Saturday. Dinner with parents from daughter’s school.

Conversation turns to property. I declare an interest as an estate agent. Mood changes. I explain that I am one of a good kind as a low cost online estate agent that won’t fleece you for a high fee. Fears of otherwise having to justify not paying everyone else’s bill, duly subside when the table realises I don’t wear an eye patch and fly the skull and crossbones over my office. Some initial snarls even turn to smiles as the ‘low cost’ penny drops.

‘We’ve just sold our house’, says one Dad. ‘We thought about using an online agent but we wanted the viewings done by the agent’.

‘How did that turn out?’, I ponder.

‘Well, they did the first viewing on the day our ad went live on the internet’.

He’s holding something back, I wager. ‘And the rest of the viewings?’, I add.

‘There was only one other’, is the reply. ‘But they were too busy to do that one and so we did it’.

‘Oh really’, I respond knowingly. ‘Yep, that’s normally how it goes’.

Me. ‘And you’ve sold now’?

Him. ‘Yes. To the first viewer’.

Me. ‘How long did it take to sell?

‘Him. ‘It is a very desirable area’.

Me. ‘How long did it take you to sell?’

Him. ’12 hours’.

Me. ‘Ouch. And what are you being charged?’

Him. ‘Only 1%’. More ouch.

Me. ‘So, just £4,000 then’?

Silence.

So you might think that accompanied viewings are a distinct advantage. But you’ll agree that in such circumstances they amount to quite an expensive one.

Incidentally, several Amstels later, my new school Dad friend admits discretely, ‘I should have come to you, shouldn’t I?’.

‘Only if you don’t have £4,000 to burn’, I say.

Best have another beer and forget all about it….

eMoov.co.uk are nationwide low cost online estate agents with fees of just £349 plus vat. Russell Quirk is a Director and founder of eMoov.co.uk

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