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Old 05 July 2010, 11:46   #1
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Advice on selling a house

Anyone got any tips on how to get a house sold in the current market?

My fiancee has a 3 bed terraced house in North End, Portsmouth which we need to sell. I've sold my house in Southampton very quickly and we need to sell hers to purchase our next house together.

Her estate agents (who shall remain nameless) have been pretty hopeless - took weeks to get a "for sale" sign up, really slow to get details on Rightmove, really slow to reply to her calls, etc. Complete contrast to my agents who have been really efficient. She's tied in to a 16 week contract, so can't change yet (3 months in). We'll change agents as soon as we can.

We've dropped the price twice, but she's only had one viewing in the 3 months. We're very open to offers, but you need to get people in to see the house first. It's possible it is/was overpriced, but we took the agent's advice on that and have subsequently dropped price anyway.

I've now posted details on a couple of sites (freeads, vivastreet) - and if we get any interest we'll point them to the estate agent.

Any ideas on how to market it and get people to view? e.g. any useful websites, newsgroups?

Thanks,

Gerry
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Old 05 July 2010, 12:39   #2
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Unless the contract that she has signed with her Estate Agent grants them sole selling rights (which would be very unusual nowadays), you can still sell the house privately without becoming liable to pay the Estate Agent's commission to which he is only entitled if he has been instrumental in achieving or assisting with the sale. You should not, therefore, point any prospective purchasers responding to your own advertisements to the Estate Agents.

I suspect that the contract which your fiancee has with her agents merely appoints them sole agents for the sixteen week contract period so as to give them a fair 'crack of the whip' at finding a Buyer. If you are disappointed with their service, I suggest that you contact the manager to complain and to see if he will agree to release your fiancee from their contact ahead of time. Many Managers will agree this in order to prevent additional ill-will and consequent adverse publicity from developing.

Once you are in a position to appoint new Agents, I would suggest that you that you approach at least three (of which at least one should be a 'National' and at least one a 'Local' agent) in order to assess the quality of service and to compare their recommended sale prices. It is alway a good idea to note the identity of those agents with For Sale or Sold boards in the neigbourhood of the house since they will be the ones currently doing the business in that area. Also, bear in mind that, whilst it may be tempting to accept the agent advising the highest recommended sale price, this is not always realistic. By the same token, the agent offering the lowest commission rate is not necessarily the one most most likely to secure a sale: local knowledge and connections are equally important.

Good luck

David
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Old 05 July 2010, 12:41   #3
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did you drop the price on there advice, i might be wrong but if you did the original contract is void, there was a case a few years back which was just that and the home owner won the day, approach them and tell them that you've lost confidence in there ability to sell your home and ask them to release you from the contract as the house is now marketed for a different price so it's not the same contract that you signed, they won't like it but you might get away with it, just read the post above that came in as i posted, don't forget that a sole agent will give you a reduced commission rate and you can bargain with them over that rate
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Old 05 July 2010, 12:50   #4
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....at least one should be a 'National' ..
Why's that then?
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Old 05 July 2010, 13:03   #5
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Why's that then?
So as to obtain as many different slants on the options as possible: the 'Nationals' will obviously have local knowledge but may also be able to advertise more widely and more effectively
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Old 05 July 2010, 13:04   #6
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Unless the contract that she has signed with her Estate Agent grants them sole selling rights (which would be very unusual nowadays), you can still sell the house privately without becoming liable to pay the Estate Agent's commission to which he is only entitled if he has been instrumental in achieving or assisting with the sale. You should not, therefore, point any prospective purchasers responding to your own advertisements to the Estate Agents.
Thanks for the quick replies, guys. David, very good point about the sole agency - so if someone comes to me from my ads, I don't need to send them via the agents. Realistically, though, I think most people use Rightmove when looking for houses. That's why I was wondering if there were any other useful websites.

She actually did exactly as you suggested when appointing the agents in the first place. She had about 4 agents around and went for the one which seemed to have the most properties in her area - however, you don't really know what they're like until you're into the sale process. I'm amazed how uninterested they are - surely they want their commission?! Maybe they just work on quantities of scale. If they have enough properties then they must sell some without having to bother too much...

Biffer - it was our idea to lower the prices. We want to get the sale happening - we're missing out on a really good property to buy at the moment because we can't sell her house.

Thanks, Gerry
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Old 05 July 2010, 13:08   #7
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Realistically, though, I think most people use Rightmove when looking for houses.
For this reason, if you instruct new agents, check that they're part of the Rightmove network.
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Old 05 July 2010, 13:13   #8
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send a couple of friends into the estate agents asking for your type of property in your area,
if they dont give them your details then go in there and open up a can of old whoop ass on them cos there not doing there job!
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Old 05 July 2010, 15:13   #9
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I would add that you should also be pestering them regularly. Keep in contact every couple of days and ask them how they are getting on and where it is being advertised and what kind of response they are getting. If they say there's been little response, then ask them why and ask them what you/they should be doing to improve that. It might piss them off enough to either want to get rid of you, or your property asap. I would also suggest you ask to be shown details of comparable houses so you can see whether the price is right or not.

If you're really dissatisfied with their lack of enthusiasm, I would expect them to be members of a reputable institution (RICS or NAEA) with an appropriate complaints procedure you could instigate. A contract is two sided, if they haven't kept their side of the bargain, then it is in effect a breach and you could terminate it.
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