Savvy grandmother, 64, reveals she’s saved £18,000 in four years by avoiding traditional estate agency fees and selling five properties online (and one even sold in 24 hours)

  • Andrea Whitehead, 64, cut down on estate agent fees to make huge profits 
  • Saved around £18,000 from selling five properties online in recent years
  • 3 bed semi-detached sold in 24 hours last week and she saved £4,200 in fees

A savvy grandmother-of-ten has revealed how she managed to save a staggering £18, 000 in under four years by selling five properties online – and has shared her top tips on how you can do the same.

Mother-of-three Andrea Whitehead, 64, from Leeds, has saved thousands by avoiding traditional estate agency fees – and says she is ‘puzzled’ as to why anyone would choose to use such an ‘archaic system’ as an estate agency to sell a house.

Speaking exclusively to FEMAIL, Andrea, who along with her partner renovates and sells properties as her full-time job, advised that the standard of finish produced is the key to selling a house.

‘In my experience most potential buyers want a “ready-made” house they can move straight into,’ she explained. ‘A badly presented house tends to flounder in the market. 

‘It is a good idea to “stage” the houses, making them clean, presentable and styled as if for a photoshoot, with attractive accessories and tasteful décor, and that helps enormously.’ 

Andrea Whitehead, 64, from Leeds, has saved nearly £18,000 in agent fees from selling five properties online in recent years. Pictured, number 43 Waterloo Lane, based in Leeds, sold in December 2018 for £170,000

Number 82 Waterloo Lane, in Leeds, sold for £212,000. Pictured, the exterior of the house 

Andrea told how 17 Redwood Avenue, based in Wakefield, sold for £165,000. Pictured, the exterior of the house

‘What is important is the standard of presentation of them all, including the garden landscaping as buyers want a nice garden they can use as an extension of their home.’

She added: ‘All the houses I have sold went for the full asking price, the one in 2019 had six offers, four of which were above the asking price, and we had to cancel 14 viewings as it sold in 36 hours.’  

Speaking of using an online agent and saving £18, 000, Andrea added: ‘We use the internet for everything else these days from banking to shopping, so why not – it is like Amazon for houses.’

‘£18, 000 is a lot of money to save. We have used the money to buy a Range Rover, not a new one obviously, but it’s a big upgrade from our old work van.’ 

The savvy seller’s most recent property – a 3 bedroom semi-detached – sold within 24 hours just last week. 

Andrea Whitehead saved around £9,500 when she sold Lincroft – a five-bed detached home in Leeds – online

The Broadlands property, based in Leeds, is a two-bed flat that sold for £130,000. Pictured, the exterior

 Andrea (pictured) says she is ‘puzzled’ as to why anyone would choose to use such an ‘archaic system’ as an estate agency to sell a house

‘The most recent house sale ten days ago was easy, the Purple Bricks representative Mark came round to see us and within hours it was online. We booked in four viewings for the next day that evening (the advert appeared online at 7.30 pm),’ she explained. 

‘By 1.30 pm the next day it was sol,d so things do move very swiftly if you want them to. We had multiple offers all over the asking price and Mark verified their financial positions and then it was sold.’

The savvy grandmother says she first made the decision to sell online because she was selling an expensive house and realised the commission would be very expensive.  

‘The only experience of buying and selling properties I had previously was when I sold my home for £75,000 in 1999 – and the commission was £1,300 and the estate agents I sold with were very poor.’

Andrea says the benefits of selling online are aplenty – including not having to wait for an estate agent to open at 9am and then wait for them to answer the phone.

The three bed semi-detached house sold in an impressive 24 hours after Andrea put it online. Pictured, kitchen diner in 82 Waterloo Lane

82 Waterloo Lane features a modern bathroom with black tiles and white accessories (pictured)

Andrea says that the interior choices inside a property are key foe when it comes to selling. Pictured, the lounge in 82 Waterloo Lane

Andrea kept the decoration elegant but simple in one of the bedrooms in 82 Waterloo Lane (pictured)

The Lincroft property sold for an impressive £475,000 in five weeks – the longest time it has taken for one of Andrea’s projects to sell. Pictured, the living room

‘The process can be done online from your own home at a time that is convenient to you,’ she explained. 

Andrea’s tips for selling in the current climate

‘It really seems to be a buyer’s market at the moment, but just because it is doesn’t mean your house will immediately sell. 

There are a number of factors to consider, in particular:

– It is important to have to have a good well-presented home

– Clear the personal clutter to create more of a ‘blank slate’

– Clean clean and clean some more – cleanliness is one of the most essential elements potential buyers look at when viewing a property

– Get outdoors – don’t forget the garden, it’s an outside room so needs to be as smart and tidy as possible

– Do pay attention to kerb appeal – it’s the first picture of the property that buyers will see and attract them to book a viewing

– Get the price right , look at comparable properties online. 

If you price too high (don’t we all think our houses are worth more!?) it will stay on the market, then you’ll have to reduce the price and will end up chasing the market down to get a sale.’

‘You can book viewing appointments in using the app 24 hours a day and it’s possible to change, cancel or amend them and you can take offers too. So, it’s very simple indeed.’

Andrea went on to say that all five of her properties sold swiftly – between 20 hours and five days being the longest – with no problems at all.

‘I always let the representative Mark do the negotiations with the offers as he’s the expert in that,’ she said. 

‘I can’t think of any pitfalls of selling properties online and I wouldn’t consider using a high-street estate agent ever again.’ 

Andrea went on to explain the process of selling online begins by downloading the app.  

‘Then you invite your local representative to come and take pictures of the house you are putting up for sale and prepare the advert to list the home for sale online,’ she explained. 

‘You then pay the fee, (with this most recent property I’ve sold time it was £999 (bargain) and in just a few hours, your property is on the market, online and you book viewings in through the app.’

She continued: ‘You always get a text and an email to alert you to any activity such as viewing requests, then you manage everything through the app, and you can personally message the viewers too which is handy!

‘I also have the local representatives Mark’s phone number if I need to contact him at any point too and that’s it.

‘Potential buyers make offers on your home through the app, the local property rep verifies their buying status and then if you choose to accept the offer, he puts the sold sign up!’ 

The Wakefield-based house sold in 36 hours – and cost Andrea just £850 to sell online. Pictured, the living room area in 17 Redwood Avenue 

Andrea managed to sell the three-bed semi-detached house just five days after putting it online. Pictured, the kitchen inside 43 Waterloo Lane

Andrea (pictured) says she is ‘puzzled’ as to why anyone would choose to sell their house through an agency

The Broadlands build sold within 24 hours and cost Andrea £850 to list online. Pictured, kitchen interior 

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