If only it was that simple
Fri 31 Jul 2009
Starting with the massive media blitz launch of Easier some 8 years ago it has always been the dream of entrepreneurs to launch a website that enabled house sellers to advertise their property at a fraction of the cost that estate agents charge. There have been many since Easier that have tried and failed, so the launch of Tepilo is not at all surprising. I do however think that Sarah Beeny, a highly experienced and talented property guru is being disingenuous in promoting the site as a panacea.
I know what you're thinking. As an Estate Agent, I would say this wouldnt I? In essence, yes, of course I would, but it is important that home owners are not fooled into thinking that selling privately is as simple as putting their property on an advertising websiteif only that were true. This is just one of a magnitude of tasks a good agent will do in order to secure the best possible price for their clients.
The hard work starts with the showing; a property on the market with Marsh & Parsons would be viewed many times a week largely during the day when most of our clients will be at work but also well into the evening when the last thing a seller wants to do is to show their property - this flexibility for buyers is crucial. Estate Agents also have to advise their clients on the best way to present their property. Presentation can be a minefield that many sellers will overlook and a good agent will be able to give objective guidance and perhaps point out that the hall isn't the best place for the cat litter tray when showing! Furthermore, there is the organisation of photos, floor plans, HIPs, publishing details to numerous affiliate advertising sites etc. All this is done by an agent, usually at no additional cost to the client.
I could go on, but most importantly, it is the element of emotional support that experienced Estate Agents offer when they deal with the sometimes extraordinary demands of both buyers and sellers at a very stressful time in their lives, guiding and advising and finally negotiating the BEST price for the property and not just accepting an offer. They will talk a nervous buyer through a survey which may read like the property is just about to fall down it is, after all, a surveyors job to find the faults. Agents will also keep the sale on track when both owner and buyer have totally different agendas and pour oil on troubled waters when things dont go quite according to plan.
Once again, I can hear the readers of this (if there are any!) complaining that their agent wasnt/isnt like this. Very possible, but then you have the wrong one acting for you. As in all walks of life, one person or company is not the same as another. If you had one bad meal, would you say all restaurants/chefs are inept?
Selling a property is so much more than just opening a door and Sarah knows that all too well from the people she meets via her media career. I have watched her programmes and witnessed her amazement at the antics of both buyers and sellers.
Private selling is of course possible but, in doing so and not choosing the right agent to act for you, the opportunity cost could be huge.