BBC promotes the benefits of DIY house selling

by Christopher Evans

A new television show entitled Axe the Agent? is to be shown on BBC One.

The series will follow people who have decided to ditch estate agents and try DIY house selling.

Linda Jepson will reportedly star in the first show and applied to appear in it after estate agents tried for more than a year to help sell her property in Bolton.

"In desperation I saw an advert for this programme and decided to apply," she told her local newspaper and the frustrated homeowner began having thoughts that she could do a better job.

Ms Jepson subsequently went it alone and tried to get her asking price of around £129,950 without the use of an estate agent.

The BBC claims: "It is a tough sell in the property market, but if you are looking for an expert to sell your home, who is better qualified for the job than you?"

Every week, Axe the Agent? will follow two homeowners who are flying solo and selling their home without going through an estate agent.

"The aim is to save on commission fees. The experts, property developer Gary McCausland and former estate agent Jonny Benarr, put the homeowners through their paces to help them achieve that elusive sale," the programmer adds.

As part of the show, Ms Jepson gave her house a spring clean, got rid of all her clutter and sold off items that she had hoarded over the years on the market to get rid of clutter and make the property more appealing.

She was even advised to bake cakes to create an inviting atmosphere for budding buyers to walk into.

"The idea was quite funny, I was selling my house on a £25 budget in a poor economic climate," she told the Bolton News, adding that she was "filmed for six days and by the time I had finished my house looked like a show house".

David Amstell, founder of independent property website Briffy.com, says that selling a property yourself and doing away with estate agents can save both time and money.

He says that not using estate agents could save a few thousands of pounds in fees - and the more expensive the property you are selling the more money in fees you could save.

Consequently, those with a large and expensive house could have even more to gain.

"Having been one many years ago I know all of the tricks that go on; when you find somebody who is interested in the property, you do not necessarily work in the best interests of the vendor of the property because you are trying to make a deal. You are going to play the owners and the applicants against each other," he said.

Mr Amstel claims that if you are dealing directly with the buyer it is more straightforward.

"There is a person that is interested and a person that wants to sell; no funny business in-between and that can save a lot of hassle," he concludes.

Axe the Agent? is filmed all over the country and will see the property experts help DIY house sellers in Sussex, Barnsley and London in the first few episodes.

Anyone looking to sell their home could tune in at 10am on Mondays, while those interested to see how Ms Jepson gets on with her Bolton home can find out on March 2nd.

  • Property News from Lawpack: buying or selling your own house? Straight-forward advice on DIY house selling.

Published on: February 27, 2009

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