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for-sale-by-owner  Can I really sell without the use of an estate agent?

Now there’s a question I regularly get asked (along with “how much do you think my house is worth” every time I get invited for dinner somewhere!) and in fairness it is a good and reasonable question.

At a time when every penny counts and the fact that moving is so expensive, there is a strong argument for trying to save on the estate agents fees. Almost weekly it seems another “expert” will give you their opinion one way of another in the newspaper, so I guess this is now my opportunity!

So what are the options for a seller?

The first is to place their own advert in the paper or on a lesser website and make their own board and place it outside their home. Minimal upfront costs.

The second would be to use an internet only estate agent who will do all of the above for you but will charge you a one off upfront fee.

The third would be to employ the services of a professional estate agent, who uses different media (property portals etc) to market your home and will normally only charge minimal upfront fees.

Yes, I am going to be slightly biased, but a good agent will do more than just sell your home, they will make sure you move and they will get you the best price for your property. As most estate agents operate a “no sale, no fee” agreement, it really is in their interest to attract suitable buyers and help everyone achieve the goal of moving. In many cases, the agent will have a percentage fee based on the price they achieve for the home, this then makes them keen to get as much for it as possible! In fairness to our industry, average estate agency fees are normally somewhere around 1% – 2% which are the lowest in Europe and therefore represent good value for money.

You must always pick an agent first and foremost on trust and then on HOW they will sell your home for you. Check their methods out, ask them for lists of buyers they will be contacting and try mystery shopping them – you want to see how they will look after you should you use them.

My advice – well maybe it was a given, but I would 100% always recommend the use of an estate agent. Don’t listen to the negativity about estate agents, there really are some very good ones out there who will do a very good job for you.

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Written by Andy Bushell