We have sold our house through Hatched and have saved an incredible £25,000 (yes £25,000), compared to the amount we would have paid if we had gone through our local agent that specialises in the upper end of the market.
Like a lot of people we weren't sure whether we could sell our house via an internet estate agency, however in today's market most househunters look for properties online, and in particular Rightmove.
We did a bit of research on internet estate agencies and decided upon Hatched because of the following reasons:
1) They list their properties on Rightmove
2) The pricing options they offer
3) Recommendations from other Internet sites
Hatched offer everything that a high street estate agent provides, except that you need to show potential purchasers around your house. However, in the past when I've used the high street estate agents there have been many occasions when I've had to show people around myself anyway.
They take internal photographs and a floor plan and provide a description of your property. These are uploaded onto their website initially, and you are given the chance to amend them. We thought the photographs they took were good, but we had some of our own that we liked and added them to the property details.
When someone wants to view your property Hatched contact you initially via text and email. Within these details are dates and times that have been requested by the client for a viewing. The vendor just needs to respond with a date and time that is suitable, and Hatched then confirm this with the client.
We were on holiday abroad when our house was first put on the market, so Hatched contacted us via phone with viewing requests, as they knew we may not receive the text/email. This worked well and we had viewings lined up for when we got back from our holiday.
After the viewing the client is actively encouraged to provide feedback. This is the part I actually found most useful, and is displayed on the vendor's private area within Hatched. When dealing with a high street estate agent they generally don't want to offend the vendor, and therefore the feedback can be a bit flowery. However, when a client is given the opportunity to write their opinion it tends to be more reliable.
In fact two people that viewed our house thought it was overpriced and wrote that in their feedback. We had originally used the local estate agents to value the property and this is what we based the asking price on, but had we not have had this feedback then I think the house would have stuck around on the market for months (as we have seen with many properties in our area). I also think that had we have been with a high street agent and used their original valuation then they would not have passed this feedback on, as they would not have wanted to be seen to have inaccurately priced the property.
We took the feedback on board, and reduced the price to an amount which we thought was more realistic. A week later another viewing was arranged and an offer was submitted. During the offer process Hatched liaised between both parties until a price was agreed.
Most of the contact between offer and exchange was via email, however on the occasions that I needed to contact them via phone they were always very helpful and efficient.
I don't think all houses could be sold via an internet estate agency. Some properties are hard to sell, because they back onto a main road, or have a view of the local tip, and I think if you own such a property then a high street agent may be a better option. This is because the high street agent is more likely to be able to tempt clients around to view the property, whereas using an internet estate agency people make decisions based entirely on the look and location of the property.
However, if you have a house that doesn't have any negative local influences, and you price it correctly (this is so, so important), then I definitely think you can sell it via Hatched.
For us using Hatched has been an efficient, stress free process and we would definitely use them again.