Back in 2013, we decided to sell our old house. As we’re told to do, we had three high street estate agents round to take a look, but we didn’t much like the cut of their jibs. (Well actually, one of them was quite a nice man.) But we soon decided that we felt we could have a pretty good stab at selling the place ourselves. After snouting around the Mumsnet forum and various online agents’ websites, we decided to go with House Network.
If you’re just looking to quickly find out if we recommend them, the answer is yes. We were quite impressed with them. If you want the full story, read on….
We went for the Essential package, and paid £569.25 in total (that’s £495 plus vat, minus a promotional code worth £24.75). The cost of the package has gone up by £5 now – it’s £599 including vat. You can also use our promo code to get discount, like we did (code is very catchy: ZQNGGHIEHF).
For that price, we had to pay the lot upfront (with nothing more to pay on completion) and we got the services of an account manager and 12 months marketing. In the end, we sold within the first 5 days so we didn’t need that 12 months!
They have a very good Member Area on their website, which makes it really easy for you to add the description, details etc of your home. Your descriptions get checked over by your account manager to save you from making any newbie errors.
They send round a photographer to take pictures, and measurements of your home for the floorplan. The pictures were great and the photographer we had was a really nice guy (you might get the same one….apparently he travels all around the country on the job!) I took photos of our house before the photographer came round, just in case his turned out to be awful. But here you can see the difference between my photo of the kitchen, and his photo:
They keep you extremely well updated about everything. Every enquiry, offer, viewing etc is logged in your Member Area and followed up by a House Network team member. They also let you know if your account manager is away and who is covering them. Whenever you log in to your Member Area an update almost always pops up about this that and the other:
Here’s an example of an email telling you that you’ve got a viewing. They give you details about the viewer’s buyer status, and confirm the location directions you’ve written in your Member Area.
Example of a viewing feedback email. If they haven’t got hold of the viewer for feedback yet, they tell you that too! And they do keep trying:
Nb: The only time we found their methods to be clunky was when it came to viewings. You can specify in your Member Area any dates where viewings are restricted ie: you can tick a box to say that on XYZ dates I am unavailable (or even “I may be available but check with me first”). On definitely clear “available” dates, we were happy for viewings to be booked in anytime. But at the time we were selling, we found that the House Network protocol was/ is to take the call from the prospective viewer, then ring us to check on viewing dates, then ring the prospective viewer back. Sometimes they couldn’t get hold of the prospective viewer again, or even if they could we just felt maybe this to-ing and fro-ing would annoy potential buyers. But that’s personal to us: my husband has a flexible job and we were happy to have viewings pretty much any time. Someone else might appreciate the way House Network double-check viewings.
Their optional extras are not the best value you can get eg:
- They were charging £114 (now £118) to provide an EPC – we found a local guy on https://www.epcregister.com/searchAssessor.html to do it for £45 in total.
- They were charging £60 (now £69) to provide a For Sale board. We designed our own with http://www.buildasign.co.uk (we wanted to direct people to Zoopla.co.uk and Rightmove.co.uk because they are the “normal” places people expect to go online, whereas the House Network board only gives the House Network website address) and paid £52.34 including delivery for our custom board. If we did it again we wouldn’t bother with the For Sale board at first as there was no need in the end…we’d see how it went and only order one later if we didn’t get much interest.
All in all we had a great experience with House Network. We would definitely use them again next time, using that same Essential package. The only thing we would do differently is not get a For Sale sign straight away! We sold our house for asking price (and for more than the three high street estate agents had valued it at!) within days but in hindsight we might have pushed for more as we had several offers. In the end though, we went with our guts on the best buyers (rather than just the highest bidder…one person did attempt to bid higher after we had accepted our chosen buyers) and our chosen buyers did turn out to be fuss-free and excellent.
*Disclosure: This review is entirely my own true opinion, and nobody has asked me to write it. Our discount code ZQNGGHIEHF is part of House Network’s affiliate scheme, which basically means that by using it you’ll get 5% off the pre-VAT price of whatever package you’re buying, and House Network will give us a portion of the sale for having recommended them to you. Everyone’s a winner! ;)