Property Industry Eye explains why traditional agents are the best:


A property search agent has strongly advised people against trying to sell their own homes via one of the ‘passive intermediary’ sites on the internet.

David Brooke-Smith, of Stacks Property Search, also said that while online agents offer a better chance of success, there is still potential for failure.

He said: “Traditional agents tend to charge somewhere between 1% and 2.5% of the selling price, plus marketing costs, plus VAT. So it’s no great surprise that people are tempted to do the job themselves.

“A plethora of TV programmes has produced a nation of property experts, and there is now a range of options available to the would-be DIY seller. But I would encourage caution.

“If you are in a position to know the true ‘value’ of your property, if you know how to present it at its best, if you have a significant level of IT and SEO skills, if you have strong negotiating and diplomatic skills, if you have endless patience, and if you’re prepared to put in full-time effort and place your life on hold for several months, you may stand a chance.

“In our experience, those that try to go down the DIY route often find it’s simply not working and revert to more traditional methods.

“The greater chance of success comes from using an online agent that offers help with photography, floor plans, and crucially, listing on the main portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla.

“But even with all this help, there’s still a great deal of potential for failure.

“Valuing is the first hurdle to overcome. Vendors may find it difficult to recognise the weaknesses in their own property and will consequently overvalue and discourage enquiries.

“The owner will of course be required to conduct viewings, and whether or not this is a process they embrace, they will have to fall in with potential buyers’ timings, and adopt a non-emotional technique, not always easy when it’s the family home.

“If a vendor should succeed in overcoming these hurdles, potential failure still lurks at the negotiating and conveyancing stage.

“A good estate agent does a great deal of behind-the-scenes work holding a deal together and ensuring it reaches a successful conclusion. It’s often difficult to maintain a professional approach to tense negotiations, and sentiment can be the greatest saboteur of a property transaction.

“The problem with this journey, apart from not achieving a sale, is that you will have incurred substantial non-refundable expenses.

“Selling online requires upfront fees, so if you revert to selling through an agent, you will be duplicating a fair proportion of the cost.”


Source: Property Industry Eye