Online property service to cut out estate agents

A free online worldwide service that allows home owners to sell or rent their property without an estate agent was launched last week.

Called Eureka247.com, property owners can upload details and photographs of their rental or sale property onto the website. Those search- ing for property can then select various criteria to receive details of properties that are relevant to them. Once they’ve found a property they like, all they have to do is email the owner directly, thereby cutting out the middleman.

Toby Pocock, co-founder of Eureka247.com, says: “Not everyone wants to sell their house themselves and this service has not been designed to attack estate agents. But we are aware that a large number of owners are unhappy with the service they receive from estate agents.

“We have built a service that provides an alternative, giving more control to home owners.”

He adds: “We want the basic service to remain free forever. Eureka247 wants to become a one-stop shop for people looking to buy, sell and rent property.”

He says Eureka247.com has been designed to fulfil many of the secretarial and marketing roles traditionally carried out by estate agents. But it puts more responsibility on the owner and the idea is that the sale process will be more transparent due to the fact that the owner is dealing directly with the buyer.

However, Alan Lakey, partner at Highclere Financial Services, says that although the lack of fees would initially seem attractive for consumers, the concern would be that websites like these would close down and disappear with peoples’ money.

He says: “Internet companies come and go and don’t need much capital. If it takes off, it will be good because a lot of people see a disadvantage in dealing with estate agents. However, some people will not be capable of selling property and will need an estate agent.”