Fast Track Estate Agency Online Estate Agents Thu, 18 Oct 2012 16:53:15 +0000 en hourly 1 Need to Sell Property Fast? Fri, 29 Jun 2012 09:00:37 +0000 andrew Need to Sell Property Fast?

Selling a property via an estate agent is taking much longer than it did a year ago (see Graph 1) and those needing a fast home sale are wondering where to turn. The fact is that there are fewer people looking to buy property who have the necessary deposit and are able to obtain a mortgage. The result is that fewer homes are being sold and it is taking longer to sell them on average.

Graph 1: UK home sales are taking longer on average (Source: Rightmove)

However, if you do need to sell your property quickly in this market then there are a few key points that you need to be aware of:

1. Price Your Home Realistically

Price your property according to today’s market conditions and listen to your agent if they recommend reducing the price. It is easy to get attached to a price you think your property is worth or was worth in the past but if you are not getting any interest at your current advertising price then a reduction may be wise. Your property is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it and this can not be determined exactly by an estate agent or anyone else in the home selling industry – they can only estimate its likely value.  Home sellers that have their property on the market for over 3 months are more than likely advertising it at the wrong price or have an agent that is not marketing it effectively (see point 4 below).

2. Offer Home Buyer Incentives

Consider offering buyer incentives (i.e. stamp duty paid) to help home buyers who are finding it increasingly hard to save deposits and get financing. The final ‘take home’ price for you may be the same as before but the sale may be structured in a way to help the cash flow of the buyer.

3. Advertise Your Property At A Discount

If you need a very quick sale (i.e. deal done in 2-5 days and completion in 4-6 weeks) then you will need to offer a genuine discount to attract more potential home buyers. The level of discount will depend on the area you live in, the property and the urgency at which you need the deal to be done but a discount of 10%+ will normally speed up the sale significantly. However, it is important to offer a genuine discount on the market value of the property and not just a reduction in the advertising price. Reducing the asking price by 10% may not represent a genuine discount for property buyers if you were advertising the property 15% too high in the first place. Buyers are becoming more sophisticated due to the internet research they can do – the actual price you advertise and sell your property is what really matters and not how much you may have changed either price.

4. Make Sure Your Estate Agent Is Marketing Your Home Effectively

Consider changing your current estate agent if they have not generated any serious enquires or offers for you (assuming you have followed their advice on pricing). There are some key marketing services they should be offering you:

  • Detailed Floor Plans (increases buyer interest by 30%)
  • Professional Wide Angle Photography
  • Marketing Boosters such as Rightmove Premium advertised (increases buyer interest by 21%)
  • For Sale Board (this does generate more enquiries. For example we recently had 3 separate buyer enquiries generated from a sale board on the same day we put it up – we know they came from the board as we have a separate telephone number on the board to track them plus the details of this property was not advertised online at that point).
  • Advertising on all the major portals (Rightmove, Zoopla, FindaProperty, Primelocation). It is not sufficient just to be on one or two of them as the evidence shows that potential home buyers stay relatively loyal to their preferred website (i.e. 51% of Zoopla visitors do not use Rightmove and 80% of property searchers

An example of many properties that were incorrectly priced or poorly marketed can be found on this You can enter in an area name or post code and see how the marketing prices of properties have been decreased over time and how long they have been on the market. Many properties shown here have been on the market for many months and reduced several times - for most of these properties the reason is because they were not realistically priced for the market when they first came on the market. There are fewer buyers property is still selling within 3 months if it is sensibly priced.

Fast Track Estate Agents are specialists in selling homes fast and offer an alternative to property buying companies. If you need to sell your property fast please speak to us for some no obligaton advice.


]]> 0
Testimonial 3 Sun, 24 Jun 2012 13:47:01 +0000 euk Excellent, professional service which we couldn’t fault. We must admit we were a little sceptical of whether it would work but our house sold within 3 weeks. Photography was fantastic and the customer service brilliant. We have recommended fast track to our friends and family and should we sell again in the future we would have no hesitation in using you again. See more]]> Excellent, professional service which we couldn’t fault. We must admit we were a little sceptical of whether it would work but our house sold within 3 weeks. Photography was fantastic and the customer service brilliant. We have recommended fast track to our friends and family and should we sell again in the future we would have no hesitation in using you again.


]]> 0
Testimonial 2 Sun, 24 Jun 2012 13:46:44 +0000 euk The service was excellent. I have recommended you to 2 friends who both also sold very quickly. Good Job.
See more]]>
The service was excellent. I have recommended you to 2 friends who both also sold very quickly. Good Job.

Mr Clifford, Nottingham


]]> 0
Testimonial Sun, 24 Jun 2012 13:44:28 +0000 euk Within 5 days of contacting Fast Track I have received 4 cash offers and was able to take the flat off the market. I would not hesitate to use Fast Track in the future and have already recommended them to friends and family as a refreshing alternative to traditional estate agents. See more ]]> Within 5 days of contacting Fast Track I have received 4 cash offers and was able to take the flat off the market. I would not hesitate to use Fast Track in the future and have already recommended them to friends and family as a refreshing alternative to traditional estate agents.


]]> 0
Over 200 Local Newspaper Sites Added Thu, 12 Apr 2012 10:02:34 +0000 andrew Our properties will now be visible on over 200 more local newspaper websites. This will be in addition to the dozens of property portals and national newspaper sites we already advertise on which can be see here:

Our Advertising Network

Whilst each of these local newspaper sites will not have nearly the same number of visitors as Rightmove, FindaProperty or Zoopla these sites are an important addition to our advertising network as they will market our properties on a more local level. Your property will therefore be advertised to readers of your local newspaper (if listed below).

Please be aware if you local online newspaper is not listed below please visit their site and check their property section – chances are we will also be advertising on there as these local newspaper sites tend to take a feed from one of property portal partners such as

]]> 0
Top 8 UK Property Portals Wed, 11 Apr 2012 10:16:28 +0000 andrew Our latest analysis of the major players in UK portal market show that Rightmove is still head and shoulders above the rest. We used data from Google Ad Planner in this analysis rather than data from Hitwise or Comscore who have not released any UK property portal data for many months. Google Ad Planner also allows us do drill down into user behaviour in order to look at visitor engagement and loyalty. So here are the figures for the top 8 UK property portals in March 2012 (refer to the glossary for definition of all measurement terms)

Unique Visitors

According to this data Rightmove has about the same number of unique visitors as its main 3 competitors combined (Zoopla, FindaProperty & Primelocation). Despite spending millions on new TV advertising campaigns these 3 other sites are so far behind that it looks like the planned merger between Zoopla and TDPG (who own FindaProperty, Primelocation & Globrix) is the only way Rightmove will be overtaken as the No.1. portal portal in the UK.

The status of this merger is still unclear and staff at both companies continue to say they don’t know what is happening with the merger every time I ask them about it (or else they are keeping it confidential).

Total Visits

Of the 56.42m visits registered by Google Ad Planner to the top 8 portals in March 56.16% (30m) were to Rightmove which again shows it dominance.

Visitor Loyalty

These figures do not show how loyal visitors are to each portal but it is important not assume visitors just use one portal and stick to it (i.e. many of Rightmove’s visitors will also visit Zoopla etc). The only data I can find about how many of these visitors are shared comes from 2010 studies which indicated that 49% of Zoopla visitors also use Rightmove[i] and only 20% of property searchers who visit Primelocation and FindaProperty also visit Rightmove[ii]. (This data is surprising to me but I have seen nothing else to refute it). However, the main point is that there is undoubtedly visitor loyalty across the portals which is why you should always chose an Estate Agent that advertises on all the top 4 portals – if you don’t a large proportion of potential home buyers will not see your property.

Visitor Engagement

As well as the number of views each property portal receives it is important to look at visitor engagement which can best be measured by looking at how long each visitor stays on the site and how many pages they look at on average.

So as well as having more visitors, Rightmove move also has the highest visitor engagement. Visitors to Rightmove stay on the site longer and view more pages on average than the other portals. Incidentally, I am not sure why Google Ad Planner is showing average visits per visitor as less than 1 for Nestoria and Globrix – surely this has to be at 1?

Page Views

So more visitors visit Rightmove each month, come back more often and visit more pages on the site on average. The result is that Rightmove has more pageviews each month than not only the next 7 shown on these charts but also the next 19 that we investigated!

So there you have it – Rightmove continues to dominate this market which goes some way to explain why they posted record profits last year and continue to increase their fees to estate agents who will seriously struggle to succeed without using them. It just remains to be seen if the the Zoopla / TDPG group merger will be approved and if this will result in a credible threat to Rightmove’s monopoly.

The data & glossary relating to these graphs is published below.

Individual Data & Changes Over Time




  • Unique visitors (users)
    • The estimated, unduplicated number of people who visit a site over a specific month. With the unique visitors (users) metric.
  • Unique visitors (estimated cookies)
    • Approximate number of cookies on a site over a specific month as determined by DoubleClick Ad Planner’s algorithms. (Note: This metric doesn’t represent the actual number of cookies on a site.)
    • With the unique visitors (estimated cookies) metric, you can get an idea of a site’s overall traffic.
    • If a site publisher chooses to share Google Analytics data with DoubleClick Ad Planner, the unique visitors (estimated cookies) metric will be replaced by the unique visitors (cookies) metric, which represents a precise cookie count instead of an estimated count.
  • Unique visitors (estimated cookies) and unique visitors (users)
    • The unique visitors (estimated cookies) and unique visitors (users) numbers don’t match due to the specific ways each metric is counted. In short, cookies and users don’t always have a one-to-one relationship. That is:
      • Cookies can expire or be deleted by users: After the cookie expires or is deleted, a user might visit the site from the same IP address and receive a cookie again.
      • Multiple users may share a computer and a browser but visit the same sites: In this case, cookies would help you note the visits, but not the unique visitors.
      • Users can employ more than one browser: Say, for example, a user accesses a site via two different browsers, each of which receives cookies. The site’s metrics would include two sets of cookies that are attributable to only one user. However, there’s no easy way to determine that this is the case.
      • User numbers are typically estimated. Estimation errors can cause divergence from patterns and trends you see with cookie-based measurements.
  • Reach
    • Total estimated number of users within the UK.
  • Page Views
    • Total estimated number of times pages on a site have been accessed by users in the UK.
  • Total visits
    • Estimated number of times a site is accessed by unique visitors in the UK (If a user is inactive on a site for 30 minutes or more, any future activity will be considered a new visit.)
  • Average visits per visitor
    • Estimated number of times a unique visitor from the UK accesses a site over a specific month. (If a user is inactive on a site for 30 minutes or more, any future activity will be considered a new visit.)
  • Average time on site
    • Displayed as minutes and seconds that a unique visitor from the UK spends on a site.

[i] comScore (March 2010)

[ii] comScore (Jan 2010)


]]> 0
How To Increase Your Home Sale Price Mon, 02 Apr 2012 14:54:02 +0000 andrew If you want to sell your home in an area where homes prices are stagnating or edging downwards you can achieve a quicker sale at a higher price if you invest wisely in improving your home. The vast majority of improvements will increase your home sale price of by more than they cost to do – the smart thing is to focus on what will add the most value given the budget you have.

If spending £5K on a new kitchen will result in your selling your home for £10K more surely this is worth it (assuming you have the £5K in the first place and you are willing to put up with the disruption whilst the work takes place). The important thing is that you allocate your improvement budget wisely so each £1 you spend adds the maximum possible value. The graphic below should help you allocate your improvement budget as it gives an indication of which improvements add the most value (these figures come from the OFT and Phil Spencer and were put together by the Remortgage Supermarket).

How To Increase Your Property Value And Home Sale Price

Source: Remortgage Supermarket


]]> 0
Top 5 Tiny Portable Homes Thu, 29 Mar 2012 11:01:24 +0000 andrew If you love travelling but can not bear to be without your home comforts why not get the best of both worlds and buy one of these beautifully designed (but tiny) prefab homes. All will fit on the back of a truck and many can be carried by helicopter although it is probably best to get out first.

1. Loftcube

Not only is this look fantastic but it very environmentally friendly and can be dropped anywhere – like a rooftop via helicopter! Order now from Werner Aisslinger – it can be yours for $55,000. A little pricey for one room.

2. Fincube

I think would prefer the slightly larger fincube they make which can be seen below:

3. Weehouse

If you fancy something smaller why not try the aptly named Weehouse. This is just $125 per square foot and like the Loftcube can be dropped nearly anywhere. The basic one has a steel and wood frame, bamboo flooring and they decided to go with Ikea cabinets, kitchen and sinks.


4. Tiny Tumbleweed House

Jay Shafer’s Tiny Tumbleweed House represents what he calls “subtractive design” although some people may think he has subtracted too much. This tiny house ranges comes in a range of designs but the smallest is only 40 Sq Feet. It may look like a garden shed fro to some but many are used as offices, holiday homes and even full time homes. Not happy with your neighbours – no problem. Just stick it on the back of the truck and move on.


5. Sustain MiniHome

Stuffed full of environmentally green materials and technology this really is one for the sustainable crowd. No vinyl, formaldehyde, toxic adhesives or finishes, all water-based or plant oil-based finishes, FSC certification, natural ventilation… etc etc. However, it will also appeal to the those looking for a clean and minimalist design and of course those who like to feel they can take their home on a road trip at any time.


]]> 0
Property Valuation – How To Value Property Online Tue, 14 Feb 2012 14:44:35 +0000 andrew Until a property is sold its market value can never be known with 100% accuracy – not even by an estate agent no matter what they may tell you. However, it is possible to estimate the market value of a property with a fair degree of accuracy (within 10% of the final sale price) using a number of free online property valuation tools. I believe this method is far more accurate than using automated valuation like Zoopla which rely on apply a fixed equation to house prices and can be very inaccurate. In essence, the home valuation can be done by researching the following:

  • The sale prices of similar properties in the same area to the one you are valuing
  • The current and recent advertising of similar prices properties to the one you are valuing
  • The current the property market

There are many free online resources that can help you with each of these points but my first stop is often the very useful ‘Price Comparison Report’ that Rightmove recently introduced. This can be found in the House Price Drop down menu shown on Rightmove’s main navigation bar at the top.

The first thing to do would be to enter in the postcode of the property you are trying to value (if you only know the number and street name of the property, use the post office’s post code finder). This will bring up a list of properties in this postcode that are currently on the market and the prices of properties that are no longer on the market including their actual sold prices if they sold in the last few years. Here is  summary of each of these areas:

‘On the market’ section

This area shows all the properties currently listed on Rightmove in the area selected  (it includes the same properties shown in the normal Rightmove area). Whilst this informaiton is very important for our purposes and should be looked at in detail it is pretty self explanatory so lets move on to the less well know sections that also provide very valuable information.

‘No longer on the market’ section

This section will show the properties that were previously advertised on Rightmove and their most recent sale price if they have sold recently. If you can not find more than one or two properties in this report expand the radius to ¼ mile.  Also, Rightmove will only show the first five properties so click the ‘Show more properties’ link if you see it at the bottom of this section.

Remember, you are trying to find information on similar properties in the local area. You can filter by property type and bedrooms but I would advise not filtering initially so you can get an idea of the advertising and sale prices of all properties in the area. You should be focusing on the following:

  1. The advertising prices
  2. How have the advertising prices have changed over time
  3. How many properties have sold as a proportion of those being advertised
  4. How close are the sold prices to the advertising prices (sale prices that are near to the advertising price normally suggest a strong market unless a quick sale was required or the property was undervalued by the agent selling it).
  5. Are there any particular properties listed with multiple agents over a similar time period without being sold. This may be an issue with that particular property or agent but can also indicate sales are hard to achieve to home owners keep switching agents to try and get a sale.

‘Sold prices in nearby streets’ section

This is another really good source of information as it is not not simply a list of sold prices provided by sites like or It includes the advertising photos, floorplans and key features of the sold properties if they were previously advertised on Rightmove. It is important to look out for statements like  ‘Auction’ or ‘Reduced for Quick Sale’ in the ‘Key Features’ section which gives you an indication that it may have sold below market value and may not represent the true market value of the property.

So, assuming the property you are valuing is located in an area with similar properties that have sold in the last 10 or so years you should be able to have a pretty good idea of its value using this method.



]]> 1
Why The Cheapest Estate Agency Can Be The Most Expensive Fri, 10 Feb 2012 11:25:15 +0000 andrew As the owner of an online estate agency I am only too aware that many home sellers want the lowest estate agency fees. I am not here to defend the more expensive agents or criticise cheap estate agents but I do believe an increasing number of home sellers are now looking for cheap estate agents online without factoring in the possibility that a cheaper agent may lose them more money than they save in fees.

I am the first to acknowledge that many estate agents charge excessively high fees for what they do and we have grown our business as a result of this. However, it is frustrating when some home sellers seem to regard estate agency services as a uniform commodity like a DVD – they compare prices online and select the cheapest one.

For the vast majority of home owners their priority is to receive the maximum amount of money from the sale of their property after estate agency fees are paid and to have the whole sale process managed as professionally as possible according to their needs.

Going for the cheapest estate agent may sound like it will save money but this assumes the sale price of the property will be the same whichever agent is used. For example, I would be happy to pay my estate agent £5000 in fees to sell my house for £200,000 rather than pay another agent £399 in fees to sell my house for £190,000. This sounds obvious but as fees are known upfront and sale prices are not many people select the cheapest fee option without really thinking about the possible impact this choice will have on the price their property will sell for.

The point is not about who has the most/east expensive fees but which agent will leave the home seller with the most money after the sale is complete and their agency fees are paid (and the least stressed out after the sale is complete!).


]]> 0