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UK House prices: News & Views

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Legally, they do.

 

If they don't they are breaking the law and the vendor or buyer could report them to the Office of Fair Trading.

 

I'll pass that on to my sister. She is understandably seething.

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http://www.home.co.uk/asking_price_index/

 

Summary

The mix-adjusted average Asking Price for homes on the market in England

and Wales has risen by 0.4% since last month.

Monthly asking price rises in all English regions and Scotland but prices fell

0.5% in Wales.

The number of properties reduced in price has increased further to 76,075

for the month of February, 76% more than in February 2010.

Typical time on market has fallen 9 days to 141 days (median).

Properties new to market in Feb 2011 was 40% higher than in Feb 2010

Annual change in asking prices: -0.8%

6-month change in asking prices: -0.7%

 

 

also some comment on BTL and inflation...

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Perhaps it's time to replace estate agents with a simpler yet honest system.

 

Kind of like ebay for houses.

 

But, alas, the simple fact is that without an estate agent you don't get listed on Rightmove. The rest are relatively irrelevant.

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But, alas, the simple fact is that without an estate agent you don't get listed on Rightmove. The rest are relatively irrelevant.

 

So private sellers can't list on Rightmove?

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So private sellers can't list on Rightmove?

 

No Rightmove decided to move the goalposts after being pressurised by EA's.

 

http://www.yourrightmove.co.uk/blog/how-to-advertise-on-rightmove/

 

Many seeking to sell their homes online, want to advertise on Rightmove, as they recognise this as one of the biggest property websites in the UK. Understandable as more than 90% of all UK estate agents list on Rightmove.

 

But after some investigations it appears that sadly individuals selling their homes directly cannot list their property on Rightmove without an estate agent.

 

This is due to Rightmove’s advertising policy. All properties advertised on their site should comply with the “Property Misdescription Act of 1991″. This Act was designed to protect the public from estate agents that stretched the truth about a property. It was devised to provide protection to the general public making it illegal to make false or misleading statements.

 

So are there any other ways that an Estate agent can offer access through there registration with Rightmove and supervise the statements made and thereby approve the submissions for a minimal cost.

 

It’s worth noting there used to be a few estate agents that did comply with the act, and for a small fee enabled you to get a listing on Rightmove.

 

Good news!.

 

Well i thought so, until i contacted The Little House Company online estate agency

In the past, they were are able to list your property on Rightmove for a small fee, until Rightmove decided to block the idea.

 

I decided to contact The Little House Company to find out what had changed.

 

Nick Marr founder of The Little House Company told us, “We offer an online estate agents service that does not include listing on Rightmove anymore. We were working with a number of agents but Rightmove sent us a legal notice asking us to stop which they felt was amounting to reselling their service. We now simply recommend or refer our clients to this panel if they want a Rightmove listing”.

 

Nick Continues, “We offer a full online agents service apart from Rightmove. Despite us being registered estate agency in the eyes of the law and the fact we produce compliant listings Rightmove are uncomfortable with us on their website as we promote private sales. They receive complaints from estate agents and we will never be on that website whilst we offer consumer choice with our services”.

 

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No Rightmove decided to move the goalposts after being pressurised by EA's.

 

http://www.yourrightmove.co.uk/blog/how-to-advertise-on-rightmove/

As far as I remember, in the UK I can start trading as a business without having to inform anyone at all.

 

Is there any reason why I couldn't start my own EA business and sell my own house?

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As far as I remember, in the UK I can start trading as a business without having to inform anyone at all.

 

Is there any reason why I couldn't start my own EA business and sell my own house?

 

Not as long as don't mind signing a contract with Rightmove and paying them their montly charges. I'm sure they are capable of spotting anyone trying to sell their home privately. The fact is they derive their revenue from estate agents - you can't blame them for not wanting to upset their customers.

 

There was a time when Tesco entered the market and offered the ability for people to list their homes for sale on Tesco's website and have a board in store with local houses for sale etc. - the idea lasted 5 minutes and Tesco went into some sort of partnership with Haart called isold.

 

The simple, unavoidable fact seems to be that when selling their biggest asset, most people want an agent to handle the sale for them.

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Not as long as don't mind signing a contract with Rightmove and paying them their montly charges. I'm sure they are capable of spotting anyone trying to sell their home privately. The fact is they derive their revenue from estate agents - you can't blame them for not wanting to upset their customers.

 

There was a time when Tesco entered the market and offered the ability for people to list their homes for sale on Tesco's website and have a board in store with local houses for sale etc. - the idea lasted 5 minutes and Tesco went into some sort of partnership with Haart called isold.

 

The simple, unavoidable fact seems to be that when selling their biggest asset, most people want an agent to handle the sale for them.

Actually, EA's have p**sed me off so many times in the past that I have been seriously tempted on more than one occasion to look into setting up an estate agency. I would call it the "Honest EA". Although I guess no-one would believe the sign :unsure: .

 

Yes I remember the Tesco issue. i think it was CML or Rightmove that argued that Tesco wasn't an official EA and so could not do this. At the time, Tesco said OK, we will become an official EA and undercut you by offering a flat £200 deal. Somehow, after that, they went into the operation with Haart instead.

 

Anecdotally, around us things are picking up. Several Sold Subject Conclusive Missives appearing. (They had been on for a while, so I don’t know if they are taking lower offers or if people have decided to up their offers nearer to the asking price?)

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Way back in 1995, when housing was in a slump, I sold my house privately. When you do a private add, I believe you can ignore all the rules and regs that EAs are subject to and say stuff like "lovely family home, kids enjoyed the tree house, great veg plot etc". I took a nice picture and put an advert in the local paper on their property day. Sold to the first viewer. I got three EAs to do a valuation beforehand. As soon as I agreed with the buyer, we let the solicitors do the rest.

 

All very pleasant and it makes one wonder why anyone would use an EA if they were on hand to meet the buyers. There is no selling involved - either the house suits a buyer or not.

 

I believe vendors are mostly worried about doing viewings to strangers and this will put off a lot of private sales. And I'm sure EAs will play on this.

 

Also, EAs will make out they can use their negotiation skills to get a better price, hence covering their fee. There is something in this if you have been on the lying buying end of dealing with an EA.

 

Also, in the great scheme of things, paying 1% or 1.25% incl VAT to sell your house isn't a deal breaker for most people.

 

I was involved in the yacht brokerage business for many years. Typical commission is 6 - 8% !! But a web site called - believe it or not - Apollo Duck popped up, and allowed free private boat ads, with masses of pictures and information. I'm not in that business anymore..... But if people can sell £100k yachts privately, then they can sell houses. The difference is just the commission rate. the EA rate is low enough for people not to bother going it alone.

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Anecdotally, around us things are picking up. Several Sold Subject Conclusive Missives appearing. (They had been on for a while, so I don’t know if they are taking lower offers or if people have decided to up their offers nearer to the asking price?)

 

A bunch of highish-end detached new builds ( £550k - £650k) have been released near me in Oxfordshire. All are now "Reserved" a week after release and opening of the show home. I can only think some people love brand new houses. Similar "used" houses, with more garden, more parking, less crowded and in very good nick are cheaper ( and probably all the snagging & teething sorted). What's that about ????.

 

I asked the EA what "Reserved" meant. She said the "reservation fee had been paid by proceed-able clients". Presume a client is a buyer and a reservation fee is a token amount and not a 20% deposit. Anyhow, not a house ( finished, half built or just a plot) is left.

 

Wadda I know ??

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Way back in 1995, when housing was in a slump, I sold my house privately. When you do a private add, I believe you can ignore all the rules and regs that EAs are subject to and say stuff like "lovely family home, kids enjoyed the tree house, great veg plot etc". I took a nice picture and put an advert in the local paper on their property day. Sold to the first viewer. I got three EAs to do a valuation beforehand. As soon as I agreed with the buyer, we let the solicitors do the rest.

 

All very pleasant and it makes one wonder why anyone would use an EA if they were on hand to meet the buyers. There is no selling involved - either the house suits a buyer or not.

 

I believe vendors are mostly worried about doing viewings to strangers and this will put off a lot of private sales. And I'm sure EAs will play on this.

 

Also, EAs will make out they can use their negotiation skills to get a better price, hence covering their fee. There is something in this if you have been on the lying buying end of dealing with an EA.

 

Also, in the great scheme of things, paying 1% or 1.25% incl VAT to sell your house isn't a deal breaker for most people.

 

I was involved in the yacht brokerage business for many years. Typical commission is 6 - 8% !! But a web site called - believe it or not - Apollo Duck popped up, and allowed free private boat ads, with masses of pictures and information. I'm not in that business anymore..... But if people can sell £100k yachts privately, then they can sell houses. The difference is just the commission rate. the EA rate is low enough for people not to bother going it alone.

 

When we STR'd last time I was in a rush to sell (Northern Rock had gone down and I wanted to jump out the market before the SHTF) so we used an EA. They charged ~2% which was the going rate around here, charged upfront for printing schedules and charged for adverts in the paper.

 

We did all the viewing, and in the end, a guy who knew one of our neighbours knocked the door, we went to the pub, negotiated the deal at an agreed price, shook hands and said if any problems re solicitors and EA's etc, that we would just phone each other and get it sorted directly.

 

The bl**dy EA's then nearly scuppered the deal by phoning his solicitor, pretending to be me, to try and rush them by telling them that we would put the property back on the market if we didn't get the info needed within 24hrs.

 

The first I heard was when the buyer phoned to ask what was going on. I went mad at the EA's and threatened to take them to court unless they immediately phoned the buyer and apologised (which they rightly did).

 

So, we essentially did everything ourselves and still ended up paying the EA’s for their incompetence.

 

I will seriously look into selling myself next time.

 

PS The buyer told me that he expected the market to fall~10% but he had just sold a big house and was downsizing.

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I will seriously look into selling myself next time.

 

 

 

I sold in Oct last year but used an EA at 1.25 % incl VAT. But I wasn't around to do the viewings - would definitely have done it myself otherwise. I did all the tricky stuff as the house was very old and it had lots of weird stuff in the deeds. But I explained to the EA I would do that for them. They were very good, a small independent with two partners and a switched on office girl. Dead easy to deal with as there was complete transparency and direct communication with the buyer. So, it can be done if the EAs switches to Human Mode and disables EA Mode.

 

I think Ebay is probably the best place for private house sales. If they copied Rightmove's search and refine facility, it could work well. Not sure house much they charge though.

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When we STR'd last time I was in a rush to sell (Northern Rock had gone down and I wanted to jump out the market before the SHTF) so we used an EA. They charged ~2% which was the going rate around here, charged upfront for printing schedules and charged for adverts in the paper.

Isnt it possible to negotiate with these pirates?

 

Such as:

Agreeing to only pay the full 2% commission if:

+ The EA can find a buyer at YOUR target price, or better, and

+ Within a pre-agreed timeframe

 

If he takes longer, or achieves a lower price, you pay him less.

 

That's the way we do it in Hong Kong.

 

in Selling 9 properties, we often got in a situation where the buyer was within 1% of my agreed selling price. In those cases, the EA would ask me to accept less. I would agree to do so, "Only if you (the EA) takes a lower commission."

 

"I will take Pds,5,000 off the sales price, if you take Pds.5,000 off your commission. That means the buyer can pay Pds.10,000 less. What ever reduction I agree from my 'bottom' sales price, I agree to split 50/50 with yourself."

 

This gives the EA a powerful incentive to get the deal done at the target price. It has worked well for me,

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Isnt it possible to negotiate with these pirates?

 

 

 

Of course, but most vendors just accept what the EAs ask for, which is around 2 or 2.5% + VAT at 20% - so getting on for 3%.

 

By the way, they also charge for glossy brochures and additional "Country Life" type magazine adverts. I can't see how this is any better than a good web advert.

 

My biggest gripe with Rightmove is the adverts only have 5 - 7 pictures. How hard is it to take, edit and upload 40 relevant pictures ? A school child can do it on Facebook but an EA can't be bothered on a half million £ house.

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Isnt it possible to negotiate with these pirates?

 

Such as:

Agreeing to only pay the full 2% commission if:

+ The EA can find a buyer at YOUR target price, or better, and

+ Within a pre-agreed timeframe

 

If he takes longer, or achieves a lower price, you pay him less.

 

That's the way we do it in Hong Kong.

 

in Selling 9 properties, we often got in a situation where the buyer was within 1% of my agreed selling price. In those cases, the EA would ask me to accept less. I would agree to do so, "Only if you (the EA) takes a lower commission."

 

"I will take Pds,5,000 off the sales price, if you take Pds.5,000 off your commission. That means the buyer can pay Pds.10,000 less. What ever reduction I agree from my 'bottom' sales price, I agree to split 50/50 with yourself."

 

This gives the EA a powerful incentive to get the deal done at the target price. It has worked well for me,

 

Oh we tried with several (the original fee was 3%, and we got a discount on the package deal for advertising in the Herald), but it's a closed shop and here in the W End at that time, we were still in boom territory and even though the Rock had gone down, the mentality was that Scotland didn't have a crash in the early 90's, therefore, it wouldn't now.

 

Of course, they never had a big boom in the 80's which was why they didn't have a bust (nominal) in the 90's.

 

That wasn't the case in late 2007.

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In the good olde days, EAs were a respected part of the business community. Like the solicitor and bank manager. "Corporatization" has changed all that. You get callow ninkompoops who should really be selling double glazing, private healthcare, or mobile phones.

 

A good EA would sell to the right buyer, not nessarily the highest bidder. I would say in their defence, that EAs earn their fee to some extent after the sale - keeping the chain intact and chasing up solicitors. It's a nightmare in a buyers market with gazundering etc.

 

I personally don't like negotiating deals worth 100s of thousands of pounds direct with a buyer, a good agent will act in the vendors interest, and ensure a swift completion (then he gets paid). EAs in UK are cheap (pay no more than 1.12%) compared to EU. They are regulated like mad and there is stiff competition with other EAs. Poor reputation is a killer.

 

Check out "agents diary" blog to know what it's like working as an EA.

 

Yes, I used to work as an EA.

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In the good olde days, EAs were a respected part of the business community. Like the solicitor and bank manager. Yes, I used to work as an EA.

Yep, I remember when bankers and solicitors were respected. (Not so sure about EA's though :D )

 

Only joking, and good to have a view from an ex (honest) EA.

 

However, to be honest, I have found every EA I have dealt with in UK over the past 25 years to be useless, bordering on incompetent and very nearly criminal.

 

In France the notaires charge about 10% if IIRC, so compared to them they are cheap. They also only allow a set number of them to practice too (and they are all qualified to do much more than a UK EA).

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By the way, they also charge for glossy brochures and additional "Country Life" type magazine adverts. I can't see how this is any better than a good web advert.

Whatta scam !

That is advertising for the Agent, whose name will appear prominently on the Ad.

I reckon it does little good for the vendor.

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...I would say in their defence, that EAs earn their fee to some extent after the sale - keeping the chain intact and chasing up solicitors. It's a nightmare in a buyers market with gazundering etc.

"the chain"?

Yes. I had forgotten about that annoying feature of the UK market.

 

I find it amazing that such an archaic aspect is allowed to exist. How can the UK consider itself in the 21st century with "chains" still alive?

 

The way to handle it, is to do what every modern country does:

 

+ The Buyer pays a Deposit

+ If he fails to close on time, he loses it

 

No ifs, ands, or buts. If he fails to sell his own house: Bad luck. Why should he pass the risk on to someone else?

 

How much does a Non-chain Buyer save these days in the UK?

5%? 10%? 20%?

 

That's the ONLY way to play the game IMHO. And stop overpaying pirate EAs.

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In France the notaires charge about 10% if IIRC, so compared to them they are cheap. They also only allow a set number of them to practice too (and they are all qualified to do much more than a UK EA).

HK agents charge 1% and that's negotiable (to the downside.)

 

Admittedly, it is paid on both sides, which is different than some other countries.

 

But apart from "managing a chain", I have no idea what AE's in the UK and elsewhere do to justify charging more.

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Pushing them over the cliff? Sweet.

How completely reckless !:

The councils will put 20% of the price in a Lloyds TSB account, with the lender asking for a 5% deposit.

The funds will not go to the buyer and the mortgage rate will be lower.

The councils risk losing money if a buyer defaults, but they get a generous interest rate themselves.

The scheme could benefit up to 300 first-time buyers in each area, but if other councils join, thousands could potentially benefit.

 

If it was a viable idea, then the private sector would do it. The only money that should go into this is the Pension Money from the council members who want to do it. If it goes bad, they should lose. If they wind up on the streets, it would serve them right from wanting to risk ratepayers money.

 

If it is your council: Protest! They are robbing you.

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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/budget/8386591/Budget-2011-George-Osborne-hints-at-more-reforms-as-OECD-cuts-UK-growth-but-applauds-austerity-measures.html

The Chancellor pledged to continue the work, dropping hints that he will use next week's Budget to unveil reforms of the planning system to speed up applications and allow more green-belt development...

 

There was more on this in The Times. Essentially he seems to be arguing that the planning system needs to be relaxed in order to support the failing housing market. Seems like a backwards argument, but if it makes it easier for me to build my own house then I don't care.

 

The article in The Times also mentioned removing the planning process from the process of converting business premises into residential, as well as other thing. Be interesting to see what it amounts to, but as far as I can tell, more houses means lower prices!

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