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MFPS: ‘The vendor happily switched from paying a fixed fee to commission’

Damian Wanstall is a relative newcomer to estate agency.

He entered the sector in April 2021 when he was made redundant after 25 years in the rag trade.

Now a property partner for Prestige & Village, he first started with easyProperty but quickly questioned how effective the fixed fee model is.

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He said: “There are a great bunch of guys at easyProperty and I have nothing bad to say about them but I found that working on a small fixed fee was great for the vendor but hard for a one-man band like myself.

“It is working on high volumes and low margins, which works in my old trade when supplying Primark but it is not great money in terms of time, petrol and effort for a one-man band.”

He was approached to become a licensee by Prestige & Village in June 2021.

Wanstall had previously been chatting to a couple about selling their £800,000 home through easyProperty for a fixed fee but he had moved to Prestige & Village and a commission model by the time they decided they wanted to instruct him.

Despite the higher costs, Wanstall convinced the sellers to instruct him and pay thousands of pounds more in commission rather than a fixed fee.

He said: “I had to resell the benefits of working with myself.

“It was nerve wracking as I was new to the industry.

“Luckily they bought into it.”

“The benefit was being hands-on, I had been personable and we found a synergy between us. That is half the barrier sometimes.

“They were so on board with myself as I had sold the benefits of how I would work with them directly and would do all the sales progression.”

Wanstall got the couple an offer within about a week and a half.

He added: “The real learning curve was the progression afterwards.

“It was quite a long chain. My seller and buyer were good but things were chaotic further down.

“I was getting involved with lots of solicitors.

“The property listed in August 2021 and the sale completed in January 2022.

“It isn’t terrible in the scheme of things but felt a lot longer."

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