Estate agent thoughts?

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Just wondered if anyone knew about this kind of thing? 

My sister has had three estate agents to look at my mother’s house.

Belvoir say put the house for sale at £250,000 and they take a fee of £1750+VAT.

Purple Bricks say advertise at £300,000 hoping to get £285,000. £1200 in fees.

Connells say £225,000 but do online auction to get £240,000, buyer pays 1.5% fee.

No chain on the house ( my mother has gone into a care home) although it needs a lot of minor works. We need a relatively quick although not urgent sale. My sister, brother and I part own the house with my mother so the more it goes for the more we get although if it doesn’t sell quickly we’d end up subsidising care home fees until it did as her savings run out in a few months. 

As I’ve not sold a house for 24 years the options are a bit lost on me. The things that concern me are that Purple Bricks seem overly optimistic and it might not sell quickly enough. The idea of an online auction seems worrying as we might end up selling it low.
 That leaves Connells which is the highest fee although in the scheme of things that’s a bit of a drop in the ocean.
In practice we need the estate agents to do a good job including showing people around as none of us are local or have much time to do anything. 

Ta. 
Sleep. That’s where I’m a Viking. 
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  • MayneheadMaynehead Frets: 1768
    Sounds like Belvoir are the sensible choice. Even though they’re a traditional estate agent chain, their commission is quite reasonable (at 0.84%, I’m paying 1.2% with my agent). They seem to also be in the middle ground with their valuation, which might be a good sign.

    With a “real” estate agent they should take care of all the viewings and try to promote and sell the house for the best price.
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  • EricTheWearyEricTheWeary Frets: 8943
    Maynehead said:
    Sounds like Belvoir are the sensible choice. Even though they’re a traditional estate agent chain, their commission is quite reasonable (at 0.84%, I’m paying 1.2% with my agent). They seem to also be in the middle ground with their valuation, which might be a good sign.

    With a “real” estate agent they should take care of all the viewings and try to promote and sell the house for the best price.
    Cheers. I think that’s where I’m heading. Although my brother manages my mother’s finances and has the biggest mouth so he may have the final say. 
    Sleep. That’s where I’m a Viking. 
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  • richardhomerrichardhomer Frets: 20557
    Purple Bricks take their fee upfront - all they want is for you to list with them. Fools and their money....
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  • Simon_MSimon_M Frets: 535
    Purple Bricks are legit out of their mind overvaluing stuff. House prices in my area haven’t moved since 2014 and some since 2010. Purple Bricks routinely over value properties to try to get people to choose them as an estate agent but their houses are not selling. We paid a professional surveyor of 25 years to value a property we were considering and his valuation was about £60K less than purple bricks. We knew PB had overvalued it but the homeowners didn’t want to hear it. 

    In many areas it’s a buyers market and estate agents are out of touch.
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  • midlifecrisismidlifecrisis Frets: 1694
    use an agent then you dont have to pay until/if sold.  last house i sold was for £550k and we agreed a flat fee with the agent for £1500 inc vat which works out less than 0.3%,  dont be afraid to ask, they need the business.
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  • jonevejoneve Frets: 999
    use an agent then you dont have to pay until/if sold.  last house i sold was for £550k and we agreed a flat fee with the agent for £1500 inc vat which works out less than 0.3%,  dont be afraid to ask, they need the business.
    Similar. We ended up agreeing a flat fee with our house sale; from a ‘proper’ estate agent
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  • CarpeDiemCarpeDiem Frets: 151
    Providing the work required is only minor, meaning that a buyer could get a mortgage, a traditional estate agent (on a no sale/no fee basis) is probably the best approach. Auctions are useful for unusual properties that may not qualify for a mortgage, or where an earlier sale is needed, but this can result in a lower price.
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  • FuengiFuengi Frets: 1299
    Last house we sold we went with the agent who understood the selling market best for the house. They got it, liked the house and introduced the right buyers. Ask these questions.

    We also negotiated a reduced exclusive contract time, and an open house day. That meant they put a lot of work in early to ensure they got the buyer quickly it risk us going elsewhere and them not getting a fee. 

    We didn't haggle about fees because we wanted to ensure a quick sale. They were the highest value sale price too if all the agents we saw. 
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  • EricTheWearyEricTheWeary Frets: 8943
    Cheers all, I’ll feedback to my family. 
    Sleep. That’s where I’m a Viking. 
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  • StevepageStevepage Frets: 1062
    Just a word of advise that it's a buyers market at the moment and things are slow. Took me ages to sell my flat and I had to reduce the price considerably to compete with not only similar properties in the area but new builds too.
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  • EricTheWearyEricTheWeary Frets: 8943
    Stevepage said:
    Just a word of advise that it's a buyers market at the moment and things are slow. Took me ages to sell my flat and I had to reduce the price considerably to compete with not only similar properties in the area but new builds too.
    My initial back of a fag packet calculations were that we could get £200k after costs so if we do get desperate to shift it there’s wiggle room. 
    Sleep. That’s where I’m a Viking. 
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  • GuyRGuyR Frets: 761
    Generally the rule of thumb is agent that gives the lowest valuation tends to be the most honest and the ones that give the highest figure usually have the least to offer, knowing that over valuing gives them the only chance of securing the instruction.

    Use someone local, who can show you details of similar properties very close by they have sold recently. This will ensure they have an active database of current buyers in that price range. It also gives an indication they might know what they are doing.

    Find out who does their viewings; who will be dealing with enquiries on your property? is it proper, experienced sales staff or Saturday part-timers.

    On fees, be happy to pay a reasonable fee. It has to be worth the agents while - they will typically get between 5 and 15% of the commission. Agents will take instructions at reduced fees, but will feel more motivated to be proactive for the instruction paying a better fee. It is human nature. There is no harm in having a performance related fee, where you have a fixed percentage up to the price level where you would be pleased to sell, then an increased level above that. Everyone wins that way.

    Almost as important as choosing a good agent, get a good Conveyancing solicitor, on recommendation only, instructed before marketing commences. Get the property information forms filled in and instruct the solicitor to produce a package of all the information the buyer will require, including the local authority search. This will minimise the time of vulnerability between a sale being agreed and exchange if contracts, which is the point where the seller can relax. This reduced timescale minimises the opportunity for buyers to withdraw.

    Connells is a large, well resourced agent and one of the more successful ones. I would be tempted to use them, with a conventional sale method and a short agency agreement, putting the pressure on them to come up with a buyer quickly.

    good luck.
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  • JezWyndJezWynd Frets: 3493
    Get an Estate Agent who is based in the area and has good local knowledge. Often these agents have a list of people seeking to purchase in the area and even if they don't (as market seems slow atm) they will provide the most realistic valuations and be on hand to do viewings quickly.
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  • Philly_QPhilly_Q Frets: 7041
    I'm going through a slightly similar process, in that my dad went into a nursing home last year but died in February (today would be his 85th birthday, as it happens).

    We didn't have to sell the house while my dad was in the home, but we've had three estate agents come to value it subsequently for probate purposes.  I can't offer advice on how to pick the right estate agent - I should find that out quite soon - but it feels much better to deal with someone who seems to know the local market. 
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  • EricTheWearyEricTheWeary Frets: 8943
    Cheers again. 
    I had another word with my sister and she’s leaning to Belvoir as she felt they seemed to have the better local knowledge and generally more helpful, less pushy. 

    @GuyR we’ll have to have another discussion re a conveyancing solicitor, I hadn’t even thought about that. 

    My father died nine years ago and my mother was terrified of ending up in a care home. She had some mini strokes about 18 months ago and ended up spending a fortune on carers. Then she broke her ankle, ended up in hospital and went into a care home after hospital. Which she now loves, people to talk to, entertainment,etc, doesn’t know why she didn’t do it sooner... 
    Sleep. That’s where I’m a Viking. 
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  • lovestrat74lovestrat74 Frets: 840
    edited August 4
    I know it's more hassle in the short term but could you get the house to a rentable state and keep it. If the rent would cover your costs of course... Then you could sell on when you are ready and the market suits.

    EDIT: Dont pay the going rate for commission. There is always wiggle room
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  • ToneControlToneControl Frets: 6581
    If you want to sell quickly, get the minor works done yourself now, few people have the spare cash after a move to do this, and you might put off 75% of potential buyers, many people can't visualise the improvements, and will compare your house to another that needs no work

    Did you ever see any of the TV shows about this sort of thing, staging the house to sell is another thing

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  • EricTheWearyEricTheWeary Frets: 8943
    If you want to sell quickly, get the minor works done yourself now, few people have the spare cash after a move to do this, and you might put off 75% of potential buyers, many people can't visualise the improvements, and will compare your house to another that needs no work

    Did you ever see any of the TV shows about this sort of thing, staging the house to sell is another thing

    It is liveable in but the decorating hasn't been done for a long time. The boiler is old, some of the windows are old but I don't think we'd see a return on the £thousands they would cost to replace. We are selling it from a distance so no one in the family is really going to start doing all the work anyway although the estate agents did make suggestions about how to arrange stuff for the photos. 
    My brother in law has been removing the stair lift as apparently they are a huge turn off. The local scrap people have it now and he's put all the old bannisters back in place. 
    If anybody wants to know how to lose a lot of money quickly buy a stair lift! 
    I know it's more hassle in the short term but could you get the house to a rentable state and keep it. If the rent would cover your costs of course... Then you could sell on when you are ready and the market suits.

    EDIT: Dont pay the going rate for commission. There is always wiggle room
    My mother liked the idea of renting it ( so that she  could go back one mythical day) but no one really has the time to do everything that would entail and the income wouldn't be huge. It's a suburb of Wolverhampton with okay schools, not near the university or any big employers so there isn't really a rental market there so I suspect it would just be delaying the inevitable. My brother manages my mother's finances and he is in his sixties and unwell so he wouldn't want to be involved in any long term plans. 

    Sleep. That’s where I’m a Viking. 
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  • boogiemanboogieman Frets: 6491
    edited August 4
    Personally I’d sell it as a doer-upper, I doubt you’ll ever get your investment in new windows or boiler back. Decorating probably isn’t worth the time or investment either, people will always want to change it to their own taste anyway. 

    Of your three options I’d take Belvoir. Firstly if they’re local they’ll have better knowledge of what properties  will really achieve. Secondly £250k is a step off point to a higher stamp duty rate so it’ll attract more potential buyers if you keep it there or even marginally  under. Lastly, that’s a decent commission rate. We had our place valued last week. Agents round our way want at least 1% plus vat, one lot are asking 3% (and wildly overvalued the place compared to the others, presumably to cover their stupid commission fees). 

    I wouldn’t touch Purple Bricks. Two people in our road have tried to sell with them recently and both changed to a conventional agent pretty sharpish. They tend to overvalue and one neighbour said they were useless when it came to organising viewings. 

    One of my my friends has had a complete nightmare with renting their house here (they live in France). The tenant defaulted on the rent, it took them six months to get the guy evicted and when they finally got the house back they found it’d been completely trashed. 
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  • VimFuegoVimFuego Frets: 8407
    edited August 4
    Although I wouldn't spend thousands on it, even as a doer up it still, for most people, needs to be livable. That may mean a basic kitchen, and some description of bathroom. I've been looking at houses on right move to get an idea of what we can afford, and some of them are basically shells, you couldn't just move in. 

    I'm not locked in here with you, you are locked in here with me.

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  • boogiemanboogieman Frets: 6491
    VimFuego said:
    Although I wouldn't spend thousands on it, even as a doer up it still, for most people, needs to be livable. That may mean a basic kitchen, and some description of bathroom. I've been looking at houses on right move to get an idea of what we can afford, and some of them are basically shells, you couldn't just move in. 
    Unless it has some sort of kitchen most mortgage providers won’t lend on a property. 
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  • EricTheWearyEricTheWeary Frets: 8943
    VimFuego said:
    Although I wouldn't spend thousands on it, even as a doer up it still, for most people, needs to be livable. That may mean a basic kitchen, and some description of bathroom. I've been looking at houses on right move to get an idea of what we can afford, and some of them are basically shells, you couldn't just move in. 
    My mother and a carer lived in there until a few months ago, it’s currently a fully furnished house. Just a bit of an old person’s house ( the lounge carpet is the original from 1966). 
    Sleep. That’s where I’m a Viking. 
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  • boogiemanboogieman Frets: 6491
    VimFuego said:
    Although I wouldn't spend thousands on it, even as a doer up it still, for most people, needs to be livable. That may mean a basic kitchen, and some description of bathroom. I've been looking at houses on right move to get an idea of what we can afford, and some of them are basically shells, you couldn't just move in. 
    My mother and a carer lived in there until a few months ago, it’s currently a fully furnished house. Just a bit of an old person’s house ( the lounge carpet is the original from 1966). 
    I wouldn’t worry too much, if it’s priced right it’ll still sell. Most people can see past old carpets and a bit of tired paintwork, it’s major structural stuff that’ll put buyers off. 
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  • EricTheWearyEricTheWeary Frets: 8943
    boogieman said:
    VimFuego said:
    Although I wouldn't spend thousands on it, even as a doer up it still, for most people, needs to be livable. That may mean a basic kitchen, and some description of bathroom. I've been looking at houses on right move to get an idea of what we can afford, and some of them are basically shells, you couldn't just move in. 
    Unless it has some sort of kitchen most mortgage providers won’t lend on a property. 
    Definitely has a kitchen. 

    It has a large nice garden that my father worked on and my mother paid a gardener to upkeep. If I had any choice in who bought it it’d go to someone who would appreciate the garden. If my mother had any choice it wouldn’t go to anyone who is black so probably just as well these things just go to the highest bidder. 
    Sleep. That’s where I’m a Viking. 
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  • wibblewibble Frets: 430
    JezWynd said:
    Get an Estate Agent who is based in the area and has good local knowledge. Often these agents have a list of people seeking to purchase in the area and even if they don't (as market seems slow atm) they will provide the most realistic valuations and be on hand to do viewings quickly.
    I've been house hunting and some estate agents are either overly optimistic or just plain greedy.

    This house for example was a case in point if you look at the listing history...

    first listed at 350K at the start of March, and finally sold STC last month for 290K after reductions of 25K, 25K, and 10K.

    They were agents for another property I was interested in and I put in a good offer as a proceedable buyer (no chain) but they told me it was rejected because they had 'several offers over the asking price' of 300K - the property is still listed with no change to it's status and being actively promoted. So either it's the agents (and/or the vendor) being greedy.

    Conversely, several other properties that I thought were highly priced went quickly. Maybe it's the areas I'm looking in but there doesn't seem to be much of a slowdown where I'm looking.





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  • hywelghywelg Frets: 2562
    Whether it's a buyers market or not really depends on the area. Houses around Nottingham, in certain areas, have gone up 15% in a year. My son was gazumped on a house in Sherwood by a cash buyer. It's definitely a sellers market in a rather large portion if Nottingham. Where I live you don't even need an estate agent, word of mouth will sell it, such is the demand. 

    So do your research, don't waste time doing it up it will take too long and a Brexit crunch might be in play by then.

    I'd also recommend getting a proper structural survey so you know there's no nasty surprises coming along when the buyer gets one. If you want to recoup the cost offer it to the potential buyer at reduced cost but in order for that to work it must be truly independent, not done through your agent. 

    You do know about the rules on lifetime gifts don't you? If the council believe the ownership has been deliberately diluted in order to reduce liability for care costs they will be after you and your siblings. I'm sure there are others more knowledgeable on here, but be sure before dismissing rental inorder to delay the disposal. 
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  • VimFuegoVimFuego Frets: 8407
    /\ /\ yup, round here houses seem to be flying off the shelf, including houses that have been on the market for a while. Seen 2 in our tiny village of less than 100 houses go to sale agreed in about a month. 

    I'm not locked in here with you, you are locked in here with me.

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  • boogiemanboogieman Frets: 6491
    edited August 4
    boogieman said:
    VimFuego said:
    Although I wouldn't spend thousands on it, even as a doer up it still, for most people, needs to be livable. That may mean a basic kitchen, and some description of bathroom. I've been looking at houses on right move to get an idea of what we can afford, and some of them are basically shells, you couldn't just move in. 
    Unless it has some sort of kitchen most mortgage providers won’t lend on a property. 
    Definitely has a kitchen. 

    It has a large nice garden that my father worked on and my mother paid a gardener to upkeep. If I had any choice in who bought it it’d go to someone who would appreciate the garden. If my mother had any choice it wouldn’t go to anyone who is black so probably just as well these things just go to the highest bidder. 
    Ah no, I didn’t mean your mum’s place, I was just responding to Vim’s comment 

    lmao at your comment too, my mum’s a complete racist as well. Last week when I was over at mum’s place I cut next door’s side of the hedge for them, the neighbour has just had his cataracts done and can’t do much at the mo. My mum’s comment “don’t know why you bothered, they’re only darkies”. 
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  • EricTheWearyEricTheWeary Frets: 8943
    hywelg said:
    Whether it's a buyers market or not really depends on the area. Houses around Nottingham, in certain areas, have gone up 15% in a year. My son was gazumped on a house in Sherwood by a cash buyer. It's definitely a sellers market in a rather large portion if Nottingham. Where I live you don't even need an estate agent, word of mouth will sell it, such is the demand. 

    So do your research, don't waste time doing it up it will take too long and a Brexit crunch might be in play by then.

    I'd also recommend getting a proper structural survey so you know there's no nasty surprises coming along when the buyer gets one. If you want to recoup the cost offer it to the potential buyer at reduced cost but in order for that to work it must be truly independent, not done through your agent. 

    You do know about the rules on lifetime gifts don't you? If the council believe the ownership has been deliberately diluted in order to reduce liability for care costs they will be after you and your siblings. I'm sure there are others more knowledgeable on here, but be sure before dismissing rental inorder to delay the disposal. 
    My brother is using his solicitor so that the spread of the money ( my father left his half to the children) is clearly recorded. It will be quite a long time until my mother’s half plus her pension mean that social services will be asked to pay but we would then have evidence of what has happened to the money ( and as a social worker in adult care I’d suggest they don’t do too much digging into all this stuff in practice anyway). 
    Sleep. That’s where I’m a Viking. 
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  • TimmyOTimmyO Frets: 4067
    For the last year and half I've had a client who is a regional chain of estate agents. Before working with them I thought I understood this stuff - but there really is a lot more to it that a good agent brings and a lot about how the industry works that makes the whole Purple Bricks approach a poor setup. 

    Ultimately it comes down to who is best incentivised/most likely to be acting in your best interests at any point in time. 

    Purple Bricks hire people who last week worked on a kebab van to show up and make you believe you're getting the "same" as you wold elsewhere - their interests are best served after that point by putting he 4 houses either side of you on the market too (while they're there) cos that's immediate money and you are now in a war with your neighbours (extreme example but it illustrates what actually drives their behaviours) 

    In your example Connels are motivated by not having to do much of anything (auction) for their fee

    Belvoir are expecting to have to market your property, so they probably will. This may result in more viewings and viewings are what drive offers (volume and size) 

    All of that ignores whether the individual agent or office are particularly good or not. 
    "Congratulations on being officially the most right anyone has ever been about anything, ever." -- Noisepolluter knows the score
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