Online Estate Agents V High Street Estate Agents
It seems to be the hot topic in the property industry and a question a large percentage of vendors are asking themselves. Should I choose a high street estate agent or an online one to sell my property? Or, what is the difference between the two sectors?
My answer is very, vey simple, every estate agent is an online estate agent. Why do I say this?
Think where do the buyers shop when looking for property? Yes online using portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla. Gone have the days where buyers will go into the estate agent on the high street to collect brochures on the respective properties they are interested in.
We have identified all agents are online ones, so what differentiates one from another?
There are two main factors.
- Price – If you are looking to market your property and have already approached a number of estate agents you will have seen how different they are when it comes to commission. Some agents work on a percentage basis, others on a fixed fee. Some charge an fee upfront, which is non-refundable others work on a no sale no fee basis. My advice would be do not pay the agent anything until your property is sold. Within the industry you work do you get paid before the job is done? Exactly, so why should selling your house be any different. Furthermore, try and find an agent that charges less than £1,000 to sell your house, irrespective of its value. There are a few companies out there that do offer this and these are the ones which will win in the long tun.
- Service – Equally as important as the price is the service the agent offers. A number of agents will offer what seems to be a very attractive rate to sell your property. This is all well and good but how good is the service. For example, if you need to speak to someone for advice or even just to answer a question is there someone available or is it all done through live chat. I believe a number of newer agents to the market have got things all wrong. They believe they can get away with a business model where no customer service is required. This is madness remember you are not selling something on Amazon, you are selling your home, probably the biggest asset you will ever own. Unfortunately, you may not find out how good or bad the service is until you are signed into a contract. My suggestion to overcome this is play the mystery shopper. Call the agent and pretend you are interested in viewing a property. See how quickly they are to deal with your enquiry. If you can’t get through and it takes hours for them to respond then quite clearly they are not the agent for you.
So in summary there is no debate anymore as to whether you should go with the local or online estate agent. What you need is to identify the agent who will give you the best service and fairest price to sell.