Monday, January 28, 2008

Not a good time to sell your house in the UK

I met up with a conveyancing solicitor the other day ... a friend
of a friend who works in the Midlands area. He told me that of late
his legal work has shrunk to one tenth of what it used to be ...
he used to have a caseload of 60-70 customers ... it's now 6-7, and
he's facing a corresponding drop in income. He also has to face a
lot of pressure & haggling from his clients ... haggling over his fees,
which surprised me a lot. Mrs C and I did ask for quotes in the past
from various solicitors for approximate costs, but we never haggled
with an individual solicitor over the phone, or face to face. How
times change.

As with many things in life, I believe you get what you pay for ...
if you pay well, you tend to get better than average service.

I used to feel unsympathetic to solicitors given the high hourly rates
they tend to charge ... and in the past I used to do my own conveyancing
(with the help of a building society solicitor who sorted out the
mortgage)... but I now think they're worth it, especially if there's
something a bit out of the ordinary to sort out from a legal view-point.

The people I do bear a grudge against are the estate agents and the
fees they charge ... several times more than what solicitors charge,
and for doing not a huge amount of work. Last time we moved house (five
years ago), we were charged over £5k for selling our house ... though
I have to admit they did a brilliant job selling what was a unusual
property.

Selling your house on the internet may become an increasingly attractive
prospect, especially if the house is a bog standard 3-4 bedroomed semi or
detached ... you can price your house according to the current house
prices in the neighbourhood.

So bearing in mind the current downturn in the housing market, and the
competition from the internet , spare a thought for the poor old estate
agents, who will be falling on hard times.

3 Comments:

Blogger Rachel Schell said...

well, the market here just sucks right now. I agree that the agent fees are pretty high, sounds worse for those in the UK though.

5:08 AM  
Blogger angel said...

selling privately and online is all the rage in south africa at the moment... there's a website called "private property" and you list your own house!

8:57 PM  
Blogger justin said...

Most estate agents here use websites to advertise their properties, but I reckon it won't be long before the general public go for a cheaper website company, forcing a lot of agents out of business.

11:37 AM  

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