Local agents really know their market

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You may have seen a recent TV programme that promotes the idea of selling your home without the help of a traditional high street agency.

The host made some interesting points and highlighted many important ideas, which would help any homeowner improve their chances of selling, not least the fact that kerb appeal and presentation could be the difference between attracting a buyer or not.

Sarah Beeny, who was the presenter of the programme, mentioned several times that she in fact owned an established online agency, so it perhaps wasn’t that surprising that, in my view, she failed to offer a truly balanced view to highlight just how important a local estate agent can be.

My biggest issue with the vast majority of online companies is that they often take a fee up front and nothing upon completion of the sale.

This may seem appealing but what incentive is there for them to attract the highest possible price? Once you have parted with your cash, what’s in it for them?

2014 has been a very good year for Spencers, but there are clear signs that the market is beginning to slow and, in a tough market, it will take a lot more than a flashy website to sell your house.

The most effective part of marketing any property is the initial launch and the key to being successful is the asking price. If this is wrong, and you struggle to attract viewers, you can often be left selling a property for a lower price than would have happened had you got the marketing price right in the first place.

Most commonly our business comes via recommendation but I can guarantee that wouldn’t be the case if we didn’t have knowledgeable, professional and local people working as negotiators.

I find it difficult to understand how a company with people sitting in a call centre, who have never stepped through the door of a property, can efficiently negotiate on behalf of the homeowner to achieve a sale at the best possible price.

There were many other issues with the programme itself, including a quoted average fee cost which is much higher than what the local agents here in Sheffield charge. Ms Beeny also failed to point out that vendors may not be able to check the ability of a buyer to secure a mortgage, or effectively handle multiple bids that could create a sealed bid process, and therefore a much better result.

The internet is paramount to marketing, but if you can find an agent that can embrace new technology and combine that with local knowledge and a professional service, you may well be on to a winner! For a free valuation and current market advice please call Spencers on 01142 683682.

* Estate Agent, Chris Spooner