When it comes to selling your property, should you plump for a high street agent like Seddons or do our online only counterparts offer a comparable service for a lot less money?
We have looked at the differences between online and physical estate agents in the past on our blog, where we concluded that a traditional high street agent is probably still a better bet. So, what are the main differentials which make a high street agent better value?
In the current market – a high street agent can have a significant advantage over online only agents just by being proactive. Of course, the internet is extremely important and it is difficult to imagine how you would manage if properties were not added to the online portals. However, a high street agent has the advantage of contact with potential buyers and the ability to form personal relationships with them. Picking up the phone and chatting to buyers about properties which are coming soon can offer the opportunity to line up viewers before the property even hits the property portals. Have you ever responded to a ‘property wanted’ card through your door from an estate agent? That’s right – these are actually genuine! This kind of proactive approach is only available from a ‘real’ estate agent like Seddons.
How many of us can resist the urge to stop and have a peek in the window of an estate agent? Even those who are not immediately in the market to buy or sell are interested in seeing what property is available. This can give an indication of prices in the area and what the market is doing. It is true that estate agent offices get fewer visitors now than they did before the online revolution, it is however, wise to remember that not everyone is online all the time. Some people still prefer a more ‘analogue’ approach to life and browsing for property! We have a network of offices in prominent locations and still enjoy chatting to those buyers and sellers who visit!
One of the major pulls for an online agent over a high street agent is the fee differential. This is, however, not always as it seems. Many online agents charge extra for everything and anything beyond a simple listing. Extras like floorplans, photos, viewings and more may all have an additional price. These, when added together, may make the price differential look slightly less attractive. Some agents also only let you list for a specific period of time. If you don’t sell within that time you may need to pay again to relist your property. Most high street agents offer a broadly inclusive service in terms of viewings, photos etc. with some perhaps offering additional ‘enhanced’ service levels. This may include things like conducting open house events or inclusion in a glossy brochure. However, finding a buyer is not the only consideration. A good high street agent has the skills required to guide a buyer through the purchase and keep your sale on track. At Seddons, we have experienced staff that you can rely upon to offer the best advice, from early negotiations, through survey and act as an intermediary on matters which otherwise could become contentious and cause the sale to fall through.
Another facet of the issue of value for money comes when you consider when you pay your agent. Many online agents take an up front fee and this is not refundable even if a sale is not achieved. If you want to change to another online agent, you will have to pay again. A high street agent is likely to work on a no sale no fee basis which, arguable gives them a greater incentive to sell your property!
We featured on our blog earlier this month some tips on how to conduct viewings if you are doing them yourself. However, one of the major strengths of our service is that we accompany viewings wherever possible. As well as being easier for the seller, we also value the opportunity to get to know potential purchasers. Accompanying viewings also gives all our negotiating staff the opportunity to get to know a property. As most people are polite by nature, some potential purchasers will feel more comfortable giving honest feedback about viewings to the agent rather than direct to the seller and this can be valuable insight into how the property may sell better.
These are some of the main reasons we believe a good high street agent can add great value to the selling process. If you would like to test us out – get in touch with your local office for an initial chat or to book a valuation.