Lesley & Richard Moore
To set the scene, I have had a number of dealings with traditional high street Estate Agents over the last seven years; based on that experience I was apprehensive about using their services to sell my house. Why?... I found their attitude to be superior with here today gone tomorrow staff who initially promise the earth to get your business, once appointed, watch the promises fade away. Sales staff promises their numerous branches deliver national coverage, the reality they are incentivised at branch and are reluctant to promote leads with other branches. I have been disappointed with their sales staff’s lack of local and property knowledge during initial telephone calls and their disinterest when conducting viewings. Agents under estimate the value of your property, or even worse, overestimate the property, to sign vendor’s, then recommending you reduce the price almost immediately as you/they are not getting leads. Undelivered promises of database lead for your property, statements it will sell in a month, but they want you to sign up for three! Leads are not always qualified, time wasters view. The only thing they do manage well is to post up your property on all of the major house portals sites, although even here it can be hit or miss with the way they describe your property and quality of photo’s posted onto the portal. After all of the points above they charge you 1-2% of the sale price +VAT for the privilege. So I thought I would look at On-line Estate Agents, initially I was unsure, but after looking at a number of sites and performance feedback research, I am delighted I decided to try House network and worked with Lois! The setup was relatively straight forward. I needed to decide which service I required basic or a fully managed service, as I was uncertain how House network would perform; I decided to opt for the partially managed service, with an allocated an Account Manager, Lois, who was my point of contact throughout the entire sales process. My advice to “first timers” would be to prepared description beforehand, review other vendor’s reviews, and know your competition! I paid for the service up front (£565 inch VAT in my case) with nothing else to pay (would have paid 10 times this with a conventional estate agent). I applied on a Sunday evening, Monday morning I received a call the photographer was book to attend my property the following Wednesday morning, that evening I was contacted to review the photos and description, prior to the add going live on Rightmove, Zoopla etc. on the Thursday At each stage of the process I was kept informed by my Account Manager, either by phone or email. The photos were of excellent quality plus a Virtual Tour of each room was included. I did request changes to the text description a number of times, to fine tune the advert, which were processed promptly. I had my first lead within 4 days of go-live, second lead within 6 days, both of which were strong leads, but did not lead to a sale, but I knew my price was high. The house sold one week after I reduced the price to nearer the correct market value (although higher that traditional Estate Agents had quoted). House network managed qualifying of leads (mortgage in place, etc) plus communicated with both my solicitor and the buyer’s conveyancer, along with feedback to myself throughout the whole process. Would I use House network again? Most certainly as I will be selling another house next year. I do not wish to give the impression that selling your property is a breeze, it was in our case, but I do have some experience in property management. You do need to be hands on, prepared to show prospective buyers around your property, present your property in the best possible condition, know the best months to hit the sales market, review your competition, be realistic about the market value of your property, ensure you are meeting any legal requirements (EPC’s for example) House network will advise you along the whole process plus will perform the tricky negotiations between yourself and your buyer. Look at the various service levels they provide and pick the level that suits you, plus you can talk to them prior to sign up if you require further clarification. We had excellent support from Lois our contact, she made the process effortless! Equally the photographer did a superb job! Thank you to all the team at House network, we look forward to working with you in 2015!