Online Agent or Traditional High Street Agent to sell or let my property?
A question that I am hearing more and more frequently as time goes on, and I guess I'm writing this short article from a slightly biased chair but I will remain as neutral as possible to give you more thoughts.
There is much talk of disruption from online and Hybrid agents in the market place due to Selling or Letting your property for a low one off fixed upfront payment and save you thousands of pounds in commission. On the face of it this sounds great for doing exactly the same job right? Or do they do the same job?
In my opinion the business model of paying an upfront fee before the job/service is complete is fundamentally flawed. Lets not forget that irrespective of whether the property has been sold or let this fee still has to be paid by the customer. Where is the incentive for the agent to do that 7.30pm viewing with a hot buyer? Are they that motivated to negotiate on your behalf to achieve the best possible price? I'm not entirely convinced.....
Any experienced agent will tell you that receiving an offer and negotiating the price for the client is part of the excitement in closing a successful deal for all parties involved. We have heard this week that one of the largest corporate agencies in the UK has just closed down its Hybrid business that was acquired in 2015 due to it not being economically viable.
Clearly the world we live in is far more technologically advanced and online based but the High Street agents have evolved too with the latest software, investment into online marketing techniques whilst not losing site of core estate agency.
Don't get me wrong, listing your property with an online agent you may get your asking price and you may save on commission but the element of luck is far greater, particularly in a challenging market place. We are still finding that customers demand a full service, intimate local market knowledge and face to face communication.
I believe the focus from a seller or landlords point of view should not solely be on the fee but on what the instructed agent is going to bring to the table in terms of customer service, local experience and a marketing strategy that blends both traditional agency techniques with modern technology. Ultimately to achieve the best outcome possible.