big fish or small independant EA when selling?

we’ve sold a few times before with a few of the big nationwide EA’s and I’ve been disappointed each time. We wont use those again, even in a different office.

This time we interviewed the usual suspects and a few small independant agents. One of the big guys was seriously impressive, knew his stuff, didn’t give me the usual spiel and had a good selling tactic. One of the small guys had an incredible price (based on a family discount), excellent service (he called back a few days later to see if we’d received the stuff he sent and if we’d made a decision). he doesnt seem as experienced as the “big name” guy, certainly doesnt have the same market presence but makes up for it in character and graft apparently.

so, dilemma: who do we get to sell? every. single. penny (no exaggeration) counts in this sale and the couple of k difference in the fees would make a massive difference. but thats irrelevant if the smaller guy can’t get people through the door.

Just wondering if any of you have encountered this before, what were your experiences and what did you decide?

Some of the small guys are hopeless too. However, if you go for an up-and-coming smaller agent (there are a few of these who set up in the last couple of year) you are likely to get much better service AND to be in a stronger position to negotiate your terms.

Additionally, some smaller EAs will be willing to work on a contingency basis - e.g. 1% base commission but a higher rate on the last €x000 if they achieve above a certain level. Useful when every.penny.counts.

So I’d suggest smaller EA but do your homework and find the right one. Worked for me. Got a guy who was amazing at getting people in the door, reported on every viewing, gathered info about the buyers and got the bids rolling in.

there’s no more room for negotiation with the independant EA. as I said, he has offered us a discounted fee already.

FWIW we’ve decided that getting people in the door and experience at getting the best price is more important so we’re going with the big guns.

thanks for your reply.

We used a small independent EA last year. He was bang on with the advised selling price, plus his fees were very good too. Property was sold within 6 weeks of going on the market.

I don’t know that a big gun is going to get many more people through the door than a small gun. They all list on Daft, and everyone who is buying searches on Daft.

It depends on how well photographed it is, how realistic the price is, where the house is - not the name on the For Sale sign. I live around D14 and the houses that sell quickest in the neighbourhood are the ones listed by the smaller, local agent.

great, delighted to hear more votes for the cheaper fee!

@chemistry: 6 weeks? god I could only dream.

@ Firstbass: you reckon everyone uses Daft? I hate that website, find myhome far easier. Am I in the minority?

anyone with a big guy anecdote?

I sold through small independent in FOUR weeks last year and achieved higher price than I expected. FYI, used myhome (I agree with you that it’s a better site).

I urge you to reconsider your decision to go with one of the big guys - it’s the knee jerk reaction of most vendors. All I know is a neighbour with a very similar house to mine went to market at the same time under one of the big guys, failed to sell, still on the market. If you want to be in that position this time next year, knock yourself out and proceed as planned.

You can PM me if you want details of EA I used.

thasnk sharper, pm sent. notwithstanding my earlier post, we havent actually done anything about the decision I’d made. so still open to thoughts / advice / experiences.

the burbs, have replied to you pm. Should have mentioned, try to get on the market by first weekend of September, should help in getting the most eager early-season viewers in.

I think if anyone is seriously hunting for a house they will use both. Daft has a higher percentage of houses for sale. Probably I’d list on both but when in doubt go for the one with most traffic.

I sold a house myself (not in Ireland). Listed it on the most popular web site, took photos myself, did the viewings myself. I think I achieved a good price for it too. If every penny counts, get a friend with a decent camera and wide angle lens to take the pictures, do the listing blurb yourself. Do viewings yourself.

Employ an agent to help with negotiations only.

I went with a big guy last year after interviewing quite a few. Couldn’t fault him at all, was spot on with every piece of advice, kept us up to date with every enquiry and sold within a couple of months. Mind you, I went with him as opposed to his agency - he seemed the most realistic and spoke the least bullshit. The last thing you want is potential buyers being turned off by estate agent nonsense.

Firstly, look at who is selling in your area and that should give you a good feel for which way to go. In Dublin at least a lot of the smaller guys are doing quite well in areas that would have been dominated previously by the bigger guys. I looked at both when I was selling last year and we went with the smaller guys. The reason was that they emphasised getting the price right immediately whereas the bigger guys wanted to “test the water” with a higher price. The smaller guys emphasised getting the house sold whereas the bigger guys emphasised getting the higher price.

Looking back on it, almost all of the sales in the area since have been by the smaller guys while the bigger guys never did get that higher price.

However, as discussed above, make sure you like and trust the individual EA as well.

There are two arguments with this - one says if you go with this firm, you know that they will capture a lot of prospective buyers as they enquire about properties as they have such good coverage.

The other argument is that your property is just one of many to this agent and that an estate agent with less on his books will try harder to sell your particular property.

I agree with you that as lot comes down to the individual agent - although its worth checking that the guy that comes round to meet you and value the place will be the one you’ll be working with.

You might want to check this out: How to choose an estate agent.