Cost, value and the importance of local: Home Sale Online and Survey Scotland

Anyone following me on twitter will know that we have been trying to sell our house over the past couple of months which at last went on the market yesterday

Being a web designer by trade I know how to find a bargain online and all too often will be found scouring Google for cheapest suppliers so when it came to selling our house I felt applying this model would be fine.

So we commissioned Home Sale Online, a Glasgow-based company which offered a fixed price service on estate agency and also included a Home Report (still a requirement in Scotland when selling property). We had a surveyor from their sister company, Survey Scotland come out to visit the property late in June.

Our concerns were raised when we received a draft advert with a number of omission and errors but thought nothing of it until we received the draft Home Report from the surveyor which missed a small storage room from his survey and – we felt – considerably undervalued the property.

Despite protesting, the surveyor refused to budge on his valuation so we spoke to a local Estate Agency who agreed that the property had been undervalued and didn’t take into account our house’s location, in the quiet area of Muirhouses surrounded by fields with views over the Forth. We commissioned a second survey and another surveyor confirmed our suspicions deciding that even in current markets that the property was worth at least £7,500 more than had originally been valued. To add insult to injury the original surveyor then offered to raise his original valuation upon hearing this.

We have since decided to go with a local estate agent and accept the hit on seller commission which is more than covered by the difference in valuation (assuming we sell at the value price). Though having complained I don’t expect to see any of the £570 we originally paid to Home Sale Online and am happy to take that hit. An expensive lesson learnt.

So kids:

I’m not saying Home Sale Online are an awful provider. They seem to have lots of happy customers. Just that in our case they weren’t the best provider – and that decision could have cost us £7,500.

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We comissioned HomeSaleOnline in 2010 to market and sell our house. I will never recommend this company to other home owners wanting to sell their property. This company has come across incompetent and unhelpful. And any complaint or dissatisfaction with their service has fallen on deaf ears.