The advent of online estate agency and why high street is still a viable option

The advent of online estate agency is upon us. It offers a lesser service than its high street counterpart, which is highly prescriptive and for a set (usually upfront) fee.

Fans of this new style agency say it is no different to a high street service, apart from the big USP that it saves them money. We can’t deny that yes, online estate agency services are cheaper – if it all goes to plan that is.

Moving house is a tricky business and things can go wrong at every turn. If you’ve chosen to sell your house with an online agency then you’ll find yourself very alone when things go bad and this is when your moving chain can start to fall apart. A knowledgeable estate agent can help guide you through the process and provide a valuable sounding board if things get a little tricky. It’s all about local knowledge and customer service – something which most likely won’t be included in your online package.

The valuation

Most online agencies operate on a national basis, with ‘regional’ surveyors covering an enormous area. When you have your home valued, high street agents are basing it on their knowledge about the larger financial picture, including what’s happening nationally, but most importantly the local market. And there is no substitute for local insight.

The buying and selling process

The main difference when selling with a high street agent is that we will be with you every step of the way and this includes viewings, whilst the majority of our online competitors will leave you to it, to sell your house to prospective buyers all on your own. For some this can be a daunting, time consuming or inconvenient situation to be in.

In addition to this, with a basic (cheapest) online package, you will most likely be expected to negotiate with buyers yourself and do all of the chasing from offer to completion – something which is included in the price you pay for a fully comprehensive high street service.

The other factor to consider is what to do when issues arise, especially after a sale has been agreed. A high street estate agent will support both the seller and buyer throughout this process and ensure that any additional surveys or reports are obtained efficiently from approved contractors. Liaison between all parties up and down the property chain is also essential, along with agreeing – and in some instances re-agreeing – completion dates.

Without this support who will negotiate to protect your agreed sale price if buyers request a reduction associated to repairs highlighted in reports?

Accommodating our online counterpart

We would be foolish to think that online estate agents are a fleeting trend. They aren’t. They are here to stay and forward facing high street agencies like Hamilton Bower are upping their game to accommodate and outperform our new online counterparts.

How are we outperforming them? With continuous communication and personal interactions – something you simply won’t get from your online agency. By getting to know our customers and talking to them regularly, whether that’s on the phone or face-to-face in our branch, we can surpass their expectations and make the buying and selling process as easy and enjoyable as possible.

So when you are considering how to sell your home, think about what the potential pitfalls are – and consider whether you want to face those problems alone, or with the help of a local expert?

For more information on how Hamilton Bower can help you sell or let your home, get in touch today.

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