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

2 Aug

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!

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