What the Newspapers Say About Selling and Letting Online

Houseladder In The Press
Due to our rapid growth, Houseladder and our customers have been featured many times in local and national press articles. Below are a few examples.

Friday October 20,2006


Darren and Paula Meer have their £300,000 six bedroom terrace house in Broadstairs, Kent under offer thanks to Houseladder. 'Two reasons persuaded us to go down this route,' says Darren. 'I didn't want to pay an estate agent £6,000 and I wanted to have direct contact with our buyers. Also, every agent I had spoken to said that 70 per cent of their sales came through their internet sites, so it seemed a pretty good idea to do it ourselves.'


Linda and Andy Graham sold their house in March and moved into their new home six weeks later after using Houseladder

The couple, of Dunoon in Argyll and Bute, were keen for a quick sale as Andy had been forced to retire because of ill health and was scheduled for a triple heart bypass.

They had been caught with an endowment policy shortfall on the mortgage for their three bedroom bungalow and wanted to buy somewhere cheaper and be free or a mortgage before the operation.

Linda said: ' We had tried to sell the house a while before but hadn't had any joy. But with any due to go into hospital, we were keen to sell up and get our finances in order.

'One evening while I was surfing the net I stumbled across houseladder.com and thought I would give it a go. I worded the advert and put the photos on. It was all pretty straightforward.'

'We had 900 visits to the site. In the end a couple from Brighton bought it within two weeks of the advert on and within six weeks we'd also bought and moved into our new home, a min-terrace in Arrochar.'

'We have a different selling system in Scotland where potential buyers put in closed bids and we asked for offers over £95,000'

'We had 900 visits to the site and the inquires came in from as far a field as Germany, which certainly wouldn't have happened if we'd have gone through a local agent! In the end we had three firm offers and the couple from Brighton got it for £110,000.

'I think we did pretty well and we were delighted it al happened so quickly. We can now live mortgage-free and we have also saved ourselves a couple of thousands in agency fees.'

Linda, 56, added that her husband had now had his operation and was recovering at their new home in Arrochar.

The Observer

Estate agents - who needs 'em?
A few of us, maybe

Jane Hardy on relations with the breed we love to hate

Sunday November 21, 2004 The Observer

Do you really need an estate agent in the current cooling property market? Similes involving holes and heads spring to mind, and over dinner party tables there is always a good negative story involving the breed. But trying to sell our des res in a fashionable location on the north Kent coast has clearly shown the pluses and minuses of using the professionals. Even here the market has definitely slowed: estates agents' windows are splattered with 'price reduced' stickers. Interestingly, estate agents partly attribute this to media headlines causing buyer caution. As demand stagnates, so prices (ours included) are cut by £20,000 or more.

One local agent, Anna Sheehan of Harvey, Richards & West, put the case for her profession thus: 'You need help with pricing your property, especially in a tough market, since owners aren't always objective. It is also important to have the services of an estate agent at the other end of the process, when a sale has been agreed. We can conclude the deal and help make sure it goes through.

'Vendors can't necessarily get an overview, particularly when there's a chain involved. We are in touch with solicitors and other agents when necessary, some of whom won't readily talk to owners acting for themselves.'

She may have a point, but our initial experience with estate agents wasn't the happiest. Admittedly we made every mistake in the book (see below for what not to do). We didn't ask around for reputable names; we went with the obvious agency, let's call them Young, Thrusting and Ruthless, who seemed to have most boards around (often saying Sold). We also rushed into a sole agency agreement, since we were keen to secure another property with the same agent. Mistake. After being gazumped, twice (at the agents' recommendation, it turned out), and other poor treatment, we switched agents. But in the interim, we advertised in the Standard and thought about going it alone.

One seller who is benefiting from the diy approach is Ann Roberts, 35, who is in the process of securing a sale on her and her partner's country cottage in Sussex. Why did she opt for self-sale? 'I have a little experience, having worked for an estate agent for six months.'

What Ms Roberts learnt was how to get a buyer and push the sale through. This involved two weeks' intensive titivation of their home, repainting and tidying any weak areas. And yes, the predominant colour scheme is neutral with green accents. She doesn't agree with Sheehan that only professionals can get access to vital information. 'Before you accept an offer, do what a good estate agent should do: check out the chain process and talk to the relevant estate agents and solicitors.'

If you are phone literate, she feels, it isn't impossible. 'After all, it's in everybody's interest to process the sale.'

Ann recommends using self-sale property websites such as www.houseladder.co.uk, where you can advertise your home. She first got valuations, also free, from a couple of estate agents. They varied in their assessment by £25,000, and Ms Roberts had the added problem of the similar next-door property being for sale. Undeterred, Ms Roberts and partner made their own board (you can get one from websites) and a sign for the nearby lane indicating a property for sale. In three months, they had several viewings, and now have an offer. Ms Roberts' budget for advertising was £500. She tried the Standard too, with no success, and local newspaper ads.

As Featured In

Graphic designer Ben Clayton sold the two-bedroom house he owned in Bromley with his partner Amelia

"It sold within 10 days of it appearing on HouseLadder.co.uk for the asking price of £205,000. It had been on with estate agents too but I reckon they just showed it to people who weren't even seriously interested, just to show they had property on the market. We've saved £3,100 on estate agents' fees" says Ben.

As Featured In

Ideal Home Magazine - March 2006

'Our house sold online' - When Ray Rushton-Gough's mother died, he put her home - 200 miles from where he and his wife live - for sale on the web.

'I initially asked an estate agent to help sell the house, but in seven months we didn't get any viewers. So I took over, signed up with www.houseladder.co.uk and dropped the price by 10%. I had 35 calls in two weeks and didn't feel intimidated about negotiating. It took just a month to sell.'

SOLD! Saved £5639 !!

4 Bed Semi Detached

Bushey, Hertfordshire.

Asking Price £319,950

house sale websites can save you thousands or pounds in agents' fees but are they worth all the bother? Nigel Lewis investigates

Daily Mail, Friday June 10 2005

IN JULY 2003 Allan Vanass begun buying and then doing up properties as a sideline to his main job selling a fuel-efficiency system for vehicles. He bought two four-bedroom houses on Mill way in Bushey, Hertfordshire, and began doing them up. A year later he was ready to sell them but instead decided to move back into one with his wife and sell the second.

He put it on the market for £315,000 with several agents, many of whom he says proved to be 'useless'. 'I got very fed up with spotty teenagers barely out of college and with few sales skills,' says Allan (pictured). 'Their proposed charges varied between £4,725 and £7,100.'

So Allan spent £199 putting his property on the website www.houseladder.co.uk. 'They came around that same day, took all the pictures and property details and spent 45 minutes giving the house a thorough inspection - and by 7pm the house was on the website.' A schoolteacher and his wife viewed the house the following Saturday and put in an offer - which Allan accepted. 'There's a lot more work involved in a sale,' he says 'but it's worth it to save the agency fees.'

As Featured In

'We swapped numbers' Bruce and fiancée Melanie Jones sold their home near Bristol through Houseladder.

'The best thing we did was exchange numbers with our buyer. We'd told her we'd leave the washing machine, but later we decided to take it with us. Because we told her directly, although she wasn't delighted, it didn't become an issue. Being in direct contact also saves time - you can sort things out in moments.'

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