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Knock, Knock - new website says sellers can avoid agents’ fees

A new website is offering to contact owners of homes that are not for sale, on behalf of people who would like to live in their house or flat - and, if the sellers agree to move, they would avoid estate agent fees. 

Knock for Sale describes itself as “a simple way for homebuyers and sellers to connect.” 

For a £5 fee it offers to send a card to the owner of a property identified by a buyer, even if it’s not on sale. And it claims that those owners who respond to the invitation would avoid agency fees. 


The Knock for Sale website says in relation to buyers: “Knock for Sale allows you to respond — free — to buyers who are keen to buy your home. Estate Agents’ commission? Knock it off. Estate agents’ commission can vary from one per cent to as much as 3.5 per cent (including VAT). The average house price in the UK is £226,000 (RICS, November 2017) resulting in a fee from £2,260 up to £7,910.”

Citing a survey conducted with Attest Technologies this year, Knock for Sale claims that: “Among homeowners whose properties are not on the market, around 53 per cent (62 per cent in London) would respond to an enquiry letter, and consider selling.*

In the website’s FAQ section it adds: “Knock for Sale is a simple way for homebuyers and sellers to connect. It allows buyers to contact owners of homes that are not on the market. It also allows sellers to connect with buyers who’ve expressed an interest in their home. No Estate Agents are involved, so no agent’s commission is paid.”

And it adds: “If you are selling the property privately and no formal advertising has or is going to take place, you do not need an EPC.”

When would-be ‘knockers’ register for the first time, the website - presuming those registering to be would-be buyers - asks whether you want a mortgage, a surveyor, a solicitor or a removals firm; however, a spokesperson for Knock has told EAT that the site is funded entirely by the £5 fees and not by referral fees.

Once a buyer is registered, this is the advice it gives:

With no estate agent between you and the seller (called a ‘vendor’ in legalese) you can deal direct with the homeowner. Arrange an initial viewing and, if you like what you see, follow this up with more detailed visits, preferably at different times of the day. Take a family member or friend with you, as their second opinion might be useful. 

With no ‘middle-man’, you’ll be able to quiz the homeowner personally, getting answers direct from the person who knows the property best. Then, when you’re ready, make an offer. You’ll have done your research, of course, monitoring prices of recently-sold local properties. 

Remember that the seller’s ‘asking-price’ may be higher than the price that could realistically be achieved. (In Scotland, where the law is different, you’ll need a solicitor before you can make an offer.) 

Once your offer has been agreed, the procedure is the same as during a traditional transaction. Talk to your bank or building society if you need a mortgage, appoint a professional surveyor if you want a full structural survey and ask your solicitor or licensed conveyancer to handle the legal details.

And for would-be sellers who register, they get this advice: 

As a private seller, you take on the duties of an estate agent, so feel free to pay yourself a big fat fee! Arrange viewings direct with potential buyers, taking care to ‘de-clutter’ and spruce up your home beforehand. First impressions count.

It makes sense to take a few practical precautions. Before each viewing, get the name, address and mobile phone number of the potential buyer. If the buyer calls you, make sure they’re not ringing from a number that’s withheld. Ask a relative or friend to join you during the viewing, never leave a viewer unattended and hide away your valuables.

Also, be careful if the viewer requests confidential information such as details of the property’s security system and times when no one is at home. And be wary of anyone who makes an offer for your property without a viewing.

We recommend you engage a chartered surveyor, who can give you an accurate house valuation based on its true market value. 

Alternatively, you can pay an estate agent for the same service. You can also view prices of recently sold local properties online. 

Obviously, whether or not you’re prepared to accept an offer below the asking price depends on how eager you are to sell.

What if you have someone who’s interested in buying your property (hopefully, via Knock for Sale) but you still want to put it on the market with an estate agent? In this case, inform the agent in writing that you have a private buyer before you sign their contract. 

Then, if your private buyer goes on to buy your home, you won’t have to pay the estate agent’s hefty commission.

Once you’ve agreed a price with your buyer, the procedure is the same as during a traditional transaction. Grant access to a professional surveyor acting for your buyer, bank or building society and ask your solicitor or licensed conveyancer to handle the legal details.

You can see the website here.

  • icon

    Thanks for making me laugh.... I needed that.

  • Paul Singleton

    Another Clown, another stupid idea. Where do you start pulling this to pieces? Wow, was this invented last Sat night on the back of a beer mat?

  • Carl Smales

    Is it the 01st of April today?

  • Tony Sinclair

    Guys, please don't knock people with delusions of grandeur. They are allowed to dream impossible nonsense just like anyone else with half a brain. Bless their cotton socks.

    In fact, we should envy them. It must be nice living in La La Land down in Dingly Dell where fairies frolic and play under the gum gum tree near the chocolate river...

  • icon

    says nothing about giving advice on pricing, and of course the seller is a natural at negotiation without confrontation, how many thousands of letters to agents send out without a response, roll up roll up only £5.00 for a shot in the dark ......

  • icon

    Note to buyers..."Estate Agents’ commission? Knock it off."

    Note to sellers..."As a private seller, you take on the duties of an estate agent, so feel free to pay yourself a big fat fee!"

    This is so dumb....

  • David Robinson

    I had to stop reading as soon as I saw the word "Knockers".

  • Mike Lewis

    Brilliant! Plays straight into the hands of those unscrupulous types who are looking for something cheap to convert into flats. Sucking the air in through their teeth…”well love, of course I’d like to pay you more but the market is really bad now due to Brexit etc etc” Then just as they get near to exchange, the last minute chip in the price.

    Naivety at its most extreme (I mean the people behind this ridiculous site and those who fall for it!)

  • Bob Morris

    ha ha ha, "A big fat fee" yeah because estate agents keep all the money and don't spend most of it on marketing. Lets all knock on peoples door and try and buy houses cheap. Lets get our surveyor and tell the owners it only surveyed such and such. I'm sure there is another agent in which you can sell for £1. Hey you can save £4 on selling the biggest asset you have.
    Wake up Britain. Think of VALUE not cost. How much can you gain, not how much can you save. Quick example: a woman saved £900 on selling fees using a cheap upfront company. Cheap upfront company surveyed her house £180k. Cheap company SOLD house for £170k. Professional Estate Agent (There are some) listed on the market exactly the same style of house in same street, same interior. Professional estate agents professional surveyor surveyed their home at £185k. property did take 3 months longer than cheap estate agents to sell, but sale price was £185k. Thats £15k more in sale price than the poor womans house. The woman with cheap estate agent saved £900 on fees but lost out on £14,100 in sale. 2 other buyers missed out on the professional estate agents house. Lowest of other offers was £180k. If the woman with cheap agent got even the lowest offer she would still have made £9,100 more. THINK VALUE not COST. Would you take your car to a mechanic or use the services of a builder, painter or plumber that charges £1?

  • icon

    This is only a wind up.
    Is it April fool time.

  • icon

    Hmmmm. Wonder how this one will pan out with the new GDPR's. So they will target a specific property when the owner hasn't consented to it? Are they going to say it's the owners responsibility to opt out?
    Can they guarantee that the marketing material will get to the owner if you're paying for the service - how do they know whether the owner actually lives in the property? If it's a rental, the Tenant is hardly going to pass on the material & risk being thrown out so that the owner can sell it without complications.
    Etc etc etc - absolutely full of potential issues!!!!! Laughable.

  • Mike Lewis

    Also…..bearing in mind that the couple behind this are graphic designers, you'd think the site would look a lot better than it is!

    Pathetic really.

  • icon

    As an ex very successful estate agent I can nothing wrong or silly on this line of business, in fact I used it successfully for years to find suitable properties for clients who paid me a fee for finding suitable assets.
    There are no issues of data protection as you can either address letters to the ' owner,' or use the electoral register should a more personal addressing be needed.
    Little brains produce big noises
    Get a life

  • icon

    On the other hand another great crowdfunding opportunity for a load of gullible idiots.


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