Jump to content
House Price Crash Forum
Trevor Werewolf

Estate Agents - They No Longer Serve Any Useful Purpose

Recommended Posts

I'm fairly new to this forum, so my apolgies if this subject has been covered before.

Having had many bad experiences with slimey, disingenous EA's and to avoid having to suffer their shallow, predictable, identikit personalities, I decided that when it came to selling my property, I'd by-pass them completely and sell my house myself.

I advertised my three bed terrace in Northampton in April 2004 through an internet company called Mypropertyforsale.com. I provided all the photographs and blurb for the web ad and they provided me with a sign to put outside the house. Within two weeks I'd sold the house for full asking price to the first of fifteen viewers (he came back three times) Not only that, I was twice offered sums above the full asking price, both of which I declined, of course! Anyway the total fee, including the sign was 84 quid!

Nobody knows their own property like the person who lives in it, and I wasn't prepared to ******** anyone into buying it by making false claims. EVERY person who came to view the house said this was one of the main reasons that interested them and that they were thankful that they wouldn't have to deal with THEM ... EA's.

So why in this age of internet enterprise doesn't Joe Public cotton on to the fact that they can sell their property themselves, instead of paying bloated fees to some cretinous EA, who does nothing but advertise their house with a crappy photograph, misleading and unimaginative descriptions and takes a whopping cut from THEIR property for doing very little at all?

Of course the whole process can be done even cheaper by having your own webpage with web address on the sign outside the house!

It's not like trying to fix a washing machine or car engine, where you actually need the advice and skills of an expert - ANYONE can sell a house, it's not rocket science! ...it is so EASY!

If the majority of JOE P. did this, it would create a much fairer and interesting free market regarding house pricing.

There would be no more EA's competing against each other to push prices up! Or 'stretching' and indeed lying that houses are in an area which they are DEFINATELY not in! This type of marketing has been done with great aplomb in Northampton. An area called Abington has been 'stretched' and marketed beyond the imagination by EA's, because it's a supposed 'desirable' area! A case of telling a big enough lie for long enough until people believe it!

I also found that most people became aware of my property by the 'For Sale' sign and I'm sure that's the case with any house that's up for sale, people do their own research..... If only the public were more savvy.... the EA would be extinct!!

What a wonderful thought!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe such web - based low fee enterprises will take - off once vendors have to start shelling - out £1000 up - front for the new sellers packs which take effect soon.

My brother runs his own internet service company [*************] amongst others. Him and I are considering setting up such a service.

How much would people be prepared to pay UP - FRONT for say 8 weeks prescense?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm fairly new to this forum, so my apolgies if this subject has been covered before.

Having had many bad experiences with slimey, disingenous EA's and to avoid having to suffer their shallow, predictable, identikit personalities, I decided that when it came to selling my property, I'd by-pass them completely and sell my house myself.

I advertised my three bed terrace in Northampton in April 2004 through an internet company called Mypropertyforsale.com. I provided all the photographs and blurb for the web ad and they provided me with a sign to put outside the house. Within two weeks I'd sold the house for full asking price to the first of fifteen viewers (he came back three times) Not only that, I was twice offered sums above the full asking price, both of which I declined, of course! Anyway the total fee, including the sign was 84 quid!

Nobody knows their own property like the person who lives in it, and I wasn't prepared to ******** anyone into buying it by making false claims. EVERY person who came to view the house said this was one of the main reasons that interested them and that they were thankful that they wouldn't have to deal with THEM ... EA's.

So why in this age of internet enterprise doesn't Joe Public cotton on to the fact that they can sell their property themselves, instead of paying bloated fees to some cretinous EA, who does nothing but advertise their house with a crappy photograph, misleading and unimaginative descriptions and takes a whopping cut from THEIR property for doing very little at all?

Of course the whole process can be done even cheaper by having your own webpage with web address on the sign outside the house!

It's not like trying to fix a washing machine or car engine, where you actually need the advice and skills of an expert - ANYONE can sell a house, it's not rocket science! ...it is so EASY!

If the majority of JOE P. did this, it would create a much fairer and interesting free market regarding house pricing.

There would be no more EA's competing against each other to push prices up! Or 'stretching' and indeed lying that houses are in an area which they are DEFINATELY not in! This type of marketing has been done with great aplomb in Northampton. An area called Abington has been 'stretched' and marketed beyond the imagination by EA's, because it's a supposed 'desirable' area! A case of telling a big enough lie for long enough until people believe it!

I also found that most people became aware of my property by the 'For Sale' sign and I'm sure that's the case with any house that's up for sale, people do their own research..... If only the public were more savvy.... the EA would be extinct!!

What a wonderful thought!

I largely agree with you ... except for one small thing. Many people are as sly and devious as estate agents and they are quite happy to have a middle-man between them and their buyer.

However, I believe it is only a matter of time before a major corporate player (there were rumours about Tesco's in the paper a while ago) will look at what is a huge revenue industry and take it on by providing an internet based service backed up by local agents (to value and handle viewings) who will be based at home. It needs someone with the financial muscle to do it. EAs, by virtue of their chronic inefficiency, are like lambs waiting to be slaughtered. Even the good ones are not very good - despite talking the talk.

I believe such web - based low fee enterprises will take - off once vendors have to start shelling - out £1000 up - front for the new sellers packs which take effect soon.

My brother runs his own internet service company [*************] amongst others. Him and I are considering setting up such a service.

How much would people be prepared to pay UP - FRONT for say 8 weeks prescense?

There are a number of people already at this and (having given the matter a great deal of thought myself - being in the web development business) they have clearly invested a lot of time and money into developing some pretty impressive services. I can't see the seller's pack making a difference, surely private vendors will have to provide a seller's pack as well. HIPs would be a nonsense otherwise. It already is a nonsense seeking to criminalise activities (or lack of them) in a completely unregulated business - but that is another matter.

These internet services have limited impact - there are too many devious vendors wanting to hide behind estate agents (letting them tell the porkies for them) - and they simply don't have the financial muscle or 'brand' to get the public to trust them. I think one of the big corporate estate agents will break ranks one of these days and start up what will be, at first, an alternative internet based service - which will slowly grow to replace their branch network. Who will be first I wonder?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

These internet services have limited impact

Im not so sure M. I think there is now a general acceptance by the masses when it comes to on - line transactions.

A small local service could easily work as long as it is 'framed' well, that is, clear and attractive image message.

My brother has spent 10 years developing total automation software which we could use to provide such a service, with absolutely no staff input (hence low costs) apart from having the local board contractor errect boards at £7.00 a pop.

I agree there are many devious sellers and buyers but equally there are plenty of non - devious people who once the idea spreads will take to it. 3 years ago I would have agreed with you that people were'nt ready but I think the time has come for on - line selling.

The HIPs point I was trying to make is that once vendors have to shell - out £1000 up - front they will be mentally atuned to shelling - out another £90.00 up - front for a stab at on - line selling.

Edited by dogbox

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe such web - based low fee enterprises will take - off once vendors have to start shelling - out £1000 up - front for the new sellers packs which take effect soon.

My brother runs his own internet service company [*************] amongst others. Him and I are considering setting up such a service.

How much would people be prepared to pay UP - FRONT for say 8 weeks prescense?

Easier.com tried and failed with major backing in the dot com boom. Despite raising millions they could not get the idea of the ground. Perhaps ironically they were too early. There are lots of players at it, the forsalebyowner movement is quite big in the States. Major hurdle I perceive is that it must be launched in a property boom, now you wouldn`t want that would you?

:P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Easier.com tried and failed with major backing in the dot com boom. Despite raising millions they could not get the idea of the ground. Perhaps ironically they were too early. There are lots of players at it, the forsalebyowner movement is quite big in the States. Major hurdle I perceive is that it must be launched in a property boom, now you wouldn`t want that would you?

:P

Launching in recessionary times suits me. There were far more millionaires at the end of the last crash compared to pre - crash.

Raising millions and making a big splash is in my opinion not necessary. A good local automated (to ensure profitability) service could work. My brothers software has recently been used by other business's and it really is totally automated and completely removes the need for any staff (bit grim I know). I was sceptical prior to its launch but it really does work and I think this technology could be harnessed for on - line home selling.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I see some problems with selling your house privately.

1) You may price the house too low since you may not know the local market as well as a local EA. This is likely to be much more expensive than the 1.5% an EA takes.

2) Do you really want to field all the calls from prospective buyers? Do you have the necessary customer-facing skills?

3) Are you a good negotiator? Do you have the gift of the gab? It would be very easy to undersell / get beaten down in price if you are not. EA's may be full of s**t but that can be to your advantage.

4) Any private selling website really needs to achive a critical mass before it makes sense to use it. Many of the websites at the moment have hardly any properties listed.

6) Buyers may be put off purchasing from a private seller as there is no intermediary. Many people don't know how to handle high stakes negotiations. They would rather walk than get involved in a confrontational situation.

Selling privately can work but I think at the moment the average guy in the street (and thus most of your potential buyers) do not feel comfortable with buying from a private seller. They like the having the EA as the go between who will do the talking for them.

EA's aren't all scumbags you know, they do perform a useful (if expensive?) function.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

EAs MUST DIE :angry:

I see some problems with selling your house privately.

1) You may price the house too low since you may not know the local market as well as a local EA. This is likely to be much more expensive than the 1.5% an EA takes.

2) Do you really want to field all the calls from prospective buyers? Do you have the necessary customer-facing skills?

3) Are you a good negotiator? Do you have the gift of the gab? It would be very easy to undersell / get beaten down in price if you are not. EA's may be full of s**t but that can be to your advantage.

4) Any private selling website really needs to achive a critical mass before it makes sense to use it. Many of the websites at the moment have hardly any properties listed.

6) Buyers may be put off purchasing from a private seller as there is no intermediary. Many people don't know how to handle high stakes negotiations. They would rather walk than get involved in a confrontational situation.

Selling privately can work but I think at the moment the average guy in the street (and thus most of your potential buyers) do not feel comfortable with buying from a private seller. They like the having the EA as the go between who will do the talking for them.

EA's aren't all scumbags you know, they do perform a useful (if expensive?) function.

Seems like a smart idea to do your own individual website as long as you mak it appear in search engines.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do EAs provide any services, other than advertising your house? Legal stuff, for example. Having never bought or sold a house, I'd be interested to know if it really is as simple as sticking an ad on e-bay or similar.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do EAs provide any services, other than advertising your house? Legal stuff, for example. Having never bought or sold a house, I'd be interested to know if it really is as simple as sticking an ad on e-bay or similar.

No they just sell your house and if they got involved in anything else it would be highly inethical. They act as an intermediary between you and a potental purchaser. There is an increasing trend towards selling on ebay etc. I think doing your own individual website is a good idea.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I see some problems with selling your house privately.

1) You may price the house too low since you may not know the local market as well as a local EA. This is likely to be much more expensive than the 1.5% an EA takes.

2) Do you really want to field all the calls from prospective buyers? Do you have the necessary customer-facing skills?

3) Are you a good negotiator? Do you have the gift of the gab? It would be very easy to undersell / get beaten down in price if you are not. EA's may be full of s**t but that can be to your advantage.

4) Any private selling website really needs to achive a critical mass before it makes sense to use it. Many of the websites at the moment have hardly any properties listed.

6) Buyers may be put off purchasing from a private seller as there is no intermediary. Many people don't know how to handle high stakes negotiations. They would rather walk than get involved in a confrontational situation.

Selling privately can work but I think at the moment the average guy in the street (and thus most of your potential buyers) do not feel comfortable with buying from a private seller. They like the having the EA as the go between who will do the talking for them.

EA's aren't all scumbags you know, they do perform a useful (if expensive?) function.

I agree some people will not wish to deal direct, hower, many will. Years ago everyone booked a package holiday and used a travel agent. The argument went 'people wont want the worry of dealing direct and will be concerned the hotel will be double booked etc', but sure enough many now tailor make thier own arrangements. Selling houses will follow this trend.

About 6 years ago I had the idea of setting up an 'endowment complaint service' assisting people in obtaining compensation for miss - selling. Everyone put me off and said it would never take off. Sure enough I now see many companies operating with national TV campaigns etc.

Its always easier to spot negatives than positives with any new business idea.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The whole "homeowner sale" concept is something that I have been thinking about for some time now, and I am surprised that it hasn't already taken off.

I would think that websites that already have nationwide exposure would surely be in the best position. What would stop Ebay form launching something along the lines of "Ebay Property" - instead of the traditional bidding process, it would serve as a fee paying advertising service. We are starting to see this sort of thing already, for example:

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/HOUSE-PROPERTY-FOR-S...1QQcmdZViewItem

"The gardener" raises some good points above. You would really need to think of all of the functions that an estate agent performs, from taking high volumes of calls from prospective buyers to having a well positioned sales office on the local high street. At the end of the day, the buyer would probably prefer an estate agent as a certain amount of hard work is undertaken by the EA - it is in the seller's interest to cut the middleman's commission (i.e. the EA fees). In today's market, most buyers are also sellers as well, of course.

And let's not forget one crucial function that an estate agent performs: arranging the actual viewings. What is the average number of viewings for a typical purchase ? Does the seller really have time for 15 or so viewings ?

But ultimately, the EA adds no real value once the sale has been made. Car dealers can offer post sales support in the form of extended warranties and servicing, but there is no equivalence for an EA.

Interesting thread though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Launching in recessionary times suits me. There were far more millionaires at the end of the last crash compared to pre - crash.

Raising millions and making a big splash is in my opinion not necessary. A good local automated (to ensure profitability) service could work. My brothers software has recently been used by other business's and it really is totally automated and completely removes the need for any staff (bit grim I know). I was sceptical prior to its launch but it really does work and I think this technology could be harnessed for on - line home selling.

Far be it from me to discourage anyone setting up an online venture. My other worry for your potential business model is a view I`ve aired before..breaking the mafia/stranglehold/cycle of: Agent-Valuer-Lender is without doubt the biggest hurdle to be faced. I know because prior to Easier.com, 1999, I thoroughly investigated the opportunity. Indigo Property Solutions-IPS was to be my baby, the corporate I.D. still looks cool to this day :) If you want it, and my services it`s available..for a fee :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A good salesman is worth his weight in gold. The problem is that they are very few and far between. I can't remember the last time I was actually "sold" anything. All my purchases were "bought" by me. The sales staff just took care of the paper work. Of course a great salesman would leave you thinking that the decision was yours but .........

Bought a digital camera recently. I had to physically grab a salesman so that I could buy it. Without any prompting at all by me he dropped the price and threw in a battery charger and halved the price of the memory card. Whilst the camera was not even mid range priced it was expensive for me :o

I believe that this bubble was similar. Muppets with no sales skills were able to sell properties because people were fighting over them. It would have been dead easy to sell property. The trick of course will be to sell them during the crash. That will be the mark of a true professional -> Good luck suckers :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A good salesman is worth his weight in gold. The problem is that they are very few and far between. I can't remember the last time I was actually "sold" anything. All my purchases were "bought" by me. The sales staff just took care of the paper work. Of course a great salesman would leave you thinking that the decision was yours but .........

Bought a digital camera recently. I had to physically grab a salesman so that I could buy it. Without any prompting at all by me he dropped the price and threw in a battery charger and halved the price of the memory card. Whilst the camera was not even mid range priced it was expensive for me :o

I believe that this bubble was similar. Muppets with no sales skills were able to sell properties because people were fighting over them. It would have been dead easy to sell property. The trick of course will be to sell them during the crash. That will be the mark of a true professional -> Good luck suckers :P

Respect. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Far be it from me to discourage anyone setting up an online venture. My other worry for your potential business model is a view I`ve aired before..breaking the mafia/stranglehold/cycle of: Agent-Valuer-Lender is without doubt the biggest hurdle to be faced. I know because prior to Easier.com, 1999, I thoroughly investigated the opportunity. Indigo Property Solutions-IPS was to be my baby, the corporate I.D. still looks cool to this day :) If you want it, and my services it`s available..for a fee :D

My brother and I are only 'kicking the idea around'. To our advantage we wouldnt need to make any profit as we are in fortunate position of not needing additional income. As such, we could offer very low fee's (perhaps £25.00) with our sole aim being customer growth made easier by the fact we dont need a profit.

We could increase the fees to generate profit if and when a critical mass of customers / interest was achieved.

My 'guess' is that out of every 10 homes on the market, 2 would give us a punt for a measily £25.00, no???

As for E/A accompanied viewings, everyone I know does the viewings themselves so selling direct holds no challenge for most sellers.

As I say, just an idea for now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do EAs provide any services, other than advertising your house? Legal stuff, for example. Having never bought or sold a house, I'd be interested to know if it really is as simple as sticking an ad on e-bay or similar.

Funnily enough, my parents have done their own conveyancing the last couple of times they moved. It's normally done by a legal secretary - charged at lawyers' rates. Dad just bought a book and did it himself - said it was dead easy. Praps someone could set up a website that helps people do that!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Funnily enough, my parents have done their own conveyancing the last couple of times they moved. It's normally done by a legal secretary - charged at lawyers' rates. Dad just bought a book and did it himself - said it was dead easy. Praps someone could set up a website that helps people do that!

Books have been available explaining this for a long time. Even worse, solicitors charge vast percentages of the value of estates to act as executors of wills and obtain probate and often it can be done yourself and save 10s of thousands of quid.

Edited by penbat1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

dogbox have a look at these sites

http://www.sellmyhouse.co.uk/

http://www.houseweb.co.uk/

and tell me what makes your idea unique

Im not sure, but for 1 thing we are looking to focus on our local areas for 2 reasons: 1. Sellers need local serious buyers, not luke warm potential buyers. 2. We dont want expensive internet 'prescense' costs to attract all - commers from accross the nation as this is a cash - eater. We want a local person to obtain the web address from the for sale board, so out costs of being on the net are minimal and not prescense driven.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • 301 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.