DoorSteps – Should You Use The Cheapest Online Agent To Sell Your Home?

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DoorSteps

If you’re any kind of self-respecting property anorak, your antenna has already tangoed with DoorSteps, “the UK’s cheapest Online Estate Agent” They claim to offer a property selling service for a measly £99, all while providing a “better service”… errr… OKAY! Has property really become this cheap to flog, even for this digital age?

I’m not usually big on writing overviews/reviews (or whatever dishevelled mess this will unravel to be), but I felt compelled to write about these guys’ for two reasons. Firstly, on a personal level, I find the whole online agency crap embarrassingly provocative, so that means I start to twitch when anything remotely noteworthy happens in the space. Secondly, their price point is freakishly fascinating, so I want to poke at it. Just a little.

Plus, it helps that I’m never on the pay-roll to hype, so I have no sense of responsibility or obligation to make this a comforting ordeal, which makes it an easier ride on the stomach.

Intro to DoorSteps…

DoorSteps.co.uk launched in 2016, but they’ve only recently started to get a whole heap of media attention for being the cheapest online agent (not lettings, sales only!)- offering a valuation and Rightmove/Zoopla marketing service starting from a measly £99. When compared to the market leader, PurpleBricks (obviously), who currently has a base price of a whopping £849… errr… you gotta’ ask questions, or at least scratch your nuts and wonder what’s with the disparity (and why people are still paying through their asses for a much more expensive alternative).

I was recently forced to catch a glimpse of the smug 19 YEAR OLD DoorSteps Founder appear on ITV’s ‘This Morning’, discussing why, how and when he started the company, because the peacocking entrepreneur brashly rams the clip down your gullet in the form of a pop-up when you visit the website. Here, try it. Extraordinarily annoying, but I get it. And yes, 19 years old. I have a colony of hairs on my back older than this newborn. Would it be a dick-move if I automatically assumed mummy and daddy bankrolled this venture? Well, I said it.

Good for him, though! I back-and-forth with him now and then via email and he seems like a nice guy, even if it is really, really, really difficult to admire progress of youth when you’re a withering middle-aged man that’s still scratching around in the same old crusty hole with no hope of escaping. What total bullshit!

Anyways, while they’re under the spotlight, I thought I’d shimmy into the conversation and offer a profoundly unqualified opinion.

Can you really sell your home for £99?

I can understand the confusion! When you pay doughnuts for a night of pleasure, you’re expecting to stumble upon an unsavoury, sweltering boil somewhere. If not on the surface, then most definitely during the middle of service in a place a little more inconspicuous… and bushy.

Sure, you can use DoorSteps to market your property for £99 on Rightmove & Zoopla, and then go onto sell it. They’re not lying about that, and from what I can tell there isn’t a catch.

However! Yes, however! After you’ve shit yourself from the shear excitement of being able to flog your house for peanuts, you realise the whole ’99’ thing is merely a hook, because most home-sellers will need the extras, which includes an EPC (+ £72) and professional photography (not available with the £99 package, so you’ll need to upgrade to their premium package, which is £199). If you value your time, it’s also worth noting that you’ll be investing some of that, too. It’s rarely just 99 nuggets all-in!

That said, even when you throw on the extras, there’s still a catchy and competitive price-tag that blows almost everyone else out of the water. But more on that shortly.

So the short, dirty and ambiguous answer to the question: kinda’

Are DoorSteps actually THE cheapest?

Believe it or not… nope.

At least, they’re not anymore.

Another player recently entered the game, 99Home.co.uk, who, yup, you guessed it, also charge £99 (for a like-for-like package). Actually, if you apply the 5% discount code 99Home’s are dishing out, their package is cheaper, at a remarkable £94. When you compare that to high-street agent prices, the mind boggles, but when you compare that to most other online agents (the one’s most people only know about), the mind ejaculates.

On a sidenote, I’m genuinely impressed by 99Home’s product and service. But fair play to DoorSteps.co.uk, they’re still being heavily branded as ‘the cheapest’ because they’re reaping the rewards of being the first to market with such puny and freakish prices.

Who are these budget online agents for?

The obvious answer is, “they’re for anyone that wants to pay fuck-all for selling their home”, which is by and large true.

And yup, they’re just another reason for those high-street agents that are miserable about the emergence of online agents to further grumble, and mutter about how their futile digital opponents are spectacularly inferior because they’re unable to deliver the face-to-face personal service they can. *Yawn*

But there’s also another element to the suitability factor. It’s not just for tightwads that never tip and use old cereal boxes as toilet paper.

Online agents, and not just the budget ones’, are suited for people that aren’t shy of unsatisfying legwork, including the mundane shoot-yourself-in-the-face process of writing property descriptions and taking viewings. If you’re happy to deal with the general public, some of whom will be utterly grotesque and stink of cat-piss and decomposed human remains, then you should be using an online estate agent, otherwise you’ll probably end up grossly overpaying for an unnecessary service.

Yes, yes, yes, I know. Some online agents, technically called ‘hybrid agents‘, do offer ‘hosted viewings’, but then you’re entering into a whole new scary price bracket. For example, PurpleBricks charge an additional £300 just for hosted viewings, and that’s on top of their current £849 base price. The hybrid services clearly aren’t for the tightwads. And to be frank, they’re really not that much of a bargain after you throw on the extras.

How much bang do you get for your buck?

DoorSteps currently offer two packages, and here’s an overview of each package…

Estate AgentRatingDurationIncludes / NotesPrice
Rating
9.6 / 10
TrustPilot Reviews
Duration
Until Sold
Includes / Notes

Standard package
  • Markets on Rightmove, Zoopla + more
  • Negotiation
Price £99Inc VAT Visit Website
Rating
9.6 / 10
TrustPilot Reviews
Duration
Until Sold
Includes / Notes

Premium package
  • Markets on Rightmove, Zoopla + more
  • Photograghs
  • Floorplan
  • Negotiation
  • For sale sign
  • In-person valuation
Price £199Inc VAT Visit Website

As expected, the dirt-cheap package provides the bare bones, but the second most dirt-cheap package provides a little more punch, and it’s really not a bad deal.

I’ve been told that the “Premium package” does include an in-person valuation by a local expert, but I can’t find any mention of it on their website, which I find quite baffling. If details of the allusive local expert does exist, it appears to be tucked away in a dark and dingy corner, probably hidden away with their strap-ons. Again, baffling.

That said, I’d be inclined to conduct my own research on how much I think my house is worth regardless. Not that I don’t trust an online agent’s bullshit ‘local expert’ or anything.

How do they fair against other online estate agents?

Strictly based on price and features, they seem to stack up nicely. But for accuracy and fairness, I’ll compare their two packages against like-for-like alternatives offered by other online estate agents.

Basic package

From what I’m aware, DoorSteps £99 package can only be compared to 99Home’s ‘Standard’ £99 package, at least for now…

Estate AgentRatingDurationIncludes / NotesPrice
Rating
9.6 / 10
TrustPilot Reviews
Duration
Until Sold
Includes / Notes

Standard package
  • Markets on Rightmove, Zoopla + more
  • Negotiation
  • For sale sign
Price £94Inc VAT
Normal price: £99

Discount Code available
Visit Website5% Discount Code: HomePIP5

Premium packages

This is the category where the competition gets thick and curly, and where you can really see the difference in price. The following agents/packages can be compared to DoorSteps £199 Premium package.

Estate AgentRatingDurationIncludes / NotesPrice
Rating
9.4 / 10
TrustPilot Reviews
Duration
Until Sold
Includes / Notes

Standard package
  • Markets on Rightmove, Zoopla + more
  • Photograghs
  • Floorplan
  • Negotiation
  • For sale sign
  • In-person valuation
Price £449Inc VAT
Normal price: £499

Discount Code available
Visit Website£50 Discount Code: PIP17
Rating
9.4 / 10
TrustPilot Reviews
Duration
12 Months
Includes / Notes

Standard package
  • Markets on Rightmove, Zoopla + more
  • Photograghs
  • Floorplan
  • Negotiation
  • For sale sign
  • In-person valuation
Price £685Inc VAT
Normal price: £785

Discount Code available
Visit WebsiteBook Free In-Person Valuation£100 Discount Code: EMOOV100
Rating
9.4 / 10
TrustPilot Reviews
Duration
12 Months
Includes / Notes

Standard package
  • Markets on Rightmove, Zoopla + more
  • Photograghs
  • Floorplan
  • Negotiation
  • For sale sign
  • In-person valuation

*Selling fee of £1,399 in a few specific London postcodes.

Price £839Inc VAT Visit WebsiteBook Free In-Person Valuation
Rating
9.5 / 10
TrustPilot Reviews
Duration

Includes / Notes

Standard package
  • Markets on Rightmove, Zoopla + more
  • Photograghs
  • Floorplan
  • Negotiation
  • For sale sign
  • In-person valuation

*Selling fee of £1,199 in London and surrounding areas.

Price £849Inc VAT Visit Website

Please note, I try my best to keep the information of each agent up-to-date, but you should read the T&C’s from the agents’ website for the most up-to-date information.

If you want to take a gander at a more complete list of online agents, and also play around with search-filters that will help you determine how much you’ll end up paying after adding on all the extras (e.g. EPC’s, Photos etc), you may want to hop over to my main online estate agent page.

Should you use DoorSteps to sell your home?

I’ve never used DoorSteps, I’m just giving you an overview of my thoughts as a tyre-kicker and someone that has nothing better do than harbour an unflattering interest in the ‘online agency’ space, so I can’t give you a recommendation based on any real experience. All I can say is that they have a string of satisfied customers according to their TrustPilot page, and currently have over 1000 cheap bastards putting their hopes homes and dreams in their hands. Make of that what you will.

Am I endorsing DoorSteps? Fuck no! Do I think they’re so cheap that it’s one of those “Fuck it, why not?” purchases? Yup!

However, if I had to choose right now, I’d probably go with 99Home- not just because they’re six whole pounds cheaper – but purely because their technology/platform is more evolved. But if you’re after the bigger brand out of the two, DoorSteps is your boy.

What about the other [more expensive] agents?

My general conclusion is that all online agents are more or less offering the same services these days, and if we’re going to be honest, it’s really all about getting your property for sale on Rightmove. Bear in mind, you’re not actually buying a tangible product or an ongoing service with an online estate agent.

My sentiments may not go down well with the providers (some of whom I adore, work with and promote), because many will argue that their customer service is impeccable, and their ‘in-house’ technology is unparalleled, and their ‘Sale Price Achieved’ percentage is superior… blah blah! But really, it’s all subjective bullshit, because they’re still offering the same products. If you ask any online agent why they’re better than their rivals, I’d be surprised if they’re able to provide any real reason! Trust me, I’ve asked the question and the answers were less than uninspiring.

However, perhaps there’s a genuine argument that some agents provide a cleaner/easier user-interface to manage the property details and enquiries, which may benefit those that still squint and struggle to navigate around Facebook. Each online agent will have their own customer control panel, which is probably the only noticeable difference between them. But meh, I wouldn’t put too much stock in that unless you’re my nan, or as equally devastating as her when operating modern technology. And yup, some platforms are more buggy and useless than others, but presumably they’re all still functional (otherwise they wouldn’t be operating). From what I’ve seen, DoorSteps are pretty behind on the tech comparatively; so don’t expect much from then on that front. But then again, I’m not the type of person that’s surprised by the terrible lumber support on a £5 RyanAir flight.

DoorSteps - Better Service LogoIf you’re relying on “good customer” service while using an online agent (not a hybrid agent), especially a dirt-cheap one (err.. even if they do have “better service” stamped into their cheesy slogan), then I’d argue that you’re a bit of a dimwit, because you don’t understand the online agent model properly, and the concept of “getting what you pay for” is lost on you.

Actually, perhaps that’s marginally unfair. But my point is, don’t use an online agent if you want your sweaty little hands held and expect good customer service, because that’s really what high-street agents are for (at least, they’re meant to be). I’m not saying you won’t receive good service, I’m saying you probably shouldn’t expect it to be anywhere close to overwhelming, or even above average (’cause you ain’t really paying for it). The whole online concept is largely based on automated technology and call-centres replacing real-life human service, and that’s why it’s so much more scalable and cheaper. Also, don’t be surprised if phonecalls don’t get returned sharpish, or if you’re on hold forever and a day.

Interestingly, most of the negative feedback (which is significantly less than the positives) I read on TrustPilot about online agents is based on “Poor customer service”… *slaps forehead*

So to answer the actual question: if you’re choosing between online agents that offer the exact same service/features you require, then you may as well go for the cheapest option that has relatively good TrustPilot reviews (whoever that maybe at the time), in my opinion.

With the way the online agency industry is heading, I can’t help but feel the ‘customer acquisition’ process will become very similar to the state of the car insurance industry- what do most people do these days? They jump into comparison websites and go with the cheapest option that meets their requirements, combined with brand recognition (if there isn’t too much of a price difference i.e. I’ll pay £10 more for Aviva if my other choice is ‘The Best Car Insurance Company’). Why? Because for all intents and purposes, every insurer does the same thing, and we only really notice the difference in service if shit hits the fan. But that’s the psychology of paying for a budget/cheaper product, you’re actually betting against disaster and hoping it pays off.

How are the more expensive alternatives able to compete?

Honestly, I really don’t know the answer, but I can speculate the crap out of the question.

I believe it boils down to marketing, brand recognition, and consumer ignorance. If it’s something else, then fuck me sideways and call me Mary, I’m at a loss, because I’ve already confessed that I don’t think any of them are offering anything particularly unique from one another, and I think that’s pretty transparent when you cross-reference the virtual packages.

Some of the bigger players, like emoov, YOPA and PurpleBricks spend buttloads on marketing, and that’s certainly working for them (to a certain degree). But they haven’t been marketing against each other – the direct competition – they’ve been marketing against high-street agents! They’re so busy highlighting how much cheaper they are compared to high-street agents, that we’re forgetting to ask how they compare against their own digital kind. Not exactly the heist of the century, but an effective use of misdirection nonetheless.

PurpleBricks’ in particular, has a brand so strong that it’s synonymous with ‘Online Agent’, and some people hermits don’t even realise there are much cheaper options.

Is there also an exaggerated perception of greater price equating to a better product in this particular scenario? Perhaps.

£99… it probably won’t last!!

According to DoorSteps’ supersized caption on their homepage, they REALLY want you to know they’re “the UK’s 18th largest and fastest growing estate agent”

No doubt, a totally believable claim considering they’ve made a bag of cashew nuts more expensive than selling property. But I’d bet my left sack on the fact they’re not in anyone’s rich list. How can they be? The profit margin on their packages must be pittances. How many units do they need to shift in order to pay for just one salary? Yet, remarkably, they claim to be worth a staggering £12m… err, yeah, alright.

I mentioned earlier that the whole £99 thing is merely a hook, but I also think it’s a temporary one. It’s unlikely that the £99 package, or even the £199 one for that matter, will be sustainable for the foreseeable future, even if they do outsource all their web-development needs to a remote village in India, where the average salary is 10p per day (which I actually suspect they do). In fact, if they’re not already loss-leader products, I suspect they will be soon enough.

While I’m absolutely reluctant to believe I could be totally wrong about this, it’s entirely possible. However, from my experience, I can tell you that most estate agents that come swarming into the market with stupid prices and smug ambitions eventually get obliterated by increasing Rightmove and Zoopla fees, so there’s usually a very limited shelf-life for the ‘bat-shit crazy prices’ game.

Either way, who cares? The price is the price. So, if you’re contemplating putting your pad on the market, and you’re the ultimate skinflint that just wants a cheap and easy way of shoving your property on the UK’s biggest property portals… now ain’t a bad time to do it for as little as 9,400 pennies.

Over to you…

  • Have you used an online estate agent? If so, who and how was your experience?
  • If not, would you ever use an online agent to sell?
  • Would you use DoorSteps? Is their price appealing or just too scary?

Like I said, this online agency crap is my crack-pipe, so all feedback appreciated!

xoxo

24 Comments- Join The Conversation...

1 out of 5 rating2 out of 5 rating3 out of 5 rating1 out of 5 rating2 out of 5 rating2 customers have rated their DoorSteps experience.2.5 out of 5 Stars.Leave your Comment / Review
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Sarah Allen 22nd November, 2017 @ 09:08
1 out of 5 rating 1 out of 5 rating 2 out of 5 rating 3 out of 5 rating 4 out of 5 rating

I tried to deal with doorsteps to putchase a property.They are based in London.They said a local agent would contact me to arrange a viewing.I waited for 3 days,and made 3 more calls to them as I had no call from the local agent.They then told me the vendor was away until a certain date but sge woukd tgen contact ne via enail.
No responce.I gave up in the end.
Each phone call to Doorsteps took ages to be answered and I found the process hard work obstructive and very frustrating.Based on this I would neveruse them to sell a property of mine.

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Faemina 22nd November, 2017 @ 09:12

I used Hatched five years ago at £450 + VAT for the full package (to sell my own home). I had to pay upfront to get that price but figured, as a percentage of the price, if It didn't work out I hadn't lost much. The property went on Rightmove at 8am and I had a viewer at noon. She wanted the house but her partner needed to see it; however, I got another tranche of viewers through the week, three of whom also wanted it. I sold it a week later to the first viewer for a higher price. The property was in a sought-after area (for the school) so I guess that made it easier. I handled the viewings and negotiated with them on the spot. Hatched would have done so but I wanted to run things myself. Happy client 😊
.

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Rav 22nd November, 2017 @ 09:20

I used 99home and experienced the best estate agency service so far.

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Ken Standing 22nd November, 2017 @ 09:56

I have just come through a selling experience with a complicated chain involoved and Purple Bricks.

Nightmare ... because PB are not proper estate agents.

It dawned on me eventually that they are just a call-centre somewhere or other .... no designated person even and zero local knowledge. In that vacuum chaos reigned and cause massive stress and uncertainty for all involved .... threats flying everywhere, nobody being informed about what was going on, distrust, misunderstandings, sellers and buyers, all highly emotionally affected having to deal with each other with imperfect understandings of the process, what was natural to the process, promises being given and inevitably broken, suspicion and anger, rancour and hatred, mega-stress affecting the health of those involved. I see now how estate agents do provide a useful service in shouldering all that liaison. I see that PB was sold not long ago for ££££millions. That's what its all about .... so .... in this instance anyway .... false economy.

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Grumpy 22nd November, 2017 @ 10:26

Awsome review....hahaha....

I had purplebricks "property expert" come and "value" an apartment block i wanted to sell. The dude who arrived was about 12 yrs old and clearly had never valued a block of flats (even though a small one)

I asked him when he last valued a commercial bldg he said about 10 yrs ago. That explained the demented low valuation.

In a nutshell, you are simply buying a rightmove listing for £99 which is awesome.

If you want advice and need to phone someone, pay the local estate agent.

Again, great review.😅

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Alex 22nd November, 2017 @ 11:57
1 out of 5 rating 2 out of 5 rating 3 out of 5 rating 4 out of 5 rating 1 out of 5 rating

I'm now an ex-landlord having sold out of the game and listed my property with Doorsteps in mid-September and completed at the beginning of November. You're right to say that this will work best for people who don't mind getting their hands dirty and doing the viewings. I also spent time doing all the photography and getting the description to be as full and acurate as possible. (Actually, I already had the photos from when I advertised the flat for rent through Upad, thanks to this site). Anyway, I just asked Doorsteps to forward me any enquiries and I would deal with it - which I did. The couple who bought my flat said it was a breath of fresh dealing with someone who actually new the first thing about the property. The two other properties they viewed after mine where with highstreet estate agents who know exactly jack squat about the properties - not even some very basic things. These feckless individuals clearly won't survive if they offer less service for substantially more money. I had three value mine, two were close but the cockiest of them all said he was, and I quote, 'the best salesman in the area' and would sell it in 4 weeks. He valued it £35k under what I sold it for (in two weeks and three days) so no doubt he would have sold it fast. Especially keeping in mind this is a one-bed flat, so £35k is not just a margin for error at this end of the market.

In terms of Doorsteps service, it was basic. I emailed a description and photos and got an email to confirm when it was up. I made an error with the postcode and phoned to fix it, got through and it was done promptly. Whether they can sustain this as they grow is another matter. There is no backend technology or fancy user interfaces from what I can see, just some bloke (called Luke in my case) working all the hours that God sends uploading stuff to Rightmove and Zoopla. Overall, if you are happy with the DIY approach, I can't really fault it, but it won't be for everyone and I obviously can't comment on their negotiating skill and comms on other fronts. But yes, you can sell a property for £99 and some legwork.

Cheers, Alex

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Graham Ireland 22nd November, 2017 @ 14:16

I bought one of my BTL properties through the PB agency. They did contact me a couple of times to check on the progress of the purchase particularly as the vendor was using their recommended solicitor and I was doing my own conveyancing. I did feel that they were doing a job for both their client and their buyer. Once into the legal transaction that is when solicitors put in huge delays and doing it myself avoided this. Selling my mothers house I had a high street agent who had to work really hard on a daily basis for several months managing the legal process. On that one he really earned his fee large as it was. I still wish I had done my own conveyancing on that one too as I would have had far more control of the process.

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 22nd November, 2017 @ 14:43

@Sarah Allen
Selfish ol' me, I didn't actually consider the customer service aspect from the buyers point of view.

I'm actually not surprised by your experience, because I imagine they have very limited resources (as stated in my blog post). 3 days for a callback is horrendous. However, it's difficult to speculate why they never got back to you after the vendor returned from holiday. From a seller's point of view, she may have got the sale, which makes it worthwhile for them. However, still poor for the buyer.

Thanks for sharing your experience.

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 22nd November, 2017 @ 14:45

@Faemina,

Hatched is another one that's quite popular! Glad the whole online thing worked out for you :)

And to be honest, £450+VAT really isn't a bad price considering.

Thanks for sharing!

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 22nd November, 2017 @ 14:50

@Rav,
I've conversed with one of the co-founders (really nice guy) and it's obvious they take customer service seriously, and their tech seems to be on point! I'm not surprised by your endorsement.

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 22nd November, 2017 @ 14:56

@Ken,
Holy crap, that sounds like a right mess. A lot of emotions flying around.

I wouldn't quite say they're a false economy, but I would say online agents are more suited for straightforward cases. The logistics of them dealing with complicated chains doesn't seem like it would be in their best interest financially. However, with the amount you pay to PB, you'd expect a good service despite the circumstances. But that's also why I think they're overpriced.

Hope it all worked out either way! Thanks for sharing.

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 22nd November, 2017 @ 15:00

@Grumpy
Thanks, glad you enjoyed it!!

Haha, not surprised at all by your lousy experience at all. You gotta' wonder where the 'local agents' are flushed out from! It's real hit or miss.

Agreed, the value is getting your property on Rightmove, and then it's down to you to process and handle all the enquiries/viewings from then on! You become prone to failure the more you start relying on 'service' from online agents.

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 22nd November, 2017 @ 15:05

@Alex,
Haha, great amusing summary, thanks for that.

"I just asked Doorsteps to forward me any enquiries and I would deal with it" - I definitely think that's the way forward. To be honest, I assumed they did that be default.

'the best salesman in the area' - absolute classic. What a smarmy little git!

Haha @ poor Luke! They probably top up his bowel of water every couple of hours so he doesn't overheat.

I think the most anyone should expect is "basic"

Thanks again Alex, that was both useful and enjoyable.

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pandaposta 22nd November, 2017 @ 18:06

I've just used the online agency House Simple to sell my parent's house. They were just £295 (usually £595 but had offer on and still do). Once I expressed an interest in going with them they were in touch that day to arrange for a photographer who came within the week. I was under no obligation to go with them until I had seen the photos. Their valuation was guided by us although they were in the right region. They advertised on Rightmove and, although we did the viewings, they followed up each viewing with requests for feedback. Like PB they are a call centre and their dashboard system for monitoring activity isn't particularly user friendly. I also felt that they wished me to sell quickly so that they could use the turnaround time in their marketing (so many houses sold within x weeks) - and in this regard I'm not sure whether they were really acting for me in the final negotiations. Still, I didn't have to accept any offers and as I was doing the viewings I could always arrange to deal direct with any interested parties. There's a few things I would do differently in handling the negotiations but the cheapest high street estate agent was quoting £1500 so I was quite happy with the House Simple experience.

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Grumpy 22nd November, 2017 @ 20:13

The purple bricks expert said to me most investors "wanted a 10% yield."

He then calculated the value about 250k less than the actual value... i actually burst out laughing.

In anycase right now with with a local agent as im away for 5 weeks on hols so will see if they can sell it while im away. If not then might try doorsteps.

G'Day mate

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Tom 22nd November, 2017 @ 21:41

I used Tepilo last month to sell my flat in London. I paid something in the region of £700-800 flat fee for six months advertising - it may sound expensive, but bear in mind that the flat was £450,000 so Foxtons wanted 3% (£13,500) and local agent wanted 1.8% (£8,100), so they brick and mortar agents were 10 to 17 times more expensive. I had the best experience ever with Tepilo, very helpful staff and sales negotiators and progression team. I had about a dozen viewings and I accepted an offer at asking price, sadly the buyer pulled out a month later at the 11th hour (first time buyer, problems with mortgage) and the property was readvertised with no further costs, I had a handful of viewings over the weekend and accepted another offer on Monday, so I managed to keep my chain intact. I probably would be tempted to pay £99 but in all honesty, whether it is £99 or even £999 it doesn't matter when my local agents wanted between £8,000 and £13,500. Honestly, I am not sure what kind of added value would they offer, I think high street estate and letting agents' days are numbered... Don't know what they would have done extra for that £13k apart from a guy in a suit arriving in a Mini Cooper to accompany viewings - and for £13k I saved I can buy a suit and a Mini Cooper and still have some change left...

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Pauline 23rd November, 2017 @ 04:06

We used Hatched. Ticked all the boxes - local contact came and gave a valuation which tallied with our own research. He took a good range of photos and after clearing the content with us, the house listing was on Rightmove within a day or so. Telephone contact was efficient and friendly. They liaised with our buyers solicitors when we asked them to. Perhaps a bit less proactive in pushing the sale forward than a high street agent - but no real complaints about that. And of course we saved a shed load of money.

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 23rd November, 2017 @ 13:59

@pandaposta,

Ahh yeah, House Simple, another popular online agent.

Your experience highlights some great tips for everyone else. I'm not surprised by the pressure to accept an offer asap, and I suspect you're right about giving them material for marketing. As said, I think there's so little difference between them, the "we sell the average house within x weeks" line is one of the few hooks that separates them! But I find that figure a bit misleading and unhelpful (when you really think about it), although it probably works.

£295 is a great price for selling regardless. Glad it worked out.

Thanks for sharing!!

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The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 23rd November, 2017 @ 14:00

@Grumpy
If you end up using DoorSteps (or anyone else), let us know how you get on, please! Enjoy your holiday and Good luck :)

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The Landlord 23rd November, 2017 @ 14:08

@Tom
You're right, paying £800 compared to £8,000 - £13,000... that's a no-brainer. I'd also be happy with that. Glad to hear your experience with Tepilo was so positive.

Haha, totally agree about the allusive "added value" a high-street agent would add for an additional £7,200. It just doesn't add up at all.

I've never understood why high-street agents take a percentage!! Surely the work required to selling a property, in theory, should equate to the same amount?

It's predicted that in the next 5 years online agents are going to eat up a significant portion of the market, and it's not hard to see why. At a certain point, they start making an insane amount of money for doing no extra work.

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The Landlord 23rd November, 2017 @ 14:12

@Pauline,
Ahh nice one!! Another happy Hatched customer.

It's reassuring to hear how so many people are having success with the online model and consequently saving so much money. As Tom said, I also suspect the high street estate and letting agents' days are numbered, because their fees just doesn't stack up.

Thanks for sharing your experience, appreciated.

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The Landlord 24th November, 2017 @ 08:46

hmmm... just went onto the DoorSteps website, looks like they're doing a Black Friday sale, and only charging £1 *mind blown*

I don't know the details, because you need to request a callback...

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shame 29th November, 2017 @ 20:47

I think they will do well. They remind me of open rent who started back in 2012. They came an simplified lettings online at good price, they still appear to be going strong. Good luck to them.

I wont be using them to sell though I like to stick to local crooks instead of online ones

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The Landlord 29th November, 2017 @ 20:56

@shame,
Yeah, I can see how DoorSteps can be compared to OpenRent (who I've used, love and endorse)- both came into the market with crazy low price-points. But I think OpenRent have a more sustainable model (for various reasons). The thing with OpenRent is that they have really slick tech, so almost everything is automated and therefore cheaper to operate!

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