Frequently Asked Questions

How can you afford to charge less than typical estate agents and still provide a quality serviced?

Essentially, we have taken advantage of modern technology, and have cut down on some overheads. We can afford to pass on these savings to our clients. The object of our internet driven selling concept is to offer an improved service and experience for both buyer and seller at a competitive fixed rate.

Did you know that 95% of home buyers start their search online, and according to Which?, just 11% find the property they eventually purchase from an estate agent's window? We have found, and the statistics would suggest that the estate agent shop window is becoming increasingly irrelevant and is not cost effective as an advertising tool.

Years ago, consumers would visit travel agents to collect brochures and book holidays, the majority now book flights and accommodation online, and the very same is happening in estate agency. The power to buy and sell is literally at your finger tips.

Is your website mobile friendly?

One of the leading property websites in Northern Ireland has reported that 81% of all property searches are from mobile phones and portable devices. Our website is fully mobile and tablet friendly, and therefore easy to use on the move.

What does your standard advertising package consist of?

  • We take wide angle photographs of a professional standard, and compile all the information needed to advertise.
  • We will arrange for a 'For Sale' sign to be posted outside your property.
  • We will create the advertising online, on our website on PropertyPal.com, PropertyNews.com and our social media pages.

We consider that a 'For Sale' sign is important for garnering local or passing interest, including for instance, the person who hadn't considered moving may do so if they see our sign outside your property.

How much does an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) cost?

An Energy Performance Certificate is required by law to be advertised alongside your property. The cost of this assessment is £40 through our associate surveyor.

Do you offer No Sale, No Fee?

Yes we do. We offer a fixed rate no sale, no fee commission package for £799, meaning that if no buyer if found at the end of the 24 month contract, you will not owe us a fee. T's & C's apply, please ask for details.

However, our £399 and £599 sales advertising packages are geared to offer you the best value for money, and these packages are advertised on our website.

What price will I put on my property?

Valuation for marketing purposes is simply an opinion, in theory, you could market your home at any price you house, however, it is important to look around for comparable sales properties and find out how much that have been sold for, or if there are any current offers. A buyer looking at your home will do the same, in order to succeed, you must look at your property from a buyers point of view.

If you agreed your property to a buyer who is using a mortgage, the mortgage surveyor will need to find evidence that the selling price is consistent with other properties in the area. If you price too far over the market value, you may attract little to no interest, and if you were to price at well under the market value in order to drive interest, you could find that there is a risk that your property may never attract enough bidding to achieve the price you wanted.

It is important to strike a balance at the start and choose to market at a price in the middle ground, as this method is most likely to both attract the necessary interest and the price you need to achieve within a reasonable time-scale.

Do you have people looking for property in my area?

The market has changed a lot since local agents retained a captive audience of buyers. We are a Northern Ireland wide estate agent and maintain a current database of potential buyers. We are also interlinked with PropertyPal.com and PropertyNews.com, both of whom allow the user to set up instant alerts for particular properties in chosen areas as soon as we list them.

Even if an agent tells you that they have buyers waiting, bear in mind that those same buyers will also be checking the pages of PropertyPal.com and PropertyNews.com, because everyone knows that this is where new properties are listed by all agents in Northern Ireland.

How do potential buyers make enquiries and viewing appointments with Watson Property?

We open longer hours to cope with more sales enquiries. Lines open every evening during the week, we don't close for lunch, and we open at weekends. If we cannot answer when lines are busy, or after we have closed, it is always possible to leave a voicemail and arrange a callback.

We recognise that it is important to make ourselves available to home buyers who simply cannot contact estate agents during traditional opening hours. Potential buyers can also contact us via PropertyPal.com, PropertyNews.com and our own website.

My home is very valuable, do I need an expensive agent to find a buyer?

All properties change hands in the same way, regardless of value. There is absolutely no clear advantage in terms of marketing or the selling price you may achieve, in fact the more valuable your home is, the more you stand to save on agent fees with our packages. Our high quality advertising is featured alongside the advertising placed by the most costly agents, and we can enhance our advertising to add video, drone photography, premium listing online and in the press, to suit your needs and your pocket.

If your home is valued at £250,000 or £2,500,000, if your property is in Newry or Coleraine, if your property is a one bedroom apartment or a six bedroom detached, it will appear in the relevant sections of PropertyPal.com and PropertyNews.com and this is where 95% of home buyers begin their search for a property.

What are the disadvantages of using an agent who dominates in my area?

The disadvantages of giving your property to an estate agent, or any type of business a monopoly in a local market should be obvious. A stagnant local market is not to your advantage if you wish to achieve the best price for your home. We like to work to push the boundaries of what is possible and achieve more for our clients.

How do we vet potential buyers?

We check that all persons placing offers on a property provide sound evidence that they can afford to proceed with the purchase.

How are property viewings arranged?

The internet never closes, 24 hours a day home buyers are surfing the net and finding potential new homes. The internet is by far the cheapest and most powerful advertising tool when selling your home. A traditional agent may tell you that home buyers buy homes in offices displaying pictures of properties on the walls and windows.

This simply isn't true, people actually decide to buy when they view and touch a property, and what could be simpler than finding a property online, viewing the property, and placing an offer with the agent either during the viewing or after the viewing? Potential buyers can contact us via phone, email or web message to arrange a viewing, if you are hosting the viewings yourself, we will set up an appointment with both sides.

If we are carrying out the viewings for you, we will arrange to show the potential buyers through the property at an agreed time.

Which property websites do you advertise on?

We advertise on PropertyPal.com and PropertyNews.com. These are the two property portals in Northern Ireland, and both are used by all the leading agents in Northern Ireland.

These websites act as 'virtual shop windows' to the whole marketplace and for all agents, replacing the need to visit individual agents and capture information from numerous office window displays.

I have listed my property for sale, how long do I have to sell my home?

We will undertake to market your property for a full 24 months, giving you more than enough time to sell. Rest assured you are under no time pressure from us.

How soon will I receive an offer once my property is listed for sale?

This depends on the demand and on the price. If there is sufficient demand, and the price is attractive, you can sometimes expect to receive an acceptable offer in the first few days. Correspondingly, if your type of property isn't in big demand, and is priced too high, it can take a lot longer to find a buyer.

We recommend that you look closely at the local market, how quickly are nearby properties selling, what are the prices achieved, how do the properties differ from your home? This should give you a clear indicator on what to expect when you market your home.

When is your fee payable?

Our unique sales advertising packages offer you the opportunity to pay a token deposit of £99 upfront, and then providing you don't decide to withdraw from the market, you will not need to pay the balance until the sale is complete. T's & C's apply.

Do you have local knowledge and expertise?

Yes. As a family estate agency we have traded for almost 13 decades in the Greater Belfast area, and have also successfully negotiated sales in other parts of the province. There are few other agents with a history as long as ours. We have witnessed many changes over the generations, and have been quick to adapt our services to suit our clients and the times we live in.

Do you look after the sale after an offer has been accepted?

Very much so. As part of our service, an experienced and dedicated agent will track the progress of your sale from the day it is agreed, through to completion.

Why offer a fixed fee package instead of a fee based on the value of my property?

Most estate agents charge on a sliding scale depending on the value of the property (or more specifically the selling price). This is still very much the case, with agents typically quoting 1.5% or more of the selling price. We do things differently.

Our sales advertising fees only increase in line with the level of service you may need, such as property videos or additional advertising. We believe that this is a fairer and clearer way of pricing.

Where do we sell property?

We sell property anywhere in Northern Ireland, our £399 sales advertising package is available anywhere, our packages including accompanied viewings are only currently available in the Greater Belfast area.