Over the past year, we've seen plenty of property websites joining the UK market with business models focused on buyers and sellers rather than agents. The latest addition to this growing collection sums up its mission in its name: notestateagents.com.
notestateagents.com works on a simple model: sellers pay £50 a month to list their property and have it added to partner websites such as findaproperty.com, primelocation.com, and nestoria.co.uk.
The website, which covers sales as well as rentals, also has a social side. Clicking on a listing brings up the option to contact the seller or landlord, but house hunters can only see their replies if they sign up for an account.
"I was looking to buy a house at the end of last year,” explains co-founder Nick Maytum. “After three sales had fallen through, I was becoming so frustrated with the whole process. I searched online for a website where the buyer and seller can communicate directly with one another, and although there are various sites facilitating private property sales, sometimes there was quite a high commission to pay or it wasn’t very obvious how the website would be marketing the property."
“You are cutting out the agency, and all the problems that that can entail,” adds Simon Hudson, the other half of the notestateagents.com team. “You can negotiate yourself without resorting to a third party. People sell their own houses better because they have information about the local schools, about the pubs and the neighbours rather than the estate agent who doesn’t know the things that people really want to know about."
Hudson runs his own property acquisition company, GMI Ltd, while Maytum runs Agency 99 and is also director of GNP Properties.