Axe The Agent!

Could a new BBC show help you to sell your Chiswick property?

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A new BBC programme ‘Axe The Agent?’ starts early next year and looks at selling your home without the help of an estate agent.

Selling your home can be stressful and pricey but one way homeowners could make a saving is to do it themselves. Presenter and property developer Gary McCausland told the BBC, “It’s not just about axing agents but about taking responsibility for your greatest asset. There are two main reasons for a DIY property sale – to save the fee and to get your property shifted faster. Who can sell your own home better than yourself?”

Christian Harper of Chiswick estate agent Oliver Finn said, “I agree that people should be pro-active in selling their property, but disagree that it should be a DIY job. You need a sales person to close the gap between buyer and seller otherwise why would any business employ a sales team?”

DIY sellers could be at the mercy of unscrupulous property developers says Harper,"Developers will be attracted like vultures to DIY sellers which could lead to the exploitation of vulnerable homeowners."

“Buyers never tell the homeowner their true feelings about a property – they always say it’s wonderful. But they will come clean when the agent follows up. If they don’t like the street or the kitchen is too small, the agent will use this feedback to sell them another property.”

Stranger danger

DIY sellers should also be aware of potential safety and security pitfalls. A good estate agent will verify buyers in advance by checking out contact details. Otherwise homeowners could provide a golden opportunity to burglars to case their possessions ahead of a break-in.

McCausland insisted he doesn’t have a problem with estate agents, “I am very pro agents actually – but only the good ones. It’s only if you’re stuck with a bad agent that you might as well do it yourself. I’ve heard of properties on the market for a year with only a couple of viewings. At the moment, people don’t have a clue how to go about selling their own property and we aim to show them that they have a choice, but they have to take responsibility.”

“I have always used an agent personally – they bring willing buyers and sellers together and are worth their weight in gold. What I’m doing is targeting bad agents,” concludes McCausland.

October 23, 2008