Estate agent not necessary: how to sell a property yourself
Until now estate agents have been the only way to sell your property, but what do they actually do? Now, Zump provides home owners with all the tools and support that agents have, creating an easy way to sell your own property.
Do you even need an estate agent to sell your property?
Well, quite simply, they hold the keys to the property portals. Until now, there’s been no good alternative to selling a property, other than through an estate agent. You can’t list your own home on Rightmove, Zoopla, On The Market, or Boomin unless an estate agent does it for you. Estate agents pay a lot of money in license fees to use these property portals. This means that they charge you a lot of money to sell your property to ensure they remain a viable business.
Movewise found that the average sales fee in the UK is 1.18% plus vat. That means for a £500,000 property you would pay a total of £7,080 to the estate agent. Quite a lot of money considering you still have all the other costs of moving.
What does an estate agent actually do?
These days an estate agent’s biggest and most important job is not to sell your property. In fact, their most important job is to win more properties to sell. Once they’ve won a property, onto Rightmove and Zoopla it goes. They then focus on using every viewing of your property as an opportunity to win more business. The prospective buyer is likely to be selling a property themselves.
The actual selling is often taken for granted as something Rightmove and Zoopla will take care of. This is obviously a backward way of doing things but unfortunately, that’s the reality.
Here’s how the process of selling your property works:
1. The valuer:
The first thing an estate agent will do is to come and value your home. You’ll need to call them and book a free property valuation. This person is the valuer and they are the most senior and experienced agents in the office. Their job is to get you to list your property for sale with them.
They’ll come to your home for an internal inspection. A good estate agent will have a package of information to give you which shows all the local comparable property sales that have recently taken place. This allows them to substantiate the value they put on your property.
Based on that information and their local knowledge they’ll tell you how much they think your property is worth. It's not rocket science, you probably already have a pretty good idea of what your property is worth anyway.
Once you’ve agreed on the price for your property you then need to agree the fee you’ll pay them. The average fee for an estate agent is 1.18%. So, for a £500,000 property, you will pay a sales fee of £7,080 including vat.
Once agreed, you'll then need to sign an exclusivity contract which means you have to list your property with them, and only them, no matter what the result. An exclusivity period for an estate agent usually lasts 12 weeks.
2. The negotiator:
Once they’ve locked you into a contract you get passed on to a ‘sales negotiator’. This is the person that conducts the viewings.
They’ll arrange for photos and floor plans to be prepared. So, make sure everything is clean and tidy!
The estate agent will then put up a ‘for sale’ sign outside your property.
Now it’s finally time for your property to go live on the market. Usually, this means your property will appear on Rightmove, Zoopla, and any other portal they have.
They’ll then contact you to book viewings, conduct viewings for you, and manage negotiations.
3. The sales progressor:
Once you’ve agreed on a sale you’re then handed to a sales progressor.
This person and the office admin staff will be responsible for helping to progress the sale and deal with solicitors.
Once the transaction completes, the seller will pay the estate agent their commission.
It’s a long, disjointed, and old school way to sell a property. No technology, heavy fees, dealing with multiple people in one transaction, and a huge upfront commitment. All this leads to many people just not bothering.
Can you trust an estate agent to tell you the truth about the value of your home?
As mentioned above, these days the most important job for an estate agent is to win properties to sell, not to sell the properties. This makes it very tough for an estate agent to tell you what you need to hear. Instead, they tell you what you want to hear, that your house is worth a lot of money.
They do this because you’re much more likely to commission them to sell your home if their valuation is the highest, even though it may be an inflated estimate. As already mentioned, the valuer is the most senior and experienced salesperson in the office. Their job is to win your property! They know they’re in fierce competition with the other estate agents that you have been speaking to. They know they have a 1 in 3 shot (at best) to ‘win’ your property. They know that telling you what you want to hear increases their chances. Once they’ve won your property you get passed on to a less experienced sales person (the negotiator) to do the most important function, selling your house.
Doesn’t that seem crazy? The most experienced estate agents go in to win your property and the less experienced estate agents are responsible for selling it!
Why has selling property remained unchanged for so long?
The world is now full of tech solutions, designed to make things quicker, easier, and more enjoyable. Doesn’t it seem strange that property sales haven't changed for over 20 years now? Searching online for estate agents, calling a branch and speaking with multiple people, signing contracts, having a ‘for sale’ sign up outside your property. It's complicated, annoying, and adds unnecessary pressure and hassle to the process.
Take a look at how beautiful Airbnb’s property listings are compared with Rightmove’s. Airbnb listings are created by the public using their smartphones, while Rightmove property listings are created by the estate agents!
Data from the Office for National Statistics show that in 2010 there were 16,500 estate agencies in the UK, now there are over 25,000. Yet the number of annual UK property transactions has not increased. In fact, they have decreased, showing that more estate agents do not mean more property sales. Unfortunately, what it does mean is a race to the bottom in fees, service levels, and integrity as they fight for the scraps. The UK housing market is now so saturated with estate agents that they are in a perpetual dog fight to ‘win listings’, not sell properties.
Rightmove’s dominance, combined with agent’s dysfunctional reliance on them, and the fact that consumers need the agents to list their properties for sale. These three issues are why properties have been bought and sold in the same way, for so long.
Can selling your home be done differently?
At Zump we know something needs to change. Too many owners interested in selling their property aren’t willing to go through the hassle involved with the current process. The barriers are too high and the fees are too expensive.
Look at Uber and how they changed the traditional taxi industry. They’ve streamlined, simplified, and made the whole process cheaper. Now, out of their 250m users, how many do you think would still regularly ride in a taxi if Uber didn’t exist? Only 1%. The barriers are a little bit too high to make the traditional service convenient in comparison. Googling a taxi firm, calling the firm, ordering a taxi, and waiting, making sure you have cash available in case they don’t take card. It’s all a bit much once you get used to the convenience that Uber offers.
We feel the same way about the property industry and the data strongly supports this. There are over 7 million people thinking about selling but only 900k properties on Rightmove. This shows there is a major bottleneck in the housing market today. Buyers who can’t find what they want and don’t list their own property for sale restrict supply. Owners thinking of selling are being put off by the hassle of the listing process. This all results in fewer properties for sale and therefore less opportunity for people to find what they’re looking for.
So, what’s the alternative to using an estate agent to sell your home?
With Zump there’s no need for property portals and there’s no need for estate agents. We give consumers the platform, the tools, and the freedom to take control of their own process in an easy and hassle-free way. Zump removes the complicated process that potential sellers face, replacing it with a quick and easy route to selling the property yourself.
Owners can use the super simple template to create their own property profile and then share it on the Zump map. Zump buyers can easily express their interest by sending a Zump. Check out the buyer profile and, if you’re interested, click accept and one of Zump’s property advisors will be in touch to help you progress the connection. No hassle, no obligations, and no estate agent necessary. A quick and easy way to see who’s interested and to sell your own property yourself. Zump property advisors give you the support you need when you need it, and will be there to help you, every step of the way.
So with Zump, estate agents aren’t necessary. You have the freedom, control and support you need to sell your property yourself.
Download Zump today to create your own property profile and test the market. No contracts, no agents, no hassle.