Supermarket chain Asda has branched out into the property market with a home selling service.
The groundbreaking scheme will be the first time property has been sold through a supermarket and will allow shoppers to look for a new home while they buy their weekly groceries.
It is being trialled at 10 stores in the North East, with a view to rolling it out across the country early next year.
The supermarket is charging people 1 per cent commission to sell their home, half the 2 per cent average fee charged by an estate agent.
It will also provide a link to a firm of solicitors and mortgage brokers, and plans to provide Home Information Packs to sellers free of charge when they are introduced in June next year, potentially saving them more than £650.
Supermarket or online
Asda has recruited 40 valuers, surveyors and estate agents to run the service.
Properties for sale through the supermarket will be displayed on a computer terminal in the group’s stores. People can also view details about the properties online.
Both buyers and sellers can register their interest through one of the terminals or online, and they will then be contacted by a representative, who will arrange visits and viewings in the traditional way.
The group said being able to browse houses while doing your weekly shop was one of the most convenient ways to keep an eye on the local property market.
It estimates that at any one time around 6,000 people in its trial area are looking to buy a new home.
Gev Lynott, Asda’s Head of Financial Services, said: ‘House prices have increased by 168 per cent over the last decade and it’s not buyers or sellers but estate agents that have been the real winners.
‘If you’re looking to sell a pad and not pay through the nose we reckon you’ll think this service is long overdue.’
The service is being piloted at stores in Benton, Bishop Auckland, Boldon, Gateshead, Gosforth, Hartlepool, Middlesborough, South Shields, Stockton and Washington.