Online Estate Agents Driving Down Fees?

Online Estate Agents Driving Down Fees?

Foxtons’ shares are going down again and this time I feel sorry for them.  An analyst at Barclays has released a report stating that online agents are disrupting the Estate Agency market and will cause an erosion in profits for the high street Agent over time.  This will be achieved by driving down prices that traditional Agents can charge.

Interestingly there is some other research that has also been released that may give an insight as to why this may not happen.

The research shows that in a certain area of the country there is a discrepancy between the number of houses either sold or exchanged as a percentage of all those taken on between online and traditional agents.

To be fair I thought it would be better to look at the whole country so I’ve done my own research.

I have used Zoopla as my source, given that they have a tool that enables Agents to look at their performance and that of their competitors.  I chose as my targets a well-publicised online Agent and a national traditional Agent.  The information was taken from the last 3 months.  This is what I found:

Online Agent:

Instructions            3452            Sold/Exchanged      485              14%

Traditional National Agent

Instructions            5158            Sold/Exchanged      2073            40%

I think that the online agents may be benefitting from the perception that Estate Agents don’t do an awful lot when they sell a house.  I can assure you that if they are doing the job properly that they really do.

The statistics support the difference between putting your property on the web and leaving it for someone to buy and actually going through the tried and tested method of selling it.

Paying a not so small amount of money up front just to list the property for sale does not incentivise the Agent at all.  Well it incentivises them to gain the instruction, just not to do anything else.

This is specifically why Belvoir has decided to offer a traditional Estate Agency service, to our customers.  Giving them the level of service that they have come to expect from our lettings business with the results that they need to move forward in a timely fashion.

Whether you are a landlord, property investor or homeowner you will have a specific goal in mind when selling a property.  It may be financial, geographic or time based, it may even be to move into that dream house you’ve always wanted!

Before you decide on the cheapest option please make sure that you also look for an Agent who can offer you a service designed to get you what you really want when you really want it.

So what do you want, a cheap, up-front fee and a low chance of selling; or a better chance of selling your home and a service you pay for upon success?

Belvoir! is an award-winning estate and lettings agency with 160 successful offices around the U.K.  If you would like to talk about being our next success story, please call us on 01476 570000 or email us on franchising@belvoirlettings.com

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