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crazypabs

Goodbye Mr EA

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On 30/09/2018 at 12:35, crazypabs said:

I'm going to try and post a regular update of estate agents hitting the wall and closing down. This will include appointment of administrators, liquidation, and other forms of cessation of business.

Is this really how you spend your weekend? 
Ever thought about doing a bit of sport, going for a beer? 

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You must be in some kind of hipster area then.  Where I'm looking they hardly feature at all.

I have no axe to grind - I'm currently selling via an online agent and I can't understand why anyone pays an EA £1000s.  If everyone was me they'd have all gone bust years ago, but there seems to be an immensely strong resistance to them vanishing.  I don't understand why at all, but from what I see they're just not going away any time soon.  Wanting something to happen is not the same as expecting it to happen!

Let's stop trading opinions and try some facts.  Off the top of my head, I'm searching for Birmingham on Rightmove (pick a place of your choice), everything sorted according to Newest Listed (to avoid any price bias).

Houses on page 1: 25

Number of online agents: 3 - that's 12%.

Leeds: 6 out of 25 (woohoo!)

Reading: 3 out of 25

Bristol: 2 out of 25

Try it for yourself, if that's the best they can do with saturation advertising then they have a massive tide to turn.

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3 hours ago, Tes Tickle said:

You must be in some kind of hipster area then.  Where I'm looking they hardly feature at all.

I have no axe to grind - I'm currently selling via an online agent and I can't understand why anyone pays an EA £1000s.  If everyone was me they'd have all gone bust years ago, but there seems to be an immensely strong resistance to them vanishing.  I don't understand why at all, but from what I see they're just not going away any time soon.  Wanting something to happen is not the same as expecting it to happen!

Let's stop trading opinions and try some facts.  Off the top of my head, I'm searching for Birmingham on Rightmove (pick a place of your choice), everything sorted according to Newest Listed (to avoid any price bias).

Houses on page 1: 25

Number of online agents: 3 - that's 12%.

Leeds: 6 out of 25 (woohoo!)

Reading: 3 out of 25

Bristol: 2 out of 25

Try it for yourself, if that's the best they can do with saturation advertising then they have a massive tide to turn.

Sitting here in a transgrnder coffee bar, rubbing beard oil...

Nope. This is travelling around multiple towns, looking at signs.

Ditto on RM searches.

Look, noone buying a house looks in ea windows or looks at the local papers property section anymore. All via a computer now.

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I'm not arguing with the concept of buying using a computer!  Actually it's as likely a tablet or phone these days.

But... it would appear that about 90% of people listing ONLINE do so via a high street agent.  It doesn't make any logical sense, but it's how it is and appears to be stubbornly remaining.

Try a few searches, show us an example of an RM search that shows that online agents are taking any more than a few crumbs from the traditional agents.  I don't see any revolution happening.

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1 hour ago, Tes Tickle said:

I'm not arguing with the concept of buying using a computer!  Actually it's as likely a tablet or phone these days.

But... it would appear that about 90% of people listing ONLINE do so via a high street agent.  It doesn't make any logical sense, but it's how it is and appears to be stubbornly remaining.

Try a few searches, show us an example of an RM search that shows that online agents are taking any more than a few crumbs from the traditional agents.  I don't see any revolution happening.

generally its the old who own the houses, give it a bit of time and it will all be online. 

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On 02/10/2018 at 13:07, happyguy said:

It is all well and good being pleased that some agents close - but how does that help anyone who cannot afford to buy anything

Agents charge 1-2% of the price, so their fees cost the seller thousands.  This can get wrapped up in the price or can even make people reluctant to sell at all, as it's usually well over half of the total cost of moving house by selling and buying.

They also encourage rising prices, as the old trick of EAs is to overvalue a house, which is appealing to the seller, so they get the sole rights to sell it.  The house will then hang around for months at this high price, encouraging other sellers to think that this is the going price.  They'll sometimes reduce to a more sensible price, more often than not until now at least they've just hung around until the rising market catches up with their high price so the market price becomes their inflated selling price.  Eventually it becomes self-serving, if every agent overprices then that starts to define the market price in itself, as buyers can't buy from anyone else.

Some online agents get involved in valuations, many just leave it up to the seller.  This means they won't encourage prices up, the flip side is that they won't tell sellers if their price is too high either.

It's possible that EAs may actually encourage sellers to be realistic and lower their price in a downward market, but for the most part their influence is not helpful for buyers.

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On 30/09/2018 at 23:09, Tes Tickle said:

We're currently in the process of selling ours via an online agent but we're in a tiny minority.  I almost never see them on the houses I'm looking at to buy. 

 

 

Do let us know how you get on with the online agencies. Note that YMMV but my personal experience with these online EA have been terrible. My view is they put take your money, put your house on RightMove + Zoopla and that's about it. They don't return your call, terrible at organising viewings and incompetent at the sales process. 

Another thing to put me off is that I'm meeting the vendors when buying houses, but that's personal preference, I fully accept that some actually prefer meeting the vendor themselves. My preference is to meet the vendor *after* we've agreed on the price.

This is in London and again, YMMV.

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I had the same reservations.  I tested Doorsteps by ringing their number from one of their Rightmove listings, and nobody answered the phone.  I think they've been a victim of their own success, after being plugged on the BBC and elsewhere they have lots of customers but don't seem to be coping well.

I really can't expect VIP service for what I'm paying 99home, but so far I've been very impressed.  We've had a few viewings so far.  The buyer phones them, they send me an email with their name and number - that's it as far as they're concerned, so I suppose it's not for anyone who's a wallflower shy type.  I ring them up and take it from there.  I just keep it simple - ask them when's best for them, usually say that's fine then make sure the house is tidy (I don't bake a loaf of bread!).  I also make sure valuables, e.g. phones, wallets etc are all out of sight.

Viewings can be weird for all houses, especially if the homeowner is showing you round, definitely if the entire household is there, either with or without an agent.  My other half goes out shopping or something for an hour, which also means our car isn't cluttering up the drive.  My approach is to try and be as casual, friendly but invisible as possible - they want to see the house, not meet us.  I give them a tour round, then just invite them to wander round on their own if they like, while I try to make myself invisible while keeping an ear out.

I don't enjoy viewings but really a viewing with an agent really wouldn't be any different.  We'd still have to make sure the house was nice, and still have the potential awkwardness, possibly made worse by having them shown round by someone who knows nothing about the place.  I know that when I've viewed houses in the past I've often ended up ignoring the agent and talking to the homeowner anyway, so really the agent often doesn't contribute anything.

I don't think an agent would really add anything from a security perspective either.  We've got some brief but verified contact details for them, just in case they turn out to be lunatics.  The process of them calling then me ringing them back at least verifies their phone number.

I can log into the 99home website and see a list of all contacts, so I can be sure that none have been missed or spam-filtered.  They don't bother chasing up people after, I'm not bothered - my view is you can't persuade someone to buy just by harassing them.  They'll also handle offers and putting the solicitors in touch with each other when we get to that point, there's a list of offers made on their website too, sadly empty at the moment - it's still very early days.

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  • 396 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%



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