There are definitely two sides to using an online estate agency, obviously the overall fee is cheaper with an online agent however, it is worth considering the points below.
On one local property they had it on-sale first of all with an internet estate agent to save some money on the commission. After having the property on the market for 4-5 weeks they switched to ‘Bishops’ due to what they thought was bad service received from the internet agents. We valued and placed the property on the open market for £8,500.00 more than previously asked and achieved a sale within a week of £8,000.00 higher. The vendor was delighted and said that even with our higher fee she was still around £5,000.00 better off and received the service that a ‘proper estate agent’ should provide.
Viewings are usually contracted out to people who are not estate agents, they are usually people who know little about the area. We personally knew a gentleman who did viewings for one of the large internet agents and he said he just opened the door and let the viewers walk around of their own accord. ‘Bishops’ takes the security of your house and belongings very seriously and when conducting a viewing, we accompany the potential purchasers into all rooms. Also, with most internet agents you pay extra for each viewing which can add up to a large amount on top of your initial payment.
Generally, we have noticed that there are far more ‘fall through’s’ on house sales with the internet agents. Common sense says that this is solely due to the fact that nobody chases up the chains and holds it all together. This is very disappointing for the vendors when they have already found their next property to move to. We speak with solicitors on all sides, we provide a very necessary mediatory point when things can get fraught between vendors, buyers and their respective solicitors. Our office admin system is so tight that we speak to all the solicitors in the chain every week, even if it is a chain of 6 or 8 buyers we make sure things are progressing as they should be and report back to you.
With most online agents you pay up-front. This means that you are charged whether your sale completes or not. A cynical view is that it also means that whoever is answering the phone is not motivated to get you viewings as they have already been paid regardless of what happens next.
With the internet agents, the person who answers the phone enquiry will usually not know your property or the local area. At Bishops all members of staff will have viewed your property and will be able to inform prospective buyers of the local schools and amenities with first-hand knowledge.
We are experts in what we do. Negotiating offers is a skilled task which we have been doing long enough and often enough to know when we can get a higher offer from a potential buyer and how to get that offer from them. We are here to achieve our clients the best possible price and we fight for every penny we can achieve for them.