people market your home and possibly increasing competition. You will end up paying commission only to the one who manages to sell it in the end.

In conclusion, you decide which route to take, based on how involved you want to be in the process and how much you are willing to pay. It is not enough to think that you will save money from paying commission if you actually do not have the time or expertise to do-it-yourself. You will simply end up hiring an estate agent in the end and doubling your costs. At the end of the day, you are paying for a service, and you do gain something in return.

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