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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Traditional agents are good value say sellers, but deals take too long

Traditional High Street estate agents have been given the thumbs up by sellers in a new survey of over 5,000 vendors who have sold their homes in the past 12 months.

The study, conducted by GetAgent, shows that of those sellers who used a traditional agent, 69 per cent felt the fee they paid represented good value for money.  

And when asked to rate the service level provided while selling out of 10, the average score by those surveyed was a seven.

However, there was a much more mixed response to questions regarding the price achieved and the time it took to seal the deal.

Only 40 per cent of sellers achieved the price they hoped for; another 30 per cent secured “almost” the price they wanted; while the remaining 30 per cent were disappointed with the price achieved.

No fewer than 63 per cent of sellers felt that the transaction took too long; only 35 per cent felt it took ‘the right amount of time’ and a mere two per cent sold quicker than expected. 

The increasing trend towards longer gaps between house moves was borne out by the GetAgent survey - only 14 per cent of sellers within the past 12 months suggested they would move again in a five-to-10 year window, while 26 per cent were not going to move for at least 10 years. Another 36 per cent said there was no move being planned in any time frame.

“While a low fixed fee may have seemed like the future of home selling and many may have sold successfully via that model, a number of high-profile company collapses along with a consistent string of customer service failures has seen the market share of online agents fail to live up to expectation” explains Colby Short, founder and chief executive of GetAgent.

“Previously, the commission fee charged by traditional agents was seen as too high. I think the consumer is now starting to realise that you get what you pay for” he adds.

“To pay a few thousand pounds in commission to achieve a higher sold price while securing a buyer in current market conditions is ultimately much better value for money than a few hundred up front and no sale achieved at the end of it.

“Of course, the current lethargy plaguing the market is not ideal and has evidently had an impact on the price achieved and the time it’s taking to sell, but I think it has helped demonstrate the worth of a good estate agent which is a silver lining for the industry at least.”

The full survey questions and responses are below:

Q1. Did you use a traditional estate agent to sell?

Answer

Response Percent

Yes

84%

No

16%

Q2. Did the fee you paid represent good value?

Answer

Response Percent

Yes

69%

No

31%

Q3. Was the service good? (please rate, 10 being the best)

Answer

Average Number

Score

7

Q4. Did you achieve the sale price you wanted?

Answer

Response Percent

Yes

40%

No

30%

Not quite

30%

Q5. Did your transaction take longer than you had hoped, took less time or was about right?

Answer

Response Percent

Shorter

2%

About right

35%

Longer

63%

Q6. When are you likely to move again?

Answer

Response Percent

Within a year

13%

Within three years

11%

Five to ten years

14%

Ten years plus

26%

Never again

36%

  • Rob Hailstone

    Did your transaction take longer than you had hoped, took less time or was about right? 63% said longer. I presume that is from marketing to completion?

    I wonder how long they expected the transaction to take in relation to the time it actually took? Most buyers and sellers do not (understandably) understand the home buying and selling process.

    Having just sold a property myself, high street lawyer acting for me, volume conveyancer acting for the buyer, I can fully understand the frustration felt my many home movers.

    Without wishing to apportion any blame without a thorough investigation of the files, it seems that there were delays, if not caused by, made worse by both firms.

    If I, having been a conveyancer myself from the mid 70s until 2005, felt stressed, confused and left out of the loop, how must Joe Public feel?

    Time for a change!

  • Peter Ambrose

    Its SO enlightening when people within the industry are exposed to the realities of conveyancing today.
    One of my colleagues just completed on her own purchase using another firm ( we cannot act for our employees because of conflicts of interest ) and described the experience as "absolutely awful".
    She used a local solicitor to buy a newbuild, who, despite being a qualified solicitor, asked irrelevant questions and "did not have a clue" and never communicated with her.
    The industry is in a real state but sadly those with the power to change it are still grasping at the fake straws of hope of cash from the panel manager pimps and high referral fee bribery merchants.

  • Rob Hailstone

    "Those with the power to change it are still grasping at the fake straws of hope of cash from the panel manager pimps and high referral fee bribery merchants." What does this mean Peter?

  • Sam Hunter

    Could agents manage expectations better from the outset? 40% saying they got the price they wanted in a soft market shows a lot of agents are doing well in getting a property to market at a competitive price - but perhaps they need to educate around the time it takes AFTER an offer is agreed, so the seller becomes an advocate of chasing their own sols etc in that period and it doesn't just fall on the agent.

    Either way, think is positive reading for the hard working, service orientated agents out there.

  • Mike Lewis

    I have it on very good authority that as conveyancing lawyers do not have as much business these days (no surprise there), they go into each transaction almost forensically, effectively embarking upon "legal gymnastics" in order to spin out the process so as to maximise their fee income.

  • Rob Brady

    I believe it comes down to managing client expectations. I used to provide a flow graph to clients to show at what stage the property sells at and all the stages after it. We would discuss a marketing plan for the first few weeks and then what steps afterwards needed to be done. If timescales were also discussed at the same time when the offer was presented, a date is then set by both parties. It avoids the agent being blamed for the delay if either party has slowed it down or the date can be used to push things along. The first thing is being realistic with the client on what the value is and not what they want to hear. As soon as you have to discuss a reduction in the first few weeks after promising a higher price, they start to get a bitter taster in their mouths.

  • icon

    After some 40 odd years of using most agents have not found more than say 2 that have not to be chased for an update.
    Most start of with unrealistic sale price and even when question it they say it will sell for that price. I never sign.up for more than 6wks.
    And then will use more than one agent all on same fee, max 1%.
    Trust not tricks, and they still say Trust Me?? Also never trust one with a beard.

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