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Don’t use an online agent! Lawyer makes warning to sellers

A leading property lawyer is urging sellers not to use online agents because to do so would be “a gamble”.

Gillian Wright - the legal director of Scottish law firm Gillespie Macandrew - writes in The Scotsman newspaper that those who resolved to start 2020 by moving house may not know where to start. “We often speak with clients who haven’t moved house in more than 20 years” she says, adding that on the other hand much of the market is made up of first time buyers with no prior experience of moving house whatsoever.

“In recent times there has been an increase in the number of DIY estate agents in the market, and there is often a temptation to go with the cheapest option when selecting your adviser. Whilst this is understandable when it comes to everyday commodities, for most people their house is their biggest and most valuable asset. Is it really worth taking a gamble when selling your current home and buying your new one?” she writes.


“There is real value in appointing an estate agent who knows the market in your area, they can recommend the best price at which to market your property to maximise interest and can help you navigate notes of interest and closing dates” adds Wright. 

“DIY estate agents often put this burden on the seller, who can be completely out of their depth and may end up making the wrong decision under pressure.”

Wright says that in her core area of activity, Edinburgh, there has been an increase in transactions involving chains, which require expertise at legal and agency level to negotiate through.

On top of that, many sales are triggered by death, divorce or other sensitive and emergency reasons. 

“These sensitivities are best dealt with by an estate agent and solicitor with experience in these particular fields” insists Wright.

  • Colin Bain

    In Scotland there are Home Reports this tells you the value of the property BEFORE you market the property. Usual case of OLD FASHIONED Scottish Solicitors not moving forward - bet you still Fax offers into Estate Agents??????????

  • Andrew Stanton PROPTECH-PR A Consultancy for Proptech Founders

    Recently it was reported that having an online agent in the chain or as direct seller, added 15 days to the sales process due to the low amount of 'sales progression' offered by the online agents. Given the tortuous nature of the whole stress inducing process, prolonging the agony is not a good thing for the industry.


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