Middle classes shun estate agents

Last updated at 13:17 15 September 2005

The number of people trying to sell their homes privately over the internet has soared by more than 300 per cent during the past year.

Housing sales website buyitprivately.com said it now had 3,146 people registered with it trying to sell their home, up from 935 this time last year.

It said people in the south of England were most likely to be trying to sell their home themselves, with nearly 1,100 people in the South East registering with the site during the past year, compared with fewer than 600 across the whole of the north of the country.

People with high value properties are also more likely to be trying to cut out the estate agent, with the average property price being sold through the website currently standing at £265,184, compared with a national average of £184,924.

Flat fee to sell

Selling a property through the website costs a flat fee of just £29, while an estate agent is likely to charge around one or two per cent of a property's value to sell it.

Clive France, managing director of buyitprivately.com, said: "The internet has radically changed the way we do things and put the power back into the hands of individuals.

"Hundreds of thousands of homeowners are opting to sell their own properties instead of relying on estate agents. After all, who is better qualified to talk about a property than the owner - and who is most committed to selling it?"

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