Here in Yorkshire there are plenty of entrepreneurs, plenty of people with big ideas and plenty of enthusiasm for saving cash. That’s a winning combination, in my book. It gives rise to super-thrifty initiatives such as BeTheMiddleman.com, a new property “portal” that is already attracting a good deal of attention. The online service, which aims to cut down on estate agents’ and letting agents’ eye-watering fees, is aimed at buyers, sellers, landlords, tenants and lodgers.
I asked Zoe Piper, Yorkshire entrepreneur and one of the founders of BeTheMiddleman.com, to give Miss Thrifty readers her best elevator pitch and provide five good reasons why they should buy and sell their homes online. Over to Zoe…
If you want to sell your house or buy a new one it’s going to cost an arm and a leg, right? Wrong! You can do it on the internet for free.
Yep. BeTheMiddleman.com lets you list your property for sale, completely free. There are no upfront costs (apart from buying your HIP), no monthly costs, and no commission costs when you complete the sale.
You normally pay your estate agent a commission fee, but selling your house without an agent means you don’t pay any commission. This could actually save you thousands. All an estate agent really does is market your property; if you put it online the website markets it for you and you don’t pay the website any commission.
Did you know that estate agents mark up the price of documents they sell, such as your HIP? You need one by law to market your property, but if you buy it online you could save over £100. The same goes for other documents like your energy certificate – if you cut out the estate agent there are major savings to be made.
BeTheMiddleman.com is designed by usability experts – it’s really easy to use and you can upload your property in minutes. You just need some good pictures, a description and away you go. Your ad can reach a wide online audience as soon as it goes live.
You Already Have An Agent?
You may still be able to dodge commission by selling online. If your contract is ‘Sole Agency’, it means that your estate agent is the only agent allowed to sell your home. You can still advertise your own house on the internet. If you find a buyer, you don’t have to pay your agent commission. It’s a no-brainer!
More and more people are looking to the internet to find their next home, and you can use the internet just as well as an estate agent. The savings to be made with a property portal like BeTheMiddleman.com are enormous too, so why not sell your own home online?
Never having sold a house – jeepers, I’ve only just managed to buy one – I must admit that until I went onto BeTheMiddleman.com, I hadn’t appreciated quite how dizzying those estate agent commission fees are. What do they do for that money, apart from print off a leaflet, pop a board outside your house and hobnob with Phil and Kirsty types? (Not a snide question; I’m genuinely curious.)