Putting aside issues of mis-valuation and a lack of human empathy required to generate sales, many people overlook the difficulty of negotiating one’s own sale. Only an experienced local expert can help you decide whether an offer is good, bad or average. They are also emotionally removed from what can be very sensitive negotiations. Additionally, the private seller (which is effectively what internet-only agents facilitate) is not able to gain the privileged access the other agents and solicitors involved in a chain of related sales. There is usually far more work involved in this than meets the eye. In fact over 60% of our sales progression work involves related sales.
However, there is one overriding problem with trying to sell privately (or though and on-line agency) that most people miss, yet which is probably the most important reason of all why you should use a “proper” estate agent.
It involves a combination of opportunity, maths and psychology, and works like this; we know that people typically need to see an average of about six properties before they feel ready to buy. This is because, far from “there’s one special house waiting for me”, people actually buy by comparison with other properties that are available at the time, in context. They need to reach this quota before they can psychologically justify their decision to buy. So even if they like your property they won’t buy it until they have satisfied themselves that it is the best one in relation to the others available. Who’s going to show them the other five properties and bring them back to yours if you are selling privately? Nobody. The buyer will find it hard to make a decision and may well end up buying one of the homes competing with yours – probably marketed by an estate agent who has their clients best interests at heart and who knows how to close a deal!