It’s official – what we’ve suspected all along – a “traditional” estate agent gets sellers more in their pocket than the internet-only alternative. They also secure more viewings and offers!
According to research by The Advisory – an independent consumer advice group – internet-only agents rely too heavily on property portals to find buyers. In fact, portals appear to be their only tool!
The research suggests that while Rightmove, for example, may directly generate 52% of viewings, this results in only 36% of offers and 27% of the best buyers, whereas High Street estate agents generate 48% more viewings, 64% more offers and, in 73% of cases, a 5% higher sale price.
On a £250,000 sale, this higher sale price translates to a loss of £12,500, if a passive intermediary (online-only) firm has been used, versus a local estate agent.
Internet-generated viewings do not engage any of the proactive interactions required to prompt a sale. For example, deeply understanding a buyer’s needs helps us to identify unseen opportunities for the buyer. This frequently results in property viewings that might not otherwise have happened. More viewings = more offers = more competition = higher sale price.
This could be the reason why professional property traders tend to use regular estate agents such as ourselves over internet-only agents. The author of the report has sold hundreds of properties on behalf of corporate relocation clients and developers’ part-exchange properties. He says that while internet-only agents appear to be cheaper, estate agency fees are not the issue, and he instead focuses on the “walkaway figure – the amount received from a sale after the cost of selling has been deducted”. He says that sellers who use an internet agent could be “stepping over the pounds to pick up the pennies”. No wonder 57% of sellers who used a hybrid/online agent said they wouldn’t do so again (source: Zoopla)
Additionally, as internet-only agency fees are usually payable up-front, these “virtual agents” have no incentive whatsoever to perform. At Oakfield estate agents, we only charge on successful completion – our revenues and our reputation depend on it!
You wouldn’t try to sell your Bentley on e-Bay, so why do so with an even more expensive asset? So if you’re thinking of selling, you know who to call. As your friendly, local, REAL estate agent, we’d love to hear from you contact your local branch.
Neil Newstead, FARLA MNAEA MIRPM
CEO – Oakfield Estate Agents