Do people still gravitate towards estate agents for house purchases?

galway_blow_in

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There is no way I’d buy or sell a house without an estate agent. Like another poster I can’t stand to meet owners. It hinders the viewing process.

Mangojoe how much was your conveyance?
What if the owners were living in the house while it was being shown by the estate agent?

Might not be possible for vendors to be away during every showing
 

Palerider

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Each to their own of course, I have sold a house and an apartment myself, both were hassle free.

I showed the properties with my wife, prepared them well for sale, had the heat on, smelly candies lit etc ...even showed them the attic space ( had access to the roof space from the apartment ), it is easy once you do a good advertisement, in both cases the buyers were delighted to deal direct with the owner, the apartment buyers called a few times which was never a problem, they were invited to call anytime for viewings, measurements etc

I got +50% more than a national brand agent told me in their office I'd get for the apartment, based on one selling through Allsop two years prior...which was the same unit by the way , I sold that furnished.

I have viewed properties listed by agents, they couldn't get there early to put on the heat, switch on lights, generally disinterested and you will be lucky to get them to call you back, personally I avoid them, this is not complicated.

If the op is in a hurry then get your advertising right and give yourself a chance, you can always speak with a local agent and informally let them know you are looking for offers but trying the market yourself first.

All credit to you for attempting this route, good luck to you, more should at least explore it.
 

gnf_ireland

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So what does the estate agent do thats of real value and that cannot be done by oneself??
This got me thinking over the last while. Over the last decade, a lot of roles that were simply 'middlemen' or intermediaries have transformed/demised, and replaced by an e-commerce platform of some sort. The most famous being travel agents, but there are many others as well.

I think a house selling platform definitely has merits, but it would need to address some perceived issues around trust that currently exist between estate agents and buyers in particular. One of the clear ones is this concept of phantom bids and whether they exist or not.

I think if a platform collected detailed imagery on a property, and tagged it, it would be possible to build a 3D model of the property and surrounding area. This would give people a good idea of what the place was like before they arrived to view it, and you would expect only those who really wish to see it would turn up.

Ideally the house would have a bank of documents available, such engineers report available once someone lists themselves as being interested in the property. They would also have to create a profile and formally identify themselves, similar to the way a Fintech bank works using photo and id comparisons.
All bids would be centrally logged in an immutable ledger database (not blockchain although could use one), and anyone registered interest in a property would have access to the list of bids, but not the people who made them. Once a bid has been made, everyone with an interest registered in the property would be notified.
Before a final bid is accepted, the buyer would have to provide a solicitors letter to confirm proof of funds


What would be interesting is whether a platform like this would take off - I think it could - and how long it would take to be accepted. What would also be interesting is to see how traditional estate agents would react to such a threat to their business, and how they would fight back !
 

NoRegretsCoyote

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Most people are missing the point.

You mainly hire an estate agent to prove to bidders that you are serious about selling. It is a commitment device. A DIY listing will make people think you're just testing the market and many won't bother bidding or even viewing.

There is also the part where they answer phones and arrange viewings. It depends on your circumstances, but that can be a useful service. I managed an estate sale of a deceased relative a few years back and neither I nor anyone else had the time to manage that end of the process.

Estate agents in Ireland cost about 1.5% of sales price (last time I checked) which is extremely cheap compared to many countries.


Even if an estate agent can get you a price 2% higher than a DIY listing, she is worth hiring.
 

gnf_ireland

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You mainly hire an estate agent to prove to bidders that you are serious about selling. It is a commitment device. A DIY listing will make people think you're just testing the market and many won't bother bidding or even viewing.
There are other ways to so this also - for example, to get an engineers report done, or spend money on decent photos etc. Anyone who starts to spend money on the process, is interested in selling. The bigger question is are they willing to sell at the market price

There is a house on our road gone up for sale. It is now on its second estate agent and been up for at least 6 months at this stage. Two other houses have sold on the road in the last 6 months, both 10% above asking and both gone sale agreed within a month. I would genuinely question how interested they are of selling at this stage

I agree the value the estate agent brings is potentially to get a better price than you could in the negotiations. However lots of people, and lots of young people, don't particularly believe or trust estate agents.

The reason people get estate agents to sell houses in Ireland is its the done thing - and we tend to stick with convention !
 

NoRegretsCoyote

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There are other ways to so this also - for example, to get an engineers report done, or spend money on decent photos etc. Anyone who starts to spend money on the process, is interested in selling. The bigger question is are they willing to sell at the market price.
You will always need to get an engineer's report done as a purchaser.

I agree many estate agents take poor photos. Whenever I have used them I always give clear instructions and I vet the photos and text before they go live.

If I was a cash-only purchaser in hurry to buy I wouldn't even view a DIY listing. I'd be afraid that the vendor wasn't serious. There is an opportunity cost to a bidding on a property that isn't really for sale.
 

Peanuts20

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A very simple reason to use estate agents is something I experienced.The house across the road went sale agreed, we contacted the estate agent and told him we were looking to sell and would he be interested in taking it on and if so, could he contact the under-bidders on the other house. We were sale agreed within 9 days for a price 15% above what the house was valued at to an under-bidder and a deal done with the neighbours across the road to split costs so all were happy. Our house never even went up on a website as for sale and we never even had a for sale sign outside
 

Alkers86

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3. I would personally get an engineers report done and include in the material - with a caveat obviously that it is FYI only. The aim is to demonstrate there is nothing wrong with the house
I wouldn't be getting an Engineer's Report done of my own house in this situation. The Engineer's Report is likely to have restrictions on who you can share it with so you would be breaking the terms of the Report to give it to all interested bidders, the bidders would have to question the impartiality of any Engineer employed by the vendor and in the event of the report missing something the buyers would have had no Contract with the Engineer themselves. The buyers would therefore need to organise their own Engineer's Report in any case, rendering yours a complete waste of money (which may have been better spend on an Estate Agent).

That being said, I would have no issue purchasing direct, when we bought we looked at one house which was being sold direct and they gave us a great tour of the property and then left us to walk around in our own time, it was one of the best viewings we had (although we didn't like the house). We had much worse viewings through agents who hadn't a clue or where there were tenants or owners in the property at the time of viewing (but not contributing to the viewing, rather impeding it!).
 

gnf_ireland

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I wouldn't be getting an Engineer's Report done of my own house in this situation. The Engineer's Report is likely to have restrictions on who you can share it with so you would be breaking the terms of the Report to give it to all interested bidders, the bidders would have to question the impartiality of any Engineer employed by the vendor and in the event of the report missing something the buyers would have had no Contract with the Engineer themselves. The buyers would therefore need to organise their own Engineer's Report in any case, rendering yours a complete waste of money (which may have been better spend on an Estate Agent).
Not withstanding the comments above, the reason I was suggesting it was to demonstrate there was nothing wrong with the house in the first instance and give a level of comfort to the purchasers all is above board. The purchasers will need their own done, but at least it gives them a level of comfort the house is not falling down.

That being said, I would have no issue purchasing direct, when we bought we looked at one house which was being sold direct and they gave us a great tour of the property and then left us to walk around in our own time, it was one of the best viewings we had (although we didn't like the house). We had much worse viewings through agents who hadn't a clue or where there were tenants or owners in the property at the time of viewing (but not contributing to the viewing, rather impeding it!).
I guess like everything there is good and bad.
My only experience of direct selling is a house we were looking at when we went to purchase and was via an agent at that stage. It was very difficult family situation and ended up us withdrawing from the process entirely after a few months. In the end, the estate agent ended up taking legal action against the seller (as did another relative). I have seen the house up for sale twice since via direct sale process and it has not yet been sold. I am not sure what they are waiting for, but its been idle for close to a decade now and needed work done badly when we were viewing it in 2010
 

SBarrett

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Not withstanding the comments above, the reason I was suggesting it was to demonstrate there was nothing wrong with the house in the first instance and give a level of comfort to the purchasers all is above board. The purchasers will need their own done, but at least it gives them a level of comfort the house is not falling down.
I don't see how this is of any use when not using an estate agent? An estate agent is a sales person, they certainly aren't qualified engineers. They will take on a property if they think they can sell it and earn their 1.5%.

Access to Myhome.ie is a big advantage of using an estate agent.

But as with any industry which charges by % (my own industry included), the higher the value of the asset, the less value you get for your 1.5%. If selling a property for €2m, will an estate agent do work that would warrant a commission of €30,000? I doubt it.
 

noproblem

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I don't see how this is of any use when not using an estate agent? An estate agent is a sales person, they certainly aren't qualified engineers. They will take on a property if they think they can sell it and earn their 1.5%.

Access to Myhome.ie is a big advantage of using an estate agent.

But as with any industry which charges by % (my own industry included), the higher the value of the asset, the less value you get for your 1.5%. If selling a property for €2m, will an estate agent do work that would warrant a commission of €30,000? I doubt it.
I would be of the mind that if the Estate Agent gets what the seller employing him wants and sometimes gets even more, then he has earned his wages.
 

NoRegretsCoyote

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But as with any industry which charges by % (my own industry included), the higher the value of the asset, the less value you get for your 1.5%. If selling a property for €2m, will an estate agent do work that would warrant a commission of €30,000? I doubt it.
If you have a big sale you can negotiate a bit on price.

High-end sales aren't simple though. You will probably have viewers abroad, purchasers who are taking their time, multiple viewings, etc.

An estate agent will be able to tap into a customer list too.

It's not obvious that 1.5% is bad value.
 

gnf_ireland

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don't see how this is of any use when not using an estate agent? An estate agent is a sales person, they certainly aren't qualified engineers. They will take on a property if they think they can sell it and earn their 1.5%.
Access to Myhome.ie is a big advantage of using an estate agent.
@SBarrett my point was around showing the potential purchasers that the seller is serious about selling itself and there is nothing 'wrong' with the property and they simply do not want to use an estate agent. This is not the norm in Ireland and therefore its likely to require the seller taking additional steps to convince the buyer that the house is worth bidding on.
Yes I fully accept that anyone buying a second hand house will need to get their own engineer in, but this is normally done AFTER the bid has been accepted. In a direct sale, the challenge may be to get people interested in viewing it and likely to be 'concerns' around why it is being sold directly.
My point was - if a seller is likely to save say 6k (on a 400k house), maybe they should consider spending some of this money on things that may improve the chances of people viewing and putting in bids on it - and one of those things may be an engineers report. It should show there is nothing wrong with the house (as an example).

But as with any industry which charges by % (my own industry included), the higher the value of the asset, the less value you get for your 1.5%. If selling a property for €2m, will an estate agent do work that would warrant a commission of €30,000? I doubt it.
Lets ignore the 2m for a minute and take something thats say 800k, with a potential commission of 12k. I doubt any estate agent would do much to earn that commission - especially in the last while in the 'leafy suburbs of South Dublin'. That said, they might be advising the buyer to hold on for higher prices etc and get 25k over the asking price that might make it worth it.
But I agree in general, a flat rate commission starts to lose its perception of value when looking at higher asset costs !
If I even needed to sell my house, I would be loath to pay an estate agent to sell it for me given the bill I would have to pay him to do so..

But I will say it again, within 5 years I expect to see some sort of online platform available to discover, schedule viewings, make bids etc on, and the role of the estate agent will come under threat. And its likely to stem from the lack of trust around phantom bids etc. And if anyone wishes to work with me or invest in building it, I might consider it being part of it !
 

gnf_ireland

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An estate agent will be able to tap into a customer list too.
We sold a house down the country a few years ago (reluctant landlord scenario) and used an estate agent to sell it. This was one of the main reasons we selected the one we did - they had a track record of selling houses in the area. And to be fair, while they were poor at communication across the board, they did get us 12.5% above what we had expected to get for the house. But the asset value was not very high !
 

Alkers86

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But I will say it again, within 5 years I expect to see some sort of online platform available to discover, schedule viewings, make bids etc on, and the role of the estate agent will come under threat. And its likely to stem from the lack of trust around phantom bids etc. And if anyone wishes to work with me or invest in building it, I might consider it being part of it !
That's almost what moovingo is, admittedly there's still an agent but it's similar to what you envisage.
 

elcato

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But I will say it again, within 5 years I expect to see some sort of online platform available to discover, schedule viewings, make bids etc on, and the role of the estate agent will come under threat. And its likely to stem from the lack of trust around phantom bids etc.
I would suggest this may actually do the opposite and would be plagued with phantom bids.
 

Tixerb

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I sold my house on daft a good few years ago... I made it look like an agent's listing by not using my full name.

At the viewings I showed buyers around as if it wasn't my house. I wanted people to think it was an agent sale. Nobody likes dealing with homeowners as they can be emotionally attached to property and it becomes awkward.

Everyone assumed due to the ad and my demeanor that I was an agent. Only one buyer mentioned that they've never heard of that agency, I said it wasn't an agency but the sellers initials (which was true). Long story short, house sold and I saved a few pound on agency fees.

Granted, house was well priced and in a desirable area. Secured a few interested parties and they fought it out among themselves.
 

Tixerb

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Go on, admit it, you told them a few fibs about phantom bids didn't you .....
Didn't have to. Would I have done so, if required? Possibly. But it's a risky strategy - particularly when your bluff is called.
 
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