In this article we investigate online vs traditional estate agencies to see who comes out top! I do understand the allure of an online agency vs a traditional agency, it’s the new craze and even Sarah Beeny from Channel 4 property programme fame has jumped on the bandwagon! So what is an online agency? It serves the same purpose as a traditional agency you’ll likely be familiar with, to promote your property to potential buyers via websites like Rightmove and help you build an effective sales description for your property including things like floorplans, virtual tours, EPC and more! Some also offer support with conveyancing and optional professional photography, or a professional negotiator to mediate the sales process.
Despite the costs to instruct an online estate agency being very low comparatively to the 1% charged by traditional estate agents, I still strongly advise sticking with a traditional agency. The value for money received when instructing a traditional agent to sell your home is huge, especially if you work and have little time. UK estate agency fees are some of the lowest in the world as a percentage and considering they take the burden of enquiries, responding to questions, managing a diary of visitors and time taken to escort potential buyers around the property, we think they are worth their 1% at the very least. Let’s think about this………
You’re at work, in a meeting, can you take a call from a potentially interested buyer who want to arrange a second viewing of the property? Another new enquiry leaves a voicemail and they want to view the house on Thursday. You remember you are away and can’t invite them for a viewing until the following week, by which time they may find somewhere else! All of these problems are very real with an online agency. But this is all taken care of when opting for a traditional agency.
Think of it this way……… an online agency are responsible for gaining interest from potential buyers to contact you for viewings. Traditional agents do this too, but they also see the whole sales process through from start to finish. Traditional agents will promote your property, gain enquiries and be the port of call for arranging visits right through to showing them around the property and negotiating the sale. Most of us aren’t trained sales people and if a traditional agent has the skills and ability to not only take the burden of marketing, managing a diary of buyer visits and negotiating during the sales process then surely this is a worthwhile investment?
Before you instruct an online agency it would be wise to be sure that you have the necessary time and skills to dedicate to the project of selling your home. If you’re getting a new kitchen you’d either DIY with the right skills, experience and time; or opt to find a kitchen designer/installer managing the process to take the stress out of it; the same is true when choosing to instruct an agent to sell your home.
The biggest allure of the online agencies from what I can see is the price, but think about this…. Could a professional estate agent showing a potential buyer around your home negotiate 1% more than you could achieve doing the same to cover their fees? We expect that they could and so we’re sticking two thumbs up to our estate agent friends in Sussex.