31 Dec online estate agents vs high street
Choosing an estate agent is an important factor when it comes to selling your home. You want someone who will sell your house for what it is worth and offer good value for money for doing so. It can be tempting to call upon an online estate agent, especially with the growth of the internet over previous years. However there are still benefits that your traditional high street estate agent can provide that an online estate agent can’t. We’ve summarised them in the video and listed them below.
1. Fees – is it cheaper to use an online estate agent?
At first glance it may appear so, but online estate agents charge a fee before listing your property. This means they have zero incentive to sell your property once it’s on the market. If your house doesn’t sell the money is gone and you won’t get it back.
Alternatively, a traditional estate agent take a small commision once your property has been sold, usually 1-2% of the sale price. This means they have an invested interest to sell your home and acheive the best possible price for it. They will also assist in moving the transaction through as quickly as possible, meaning you sell your house at speed and they get paid.
With an online agent you’ll need to check what is included within your package. Will you have to pay extra for enhanced sale listings or other extra marketing tools that may be included with a traditional agent? If you don’t fancy conducting listings yourself you’ll also need to pay extra to have someone show your home, which could all add up and end up being more expensive than a high street agent’s commision.
Online estate agents will argue that most house viewing is done online, and browsing high street windows is a thing of the past. If Covid-19 proved anything it’s that support for the high street is thriving – local communities are rallying round to support their independent businesses. You can’t resist looking at a property lising that catches your eye as you walk past. Additionally, traditional high streets are online too! You get the best of both worlds – online and offline.
Traditional estate agents are often the heart of their communities and invest more time in their local online presence than large national online agents. Most towns, villages and cities have at least one dedicated Facebook page to community news, and there’s an increase in community-led online newspapers and websites which only a true local will be part of. You get the benefit of a local estate agent who use social media and the digital world as a true local.
High street estate agents will also make use of offline marketing opportunities too, such as newspaper advertising. 30% of the over 55s still don’t use the internet, but they most probably sit and read the local paper every week. By only being online this is a huge potential market you could be missing out on.
3. Customer Service
There’s a lot to be said for real relationships – someone who you can trust to do the best for you and your property. Whilst many online estate agents have 24/7 help, you’ll rarely speak to the same person which can be a nuisance – especially if you have an ongoing issue. With high street agents you’ll get to know them pretty well and will usually have their direct line or mobile number instead of having to put up with call centres.
If you use an online agent you’ll also need to be prepared to do more of the work yourself – filling in forms and sending off pictures to get your listing live. In most cases you’ll also need to conduct the showings and respond to any interested parties so if your time is precious, a traditional agent can help pick up the slog.
4. Local Knowledge
As touched upon above, a local person will have so much more local knowledge than an online agent who may be based hundreds of miles away. This is important for two reasons; 1. setting the property price (online agents will base the price from online data) and 2. selling the property – your local agent will be equipped to answer questions on schools, shops, local walks and much more.
We hope this article has helped you decided whether to use an online or high street agent. We personally believe local is best for their knowledge, service and marketing tools available to them. If you’re looking to list your home take a look at our agent directory here.