What value do you actually get for your money in using Keystones for Sales?


Keystones Property are an Estate Agent in Romford, and as such we get approached day in and day out by vendors and landlords that want to work with us.

We choose NOT to work with all clients as some people want a different type and style of service than what we can offer and how much we can offer it for.

We love transparency, which is not common in an estate agency, we want to be clear with our customers on what they are receiving for their money. I know that when I receive a service, I want to know exactly what I am paying for rather than leaving me in the dark. So, I have written a full breakdown of what goes into the marketing, viewing, and selling of a property so you know EXACTLY where your hard-earned money is going.

Bear in mind, if we do not sell your property, then we foot the bill. Most agents don’t get a pat on the back for the work they have done if a sale does not go through, and the property is withdrawn or put with another agent. That’s the game.

It is part and parcel of the industry, plus a lot of sellers and buyers lose money when sales, unfortunately, do not go to plan, which can happen! Even with us!

So, let’s get into it. With average agent commission fees being around 1% in the UK, let us break down the costs as to what goes on behind the scenes.

The Marketing

Keystones advertise on Rightmove, Zoopla and On the Market because it is very important to obtain full coverage on your listing. An agency can choose whether to purchase additional premium products to make your home stand out and receive more clicks which equates to more viewings, more buyers, and higher offers.

We can list your property as a ‘Premium Listing’ which costs £150-£400 per month per branch on Rightmove depending on how many premium listings are received in a month and a ‘Featured Property Box’ is £500.00 per month. These products will make your listing stand out. It is similar to Zoopla, they have Premium Listings and products that you can take out, again ranging from £50-£200 depending on the products that you choose.

Rightmove itself varies depending on the package, and how many offices or shops an agency has and every year Rightmove will always try to upsell more expensive packages to its agents. At present in 2023 we pay £2,700 Per Month including VAT.

There is also the CRM Software system, we use this to hold our data, create our brochures, manage the listings including feedback and match your properties out to potential buyers. We will then use the database to call out, confirm viewings, email, and virtually run our business.

The software system functions to Sales Progress also, this way we can have all the data and information on one screen including solicitor’s details, mortgage brokers, other agents in the chain, management companies and surveyors too.

Here is a brief rundown of the amount of expenditure that goes into the marketing side of things.

Marketing Breakdown

Rightmove: £800 – £4,000 per month per branch
Zoopla: £500 – £1,000 Per Month Approx. per branch
On the Market: £500 – £1,000 Per Month Approx. per branch

Floor plan Software: £££
Camera Software: £££
CRM Software System: £££
Board: £££ (printing, erecting of board and includes 1 re-erection and sold slip)
Social Media Advertising: Monthly Fee’s and Sponsoring adverts
Window Display: Included in Shop Rent
Anti-Money Laundering Check – £££

Time/Labour Breakdown

Valuation – 1 hour approx. + travel time/petrol
Photos/Floorplan at the property – 1 hour Approx. plus travel/petrol
Writing the particulars – 30 mins
Creating a Floorplan – 30 mins
Brushing Photos of the house – 1 hour
Putting the above together and putting it on portals – 30 mins
Anti-Money Laundering Legal Checks – 10 minutes

Total: 5-6 hours of Labour


Here at Keystones, we aim we believe in accompanied viewings and believe that we are there to earn our corn in the marketplace, of course, we are the experts at showing people around houses and getting them to buy property. Here is a breakdown of what goes into the Pre-qualification phase, viewing booking stage and viewing stage.

Pre-qualification stage

After we advertise your property on all the property portals, we will start to actively call out through our database (usually around 600-800 revolving people at any one time depending on the area of the agency) to try to get viewings for your property. We will also receive leads from the property portals as stated above.

We will qualify each applicant (as any good agent with enough staff should) to ask if they are in a proceedable position, deposit in place, mortgage information and criteria for what they are looking for – we want to make sure we have serious buyers viewing your home, it is not just your time wasted with the wrong candidates, but also our own.
Booking the viewing is organising a time and emailing the buyer. This may take a few phone calls between sellers – agents – buyers.

Once we book someone in, they are emailed their appointment, we will text them the day before to remind them of their viewing for the following day and then call them the next day to remind them of their viewing in the next few hours. We don’t ideally want no-shows or cancellations, this stops that.

If there are multiple buyers, then this can take quite a long time to do.

Once the viewings go ahead, we book out a slot to conduct the viewing. An open day can take 1-2 hours and a one-off viewing will take 10-30 minutes.

Time/Labour Breakdown

Applicant Prospecting: 2-16 hours depending on interest levels and duration a property is on market.
Booking viewing/texting/emailing: 30 mins-1 hour
Conducting the viewings: 30mins – 8 hours depending on how long a property is not selling
Labour of a Negotiator: £££
Petrol: £££ depending on the number of viewings providing it is a 5-mile radius
Phone Bill: £££ (Progression/Prospecting/Offers/Care calls)
Training: £££

Feedback and Offer Stage

We aim to get viewing feedback to our sellers and landlords within 24 hours, this means calling through all the viewings to obtain the feedback, if they do not answer, we will chase and send them a text or email to try to give that service to the seller.

Timescale: 30mins – 1 hour

Negotiating an offer can take a long time, especially if there are multiple offers on the table. They still take a while with one offer on the table. It is not as simple as taking an offer down and displaying it to the seller.

We have a process which includes all the names on the purchase, contact details, offer amount, discussing the offer and other properties they may be looking at (we want to know that our property is number 1), their mortgage details, mortgage broker details, solicitor details and proof of funds with other paperwork to make sure we are doing the right due diligence. We will also obtain details from other buyers, agents, and sellers in the chain. If there is a chain involved (which there usually is) we will need time to communicate with the other agents in the chain to make sure they have solid buyers and wait for a complete chain, this could take a number of phones calls over the coming weeks and it is extremely important.

The offer stage will usually be multiple phone calls between the buyer, broker, seller, and agent. This could include another viewing which would need to be accompanied.

Timescale: 30 mins – 2 hours

Sales Progression Stage

Once the sale is booked in, sales memorandums are sent to the buyer, seller and both solicitors. The solicitors need to know the price if there is a mortgage and who the other solicitor is so that they can communicate with each other.

A sales progressor is the bridge between buyer and seller, buyer’s solicitor and seller’s solicitor, mortgage broker and other agents. A good sales progressor is a master ‘no nonsense but pleasant’ communicator in place to put everyone’s mind at rest, let’s be honest, most people like to control but in a sale, there is a lack of control in the process. Therefore, the role of a progressor is paramount to your sanity.

Check out my blog on what can go wrong in a sale for more information on this.

The sales progressor chases the survey with the broker and buyer, chases contracts and liaises over a period of approximately 3 months to push a sale through, sometimes it can unfortunately take longer.

A sales progressor’s job is to chase (at a minimum) one time per week over the phone, but in reality, it is more like 3-4 times per week calling and emailing other solicitors, buyers, sellers and agents in the process. It does take time behind the scenes. On the plus side, they usually get great reviews, the chocolates, the alcohol, and a smiling face when a new buyer comes to pick up their keys. If they’re lucky they even get a hug!

Timescale: 5 hours – 20 hours
Plenty of Phone Calls in the process


Sometimes there can be extra trips for the team out on viewings, picking up the post, cutting keys, checking meters, vendor calls after hours on the mobiles and other things.

Again, this is not a blog to harp on about how we earn our money or to justify our fee, this is for you to see value in what we do. It is a clear breakdown.

If you are not sure what price you should pay an agent, please check out the blog about what different agents charge on pricing.

This is simply a blog on what you are essentially paying for when you hire a good estate agent and what the role will be behind the scenes.

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Keystones Property

  • Keystones Property Collier Row
    13 Clockhouse Lane, Collier Row, Romford, Essex, RM5 3PH, United Kingdom
  • Telephone: 01708 909 100

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