There are three types of estate agent in the UK: online, High Street and the so-called ‘Inbetweeners’ or ‘hybrids’. In this blog post, we take a look at the differences between them.
High Street vs Online
In recent years, the number of people using online estate agents to sell their homes has increased dramatically. These companies claim to offer many benefits over their traditional high street counterparts, but just how true are their claims?
As online agencies do not have the overhead costs that high street agents do, such as rent and utilities, they are able to offer their services at a considerably lower price. Yet their offerings are a rather stripped back version of those offered by their high street rivals. Often, the basic services of a high street agent, such as accompanied property viewings, a ‘for sale’ sign and professional photographs, are counted as ‘extras’ by online agents. The cost of using an online service, whilst initially cheap, can therefore sometimes end up hundreds of pounds more expensive than the seller at first expects. Furthermore, as traditional agents receive a proportion of a house’s sale price, they will always attempt to get the best price possible for the seller. As online agents charge a flat fee at the outset, obtaining the best price is not necessarily one of their key concerns – they are paid the same no matter what price the property sells for.
Both online and high street agents must comply with the ‘Estate Agents Act’, meaning that they are obliged by law to give clients clear written guidance on fees, alert sellers of any offers which they receive and comply with fraud legislation. Both must also be members of either the Property Ombudsman or the Property Redress Scheme to ensure they are regulated appropriately. All agents should make it clear to both buyers and sellers which scheme they are part of.
Unsurprisingly, high street agents are able to offer a far more personal service offering than online agencies. This, combined with the fact that most high street agents are incorporated into large chains, offers peace of mind to sellers and a sense of security and reassurance. However, many online agents advertise the fact that they are able to answer any queries 24/7 through online portals and call centres, a service which most conventional agents are not able to offer. Yet many online agency staff will not be ‘local experts’ and therefore will not be able to provide entirely accurate information. For example, they will probably only use online data when valuing your property. This aspect of the property selling process is where traditional estate agents come into their own. Many will have grown up and live in the areas in which they work and will therefore be local experts, knowing the property market inside out. They will therefore know what sells best in the area, what a realistic asking price would be and it is likely that they have a waiting list of buyers to whom they can offer your property.
High street agents offer accompanied viewings as standard, which will be attended by a skilled salesperson and negotiator to maximise the sale price. If you use an online agency, you will be expected to carry out your own viewings and house tours, though some online agencies offer accompanied viewings for an extra fee. This can be a particularly daunting experience and can raise safety concerns for some sellers. You may also need to carry out the negotiations yourself if you use an online agent and you will need to have a far more active role in the entire sale process, interacting with buyers and solicitors directly. You should consider whether you have time to manage the process or whether giving a high street agent responsibility would prove easier and more profitable.
The Pick My Pad Approach
We consider ourselves to be one of the ‘Inbetweeners’. We offer a dedicated out-of-hours service through which you can speak to your main port of call when our office in Worsley is closed. You can rest assured that unlike with an online agent’s call centre, you will always speak to the Pick My Pad representative who is familiar with your property transaction.
This one-on-one approach has many benefits. Through our personal, bespoke approach, you can quickly and easily develop a good relationship with your representative, allowing for greater continuity throughout the transaction process. We can therefore gain a greater understanding of your property and combined with our team’s has extensive knowledge of the local area and property market, we can provide a quality, reliable valuation and obtain the best possible price.
Our service offering includes accompanied viewings, quality photography, audio and video tours, floorplans, senior management led negotiations and social media campaigns. We run the entire transaction process from start to finish, on your behalf, leaving you to relax while we manage all negotiations and aspects of the sale.
Looking For a Worsley Estate Agency?
For minimal hassle, a quick sale and the best price, speak to a member of the knowledgeable team at Worsley estate agency, Pick My Pad today.