Frequently asked questions

Below are some of the most common questions that people ask. If you have a question that's not covered here, then get in touch with us.

Why are there different fee options?

We're all about offering customers choice. The packages offer different optional extras depending on the package you choose. The best value package is the 'Enhanced' package, where you get everything included (apart from an EPC and accompanied viewings).

Is there any difference in the service you provide with each package?

There is no fundamental difference in the service we provide. With the 'Standard' and the 'Enhanced' pricing options, we offer various extras depending on which package you choose. You can see the differences here.

Who takes the photos and writes up the description?

You can either have a professional photographer or one of our experienced consultants take photos of your property. If you choose our Standard package, our local consultant will come armed with the latest in camera technology and take great photographs of your property.

If you want that extra 'wow' factor, then choose our Enhanced package which includes professional photography. In a separate appointment, a trained and qualified professional photographer will visit your home and showcase your property online in the best light possible - which will do wonders for your property's online presence!

Can I just take the photos myself and send them over to you?

No. As members of both the Ombudsman for Estate Agents and the major property websites, we have to satisfy certain terms, conditions and regulations. By visiting the property and taking full details, we are guaranteeing the accuracy of the descriptions according to the Estate Agents Act 1979 and Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.

Will you value my property for me?

We will provide you with a professional valuation based on land registry figures and recent sales in your area. We would also recommend that you carry out some of your own research. Ask your neighbours what they bought their home for, look in the local property paper and check the internet for any direct competition to your home.

How long will it take to get my house on the market and sell my house online?

Typically, with a traditional estate agent, there may well be 2 or even 3 visits to your home before you can get it on the market. This will include an valuation, perhaps a follow up visit, and then taking the photos and measuring up.

However, when one of our employed representatives comes out to see you, we will check with you that it's OK to do all of the measuring up and photos at the initial appointment (if you'd rather we didn't do this at the time, then that's fine). But by allowing us to do so, it means that we won't have to revisit your home if you do decide to go ahead at some point in the future. This in turn means that if you do decide you need to go ahead quickly, then we'll have all the details to hand and can literally just 'flick the switch' and get it on the market. When we sell your house online, we select a pace that's right for you.

The whole appointment from market appraisal to measuring up and doing photos will take anything from 45 minutes to 2 hours, depending on how big your property is (for any property larger than around 3,000 square foot, it may take longer than this).

Once we've visited, it will take 2 working days for the property to go on the Hatched website and a further 1 day to go up on Rightmove and the other property search sites.

If I sell my house online, how do I get the best price?

The job of all estate agents is to sell your home. And you're not going to sell it without an offer. All offers must be reported to the seller of a property, by law. Even if the property is sold, subject to contract and someone makes an offer, the estate agents must put it forward - it is a legal obligation. We obviously guarantee to put all offers forward to you.

Estate agents are also employed to try and achieve the best price possible for you. And we are no different. We'll do everything we can to achieve the best possible price for you.

In fact, it is often a point of discussion that, with our low fees, people ask if we're motivated to get the best price possible. Well, we actually think we are more likely to try and achieve a better price for you. And here's the reason:

A high street agent receives an offer of, say £310,000 on a property that is on the market for £325,000. The high street agent will be earning nearly £6,000 to sell this house. But only if they sell your house. So, what advice do you think they are going to offer? Perhaps "Well, we think this is a good offer and one which you should seriously consider". Wonder why they would advise that...?

At Hatched, we are not desperate to sell houses. Of course, we still need to sell your property, as this is our profit margin. But we're also not going to go out of business if we don't. (We'll just never make a profit!)

But we certainly won't be pestering you into accepting an offer that is lower than you want.

A high street agency, and in turn their staff, are paid commission on selling houses. So, if there's an offer on the table, what advice are they going to offer? Nobody at Hatched is paid commission for selling houses. There is no need - houses sell themselves. And if you don't want to accept an offer that is lower than you really want, then we will never pressure or advise based on us earning a ridiculous fee, whereas, sad as it is to say, some high street agents, that offer a 'no sale, no fee' service, will.

As proof of this, throughout 2013, we have sold properties at 97% of asking price, whereas Hometrack - a leading independent property analysis company - are reporting an average of around 94% of asking price being achieved in 2013 through estate agents across England and Wales.

What's the catch?

Some will say that the catch is that we don't do any newspaper advertising. Actually, we do. Zoopla power the property search features for many websites, but they also print property ads in a number of popular newspapers, including The Times, The Independent and Evening Standard. See the full list here.

Another catch people are quick to point out is that you have to do the viewings yourself. While this is partly true, we find that our sellers are often very keen to get involved in showing people around their homes since they are the ones who know most about it. Buyers vastly prefer to be in the company of someone who can answer their questions, rather than an agent who may only be visiting for the first time.

So, is there a catch? We'll let you decide.

Why do you charge upfront fees?

Quite simply, this is how we can operate at the fees that we charge. Traditional estate agents typically work on a 'No Sale, No Fee' basis. This means they can end up doing a lot of work for nothing and therefore have to charge the successful sellers more in order to cover the costs of those sellers who don't end up selling.

By charging upfront fees as we do, each seller is paying for the work that is being done and so we don't have to worry about covering the cost of those that don't sell.

Is online payment secure?

Yes. We use SagePay who provide secure online credit and debit card payments. We have also been verified by VeriSign and Norton and provide SSL certificates to make sure your details are encrypted whenever you sign up or log in.

How does it all work?

Although fairly simple, there's quite a lot to explain, so we recommend you read our pages on How we work and our Guide to selling.

Where do you advertise?

We advertise on all the biggest property websites, and many of the smaller ones too. This includes Zoopla, Rightmove and PrimeLocation. See the full list here.

For how long can I market my property with you?

We will market your property for up to 10 months. Should you wish to continue marketing after the 10 months, then you will be required to pay another upfront fee at the prevailing rate.

Does it matter if my home is on the market with another agent?

You would have to check the contract you are in. We are classed as estate agents and you may find yourself bound by the terms and conditions of the contract that you have signed with your current agent. You may have to wait until the agreement with your current agent runs out or, if you speak to your agent nicely, they might let you out of the contract early!

Selling my house: How do viewings and feedback work?

At Hatched, we have a system which allows buyers to request and book viewings at any time of the day or night. We actually think it is the only system of its kind in the world.

The system is an automated text messaging system, which allows you to reply to any text viewings requests. Our system will recognise your response and will then in turn text the viewer back, who will text to confirm their attendance - and all of this is done completely anonymously without any of your personal details being shared! It simply means that viewings can be made at any time of the day or night, even when we're closed.

Along with a text, we'll also email you, so you'll be able to come back to us at your own convenience - you can set up the viewing without even having to lift the phone! Rest assured though, if you don't get in touch with us, we'll be trying to get in touch with you via the good old fashioned telephone!

Unfortunately, there are people who don't turn up, but we try to minimise this after we have confirmed the viewing on the phone, with both the viewers and yourself receiving a text and email to confirm the details of the viewing - the full address with postcode, the names of both parties and the time & date of the viewing. We have seen our 'no show' rate reduce as a result of the reminders that we send.

With regards to obtaining feedback, at Hatched, we have an automated email that goes out to every single person that views a house through us, asking for feedback. Not only that, but we guarantee to call the viewer on three separate occasions to try and get feedback. Once we have feedback, we will add it to your property dashboard which you can view online. And if we are unable to get any feedback (because the applicant doesn't call us back), then we will let you know that as well.

Do you look after the sale once I have accepted an offer?

We certainly do! Our agents set routine deadlines for each part of the sales progression process, such as securing deposits, getting the surveys done, conveyancing and so on. We will chase the relevant parties whenever these deadlines are approaching. We also send out automated emails when each stage is completed, keeping you fully informed at all times.

Do I get a dedicated estate agent?

In our experience from working with high street agents in the past, having a single agent assigned to a property can be more of a hassle than a benefit. What happens when that agent is off sick or on holiday?

At Hatched, our head office team are in constant communication with each other and our property management system keeps track of all the notes so everybody knows what's going on, all the time.

Still want the personal touch? For an additional fee, we offer a dedicated Account Manager and sales progression service where you will get a named individual who will oversee the sale and be your main point of contact should you need to speak to anyone.

Do you have any minimum contract period?

With all our packages there is no contract period for you, so you can put the property on the market with another agent whenever you like with no extra cost to you, from us. All upfront fees payable to us, are non-refundable (apart from where our refund policy applies).

Whichever package you choose, we'll market the property continuously, for up to 10 months, if needed. See our full terms and conditions, along with our refund policy.

Why do you offer a deferred payment?

Offering a deferred payment is another option for our customers. It's not always easy to find a few hundred pounds upfront, so the deferred payment gives you a chance to sell your house first and pay for it on completion. We only offer the deferred option in our Enhanced package. Please note that with a deferred payment, this is not the same as 'no sale, no fee' and you must use Hatched Conveyancing to act for you in the legal process of selling your home, should you find a buyer. Payment of the deferred option will be payable should the property complete through Hatched, upon withdrawal of the property from the market, or after 10 months of marketing.