List your house for sale with a local estate agents and if they don’t sell it, you pay nothing.

This is a feature of traditional estate agency that its advocates hold dear. It’s one of those ‘selling points’ that conventional property firms passionately extol to potential home sellers as one of the main reasons to list with a High Street agent.

What could be better…. a service that if you fail to sell, doesn’t cost you a penny.

Wow. That should be a hard one for companies like us to counter. Sell, or pay nothing.

Except that we think that ‘no sale-no fee’ is deeply flawed and does you no favours at all as a person that actually wishes to find a buyer for their property.

Here’s why.

A local estate agent has overheads. Huge overheads in fact. Office rent, business rates, advertising and subscriptions, staff, cars, insurance, maintenance, phones, postage, stationery… It’s not hard to rack up expenses of somewhere around £15,000 per month per branch.

Much of what an estate agent does comes to nothing. He wastes a large proportion of his time. And we don’t mean that he wants to kick back playing Angry Birds all afternoon, what we mean is that one on three UK property sales fall through. Less than 50% of an agent’s valuation visits result in an instruction to sell. And a significant number of homes listed are then pulled off of the market by the owner because they change their mind about selling/lose their buyer/don’t receive enough interest/have a change on circumstances.

Which all means that a local estate agent’s business is paid for entirely only by the deals that successfully conclude. An average currently of just three sales per month typically, according to the RICS.

The crux is, therefore, that the successful seller pays a fee that provides for the costs of all the wasted time, aborted sales and ‘fall throughs’ that other people are responsible for.

Fair? Hardly.

If a restaurant operated on the same basis, three out of four diners would be allowed to walk out of the restaurant without paying.

The fourth would pick up the tab for all of them. That makes for an expensive evening.

So we’ve re-named the agent’s favourite weapon in his armoury. No Sale-No Fee is unmasked as ‘Your Sale-High Fee’.

Thankfully there’s an alternative to paying for other people’s messing around. List your property with eMoov.co.uk and pay for what your own listing costs and yours only. See www.eMoov.co.uk

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