A new website has been launched offering people the chance to sell their home for just £999.
Published: 4:41PM GMT 04 Mar 2010
The iSold.com site is being run by Britain's largest independent estate agent, Spicerhaart, in association with supermarket giant Tesco.
It aims to offer a "halfway house" between a traditional high street estate agent and an online service. It has three home-selling packages, with costs ranging from £999 to £1,299, compared with typical estate agents' fees of between 1pc and 2pc of the value of the property.
People taking out the basic package will be given a valuation of their home and a For Sale sign, and have details of their property drawn up and advertised on Britain's major property portals, including Rightmove, FindaProperty and Globrix. There will also be a team in Spicerhaart's branches who will oversee the sale and help negotiate between buyers and sellers.
However, property viewings will be arranged between the seller and potential buyers rather than by the estate agent. Home owners can also opt to pay for extra services, such as an advert in the local newspaper and open house viewings carried out by an estate agent.
ISold has been launched in Bristol, with plans to expand the service to Reading, York, Portsmouth, Southampton, Crawley, London, Kent, Leeds, Manchester and Birmingham in the near future.
The site states: "In the last 10 years a lot of things got easier, simpler and better value. But estate agents certainly haven't ... Until now."
Tesco is a key distribution partner of the site, and will market it to its customers and through its website, although it will not be involved in running it. The supermarket pulled out of the home selling market in 2007, just weeks after launching its Tesco Property Market site, which helped people to sell their own property for a fee of £199.
The website was deemed to be an estate agency business by the Office of Fair Trading, which led to requirements for Tesco to provide services it had not planned to offer. As a result, it sold the business on to Spicerhaart.
The group stressed today that iSold was a very different proposition from Tesco Property Market, as it was offering a full estate agency service. The Tesco business had offered home owners a DIY kit to sell their home themselves, including a For Sale sign and information on how to upload photographs of their home on to its website.
Steve Shore, iSold.com spokesman, said: "ISold.com is an innovative new service that gives customers choice about the level of service they require to sell their home. We put buyers and sellers in control of the whole moving process by allowing them to log into their own area of the website, arrange viewings, email each other and view a handy calendar for keeping track of appointments.
"All offers and negotiations are carried out by the expert team from iSold.com to ensure that the customer gets the best price achievable."