Can I Really Sell A Property Myself Without A High Street Estate Agent?

Today I have decided I am going to to try and sell a property myself!

Now you may remember from a previous post when I had the dilemma about whether to use a high street estate agent to sell my flat in London or try one of those new fangled online only estate agencies.  To remind you – it didn’t go well.  The high street estate agent did not sell the property and I ended up sacking the estate agent.

So this time round I have learned my lesson.  I am going to take on board my previous experiences and look again at the research I collated to make a better decision.  Of course, this time round my decision is influenced enormously by the fact the high street estate agents I tried to use last time didn’t succeed and the fact this time round the property I want to sell is just 15 minutes away from where I live.

I dug out all my research notes and I reminded myself of all the reasons why I was going to try and sell the property myself using an online estate agent.  I reminded myself of Hatched, a company who I had come across and spoken with and who seemed very professional, very plausible – and in fact a damn fine competitor to a high street estate agency.

The decision was cemented when I used their clever “savings” calculator which estimated I would save over £2k using their service.

So that was it – decision made.  I would use Hatched and I would sell the property myself.

Then I realized the major flaw in my plan.  And it was a hole of sizable proportions.

I had bought this property on the fly a couple of weeks back and in doing so had decided to postpone my summer holiday until after the refurbishment works were complete and the property was on the market for sale.  I convinced myself that my longed for summer holiday would be even more enjoyable if I had worked even harder for it…but at that point I hadn’t taken into account the fact I was going to try and sell the property myself and be the estate agent.  Hmm.  Problem.

And, of course, having realized I could save over £2k selling the property myself – it now didn’t really feel like an option to go back to a high street estate agency on account of me wanting a holiday.  To be frank, the savings I would make selling the property myself would go very nicely towards an even nicer holiday – thank you very much.

So I was feeling a bit stumped.  I wanted to sell the property myself…but I also wanted to go on my summer holiday.

What to do?

I emailed Hatched.  I told them of my dilemma. I told them I would very much like to use their service, but I am going on holiday and how would I do viewings?  To be honest, it was a pretty stupid email to have sent.  Apart from them providing me with a teleporting machine to be in two places at the same time, what on earth did my first world problem of “when will I have my holiday” got to do with them? But, it was late and I had sent the email without too much thought as to why on earth my holiday problem was their problem.

Their reply shocked me. They may not have offered me a teleporting machine, but they did offer:

With accompanied viewings this is something we can facilitate for you whilst you are away.

What? I thought to myself: that’s not the service I expected from an online estate agent!  I expected an online shopping basket and a few emails every now and again.  I did not expect customer service of this level!

Cynical as ever (I have dealt with too many estate agents over the years) and pretty sure this is about to cost me a pretty few pounds for the privilege, I inquire how much extra this is going to cost.

Here’s the reply:

We wouldn’t make a charge for the viewings whilst you are away, we would just need a key to gain access. If you email me when you are ready to market and we can arrange an appointment to visit and measure up and go through the details.

I swear I almost fell off my chair and chucked tea down my cleavage simultaneously!

I was stunned.  Truly stunned.  Pleasantly surprised and downright amazed.

So the decision has been made – Hatched are going to list the property for sale when I have completed the refurbishment works…and me I can go on holiday while they do the viewings and I can pretend (while on said beach reading my book) that I really am being an estate agent and selling the property myself!

    1. Terry Katona

      This whole article sounds like a plug for hateched to me, why is it nessecary to name the selling agent when you could have just said an online agent is being used this time?

      Also you could have used Sarah Benney’s Tepilo website for private selling and avoided all fee’s completely (including online agent’s fee’s!).

      1. Sam


        I am sorry you feel like that – I can assure you it’s not.

        If you read my original article on this dilemma you will see I looked into Housenetwork, Tepilo and Hatched. Hatched came out tops. The reason I used their name rather than just an online letting agency is I have no idea if another online agency would go to this effort and extent to provide such customer service. Personally, I was massively impressed and feel credit is due where credit is due. If you did a really great job wouldn’t you want to be named?

  1. rich greenland

    Sounds great. Colin Parker has spoken of setting up a similar operation and asking people local to the properties to do viewings as necessary, and to provide a number of other professional services as well. Sounds like a good system.

    Um, I thought you’d had an epiphany and realised you needed to re-order your priorities? Presuming you are making a decent profit on this, and just supposing they DIDN’T do the viewings, sod the £2K and take your holiday!

    But just as well they do 🙂

  2. Billy

    Sam – I used hatched to sell a property in Liverpool earler this year – it went really well – they have a good system where they notify you of the viewings by both email and SMS – also allow feedback from the potential buyer which gets sent over 2 u following the viewing – so they definately help to close the deal for you – good luck with ure sale and holiday !

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