Their premise is quite simple: pay them a fee (a percentage, or often the entire final sale fee) upfront and they will value your property and place it on a number of online property portals for a certain length of time – usually 12 months.
While it is true that Online Estate Agents are generally cheaper than your local high street agent, there is often a huge compromise in the service you receive as a result – and they may not work out to be the bargain they seemed.
1. Upfront Fees and Undelivered Promises.
Advertising on websites such as rightmost and Zoopla is expensive! As a result, the majority of Online Agents require the seller to pay a fee up front to cover their costs.
A quick browse on Google shows upfront charges ranging from around £150-£350. Do you get this back if they fail to sell or you wish to switch agents? No is the short answer, meaning you have paid for a service they have failed to provide.
2. How Many Buyers are You Missing?
Despite the increase in web traffic for property portal websites, advertising solely on them could mean missing out a significant number of prospective buyers.
A large number of people still enjoy window shopping at their local high street branch, talking to the agents about what is new and coming soon in the area, and going for a drive around the area hunting “For Sale” boards.
3. Proactivity is Key.
Think of what you would expect your Estate Agent to do to earn their fee. Surely a proactive approach to marketing your home would be near the top of that list? Traditional Estate Agents, often pay a commission to encourage their branches to make sure that houses sell. What motivation do Online Agents have to sell your home if they already have your money?
4. Accompanied vs. Unaccompanied Viewings.
Viewings are the most important moments when it comes to selling your home, and you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.
I believe it is imperative to have an experienced agent accompany every viewing, whereas Online Agents very seldom offer this service.
5. Local Knowledge Sells Houses.
What questions would you ask your Estate Agent when looking to move home? Would you want to know where the best schools are? What the neighbourhood is like? If you view with a local agent, they will be able to answer these questions in great detail and give your viewers an insight into the local community.
Many Online Agents cover the entire UK area and will not be able to give the prospective viewer enquiring about your property an exciting glimpse into the local area.
6. “People Buy From People”
As the well known quote from the world of marketing goes; “people don’t buy from websites, people buy from people.” Whilst this may have waned somewhat as online shopping grows in agen bola terpercaya popularity, would you place the same level of trust in buying or selling something worth hundreds of thousands of pounds as you would a DVD or a t-shirt online?
It is absolutely essential for the agent to have built a good relationship with the buyer, and there is no better way to do that than face-to-face contact. People trust people they can put a face to, and that might be the difference over which property a buyer ultimately makes an offer.
7. Are You Really Saving Money?
Did you know that some online agents make their clients pay for the privilege of having a “For Sale” board outside their property? £40 is the going rate on one website, or £25 if you are willing to stick it in the ground yourself! Several Online Agents I looked at offered a variety of different packages, with clients being charged extra for “upgrades” as basic as creating floors plans, taking photographs, writing a description, and even verifying whether a prospective viewer is in a position to buy a property!
Despite appearing cheaper, using an inferior service can actually prove more expensive in the long run. While you’re waiting to receive an acceptable offer on your property, you are still paying for the mortgage, utility bills, council tax, maintenance and insurance each month. By choosing an agent who is not motivated to get you moving as quickly as possible, it could cost a great deal more than you initially thought