The Pros of Using Middlemen

There are many occasions in life where we use companies and people that can be termed ‘middlemen’ and yet they are often viewed with suspicion and distaste. Examples include estate agents, solicitors, debt management companies and the like.

The reason they are viewed with suspicion is simply down to the fact that they charge a fee and, for the most part, have reputations for being less than ethical in some cases. And yet many of us use them anyway, almost be default, despite the fact that many of the tasks we ask them to carry out can be done ourselves.

By looking for and buying a property without the use of an estate agent, for example, we could avoid the 1-2% fee the agents usually charge. By carrying out our own conveyancing on a property purchase we could avoid the few hundred pounds solicitors apply. And by contacting our own creditors, arranging reduced payment terms and paying directly we can avoid the 25% and upwards most debt management companies add when they handle it for you.

All that is perfectly true, but there are advantages to using these ‘middlemen’, advantages that can mean the cost is very much worthwhile.

Firstly, it is a huge time saver. It can not only be time consuming to carry out these tasks ourselves, but even finding out who to speak to in the first place can be laborious and difficult. Employing a ‘middleman’ to do it for us frees up a lot of time which we can use to focus on the end result of our actions.

Secondly, expertise – whether you agree with the costs or not, these ‘middlemen’, including estate and letting agents, solicitors and the rest, are experts in their field. They have the contacts, knowledge and experience at their fingertips to make whatever you are trying to achieve, be it a property purchase or whatever, to make it a much smoother (and faster) experience.

That alone justifies the costs involved.

Finally, troubleshooting. Let’s say you are buying a house and there is a legal complication over planning permission on an extension. Would you know how to get it resolved? Would you even know who to talk to about whether or not a permit for the extension exists? Would you know how to obtain evidence or check that a permit is genuine and valid?

Probably not, but a solicitor and / or estate agent would. Again, their expertise is vital and could mean the difference between a successful purchase of a good quality property or a failed purchase or, worse, the purchase of a property that could end up costing you all the money you saved going it alone through some dodgy papers!

Middlemen like estate agents and letting agents, solicitors and the rest have a bad reputation because of a handful of unscrupulous practitioners but the majority are on hand to help you out with their knowledge and save you time. And of course they charge a few for this – but in many cases it’s a few worth paying.

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