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Is Rightmove enough to sell your property – or do Estate Agents have magical powers??

Today I have been trying to work out the pros and cons of selling a property myself vs. using a High Street estate agent. Now estate agents get a lot of slack, but I have to be honest, I have had many good experiences with selling my properties via High Street estate agents.

The reason I am in this quandary is primarily down to cost savings. Last time I sold a flat with a London agent it cost me the best part of £4,000. Now, I don’t mind this as they did sell the flat within 2 weeks, the sale completed with the original buyer and there was only marginal hassle (the buyer’s bank made me own the flat for 6 months before they would release funds – Oh and I ended up with squatters – but that’s a different story). However, in my opinion, I only got the price I wanted because I told the negotiator exactly what to tell the buyer and why the flat was worth 5k more than what his original offer was…on the other hand I can’t help but wonder whether by virtue of being an estate agent you can ask for that bit more? So the question is – are estate agents worth the money you pay them?

I have to clarify at this point when I am talking about selling the flat myself, I am not talking about erecting a home made ‘For Sale’ board and only advertising on free ‘For Sale By Owner’ sites (although I understand Tepilo is making great headway in this sector). No, I am talking about the online estate agencies such as Housenetwork and Hatched which allow you to advertise on Rightmove, Zoopla, Primelocation et al – the key property portals which people use to find properties for sale.

What I found with a lot of these online estate agencies is that you pay part/ all of your fees upfront and that is how most of the cost savings are made. Like a High Street estate agent, these online agencies still send a photographer out to get professional photos, do floor plans, a virtual tour and write the property description. They still manage all the communication with viewers and potential buyers, communicate with you about any offers made and should you accept an offer they organise all the paperwork and liaise with all the parties through to completion. As far as I could see the only real difference was that I would be doing the viewings.  But still the question remained…is it really that simple?!

So let’s focus on the cost savings – for the flat I want to sell, we’re talking about £3,000 clear. Yes, £3,000 real money that I could save by using an online estate agency.  It’s a lot of money. Money that could buy me a pretty nice holiday….

But – my fears….

– Will an online estate agent sell my property as well as a High Street estate agent – especially since they’ve already been paid? Where is the motivation to sell and achieve results once you’ve had your dosh?

– Given I am so busy travelling the country looking at potential opportunities do I have time to re-schedule my diary at a moment’s notice to show people the property?

– I live a 90 mile round trip from the property – what happens when viewers change times, their minds, don’t turn up – how will that impact upon my schedule?

– How many potential leads will I miss from the local knowledge/ presence/ leads that a High Street estate agent has?

– Is it a case of you pay for what you get – i.e. the less you pay, the less you get?

So I scoured the net for reviews of the online estate agents I was thinking of using and then I called the agents myself. Hatched came out on top – they had great reviews, 100% of users would recommend them, I have seen some of their boards around and when I called them they were chatty and personable. They also had good back-end systems in place which made me feel they were organised and my property would not get lost in the system.

I tried to convince myself that I could/ would sell my property better than an estate agent – after all I own the property and know more about it. Plus, I stand to make more than them so surely I am more motivated to make a sale…

But I was torn – my previous experience with the High Street estate agent has been so good…who’s to say that just going on the major property portals such as Rightmove is enough to sell a property? Maybe estate agents have some sort of additional magical way of selling a property??

Using an online estate agent feels a bit risky – but more because of the fear of the unknown and what I may be missing rather than anything I can properly articulate.  I know we’re talking about saving £3,000 – but if an online agent doesn’t sell the property then I have nothing to save as they didn’t sell it in the first place!  That, to me, makes it a false economy.

And so torn between positive previous experiences with High Street estate agents, fear of the unknown of using an online estate agent and concerned by my ever bulging diary getting deluged with viewers I opted for the traditional High Street estate agent.

Why? I hear you cry! Well, for now, I have decided my job is to focus on buying properties and finding opportunities rather than also trying to sell the properties.  Yes, I could make a great cost saving – but at what “actual” cost? If me trying to juggle viewings with potential buyers means that I end up missing a viewing on an auction property I could end up with a missed opportunity that costs me more than the £3,000 I stand to save from selling the property myself.

Time will tell if I have made the right decision…but for now it’s in the High Street estate agents’ hands – and I have to say, for now, I like it that way 🙂

UPDATE:

Since this post, I later pitted the wits of an online estate agent Vs. a high street estate agent, you can read about the story here and here and then the crazy story which later happened here and then the ending here.

46 comments
  1. Jo King

    Sam, as you know this subject is dear to my heart and you know that I’ve just been on the same journey which led me to team up with a High Street Estate Agency this week and become an Estate Agent.

    Like you I am very experienced in all aspects of property, I am confident to do viewings and negotiate. I have found shortfalls in the Estate Agency industry and I am now on a mission to fill what I see as a gap in this area for a better service.

    However, I will try and give you a few brief reasons why it might be beneficial to have an Estate Agent carry out your viewings.

    1. Truth is that many Buyers don’t really want to meet the Vendor face on let alone have to negotiate with them. There are far too many emotions in place – people are very defensive about their homes even though they are selling them.
    2. If an Estate Agent is experienced enough in property they should be able to reassure people about the issues that a Survey might bring up, or just observations made at viewing stage – a Vendor would not carry as much weight in the eyes of a Buyer and they might be suspicious of your advice and information supplied. I have hands-on experience of this when selling a property that the Surveyor incorrectly reported on, the Buyer wouldn’t listen to me even though I knew every nut & bolt of the building, they did listen to the Agent who came out to view the problem and report back that it was an error made by the Surveyor. The sale proceeded and all was well.
    3. The high street Agent will have a network of contacts in the area and is better placed to know who is around looking for a property like yours.
    4. The high street Agent is very ‘HUNGRY’ for your business. With more overheads to cover, they need your business far more than the ‘pay upfront’ fee takers. As you well know, we should never underestimate HUNGER when it comes to motivation. I would go further to say that a small agent rather than a corporate one is more likely to put every ounce of his/her energy in to finding you a buyer quickly – far more at stake.
    5. A high street Agent is under an obligation to promptly deal with any ’emergencies’ that might crop up eg burst pipes, break-ins etc – even if you’re not contactable, if neighbours report something, your Agent will have to respond. How would an online Agent manage this?
    6. Many Buyers still like to see the face of the Agent they’re dealing with. The Agent has a duty of care to both Vendor and Buyer so many buyers prefer to work with certain agents they know and trust.
    7. Agents that have both Lettings and Sales can often refer people from one side of the business to the other. If an Agent has a database of tenants it is highly likely they have a pool of potential buyers aswell.

    I could list more but these are the main ones that led me to believe the High Street Estate Agency is the best placed to sell property. Admittedly some of them need to ‘shape up’ and that is the difficult part – finding the one that meets your strict criteria.

    Good luck.

    1. Sam

      Wow what a fab list of reasons – you have reconfirmed my decision that going with the High Street Estate Agent was the correct route! Let’s just hope they sell it so I then have the money in the bank as proof!!

      Good luck with your estate agency venture – look forward to hearing your updates Jo!

      1. Jo King

        Thanks Sam

        One more thing – Richard who I’m going to be working alongside and who has been in the business for over 30 years said last week that with many transactions he feels like a member of the family – acting like a father or mother with all the emotions and difficulties by supporting, easing difficult situations, gently nudging things along and then taking all the flack when it goes wrong and everyone’s stressed! The face to face contact with people makes this so much easier.

        I think we can all relate to that – it’s just too easy to pick up the phone and shout at someone you’ve never met and it’s much easier for them to put the phone down and forget you or put your file at the bottom of the pile. That’s a whole lot harder when you’ve met each other face to face.

  2. Tony

    Jo, that is a fab list indeed! And I suppose confirms some of the sub-concious reasons as to why we use agents and why they will remain in the high street.

    Reading this very interesting article and response has made me realise that it is unlikely that online estate agencies will eat any serious chunk of the high street agents business.

    Personally, I would only opt for the online agency if the local agents were lazy/fairly uselesss because what a good agent working on the sellers side can add to the final sale price of a property can very often FAR out weigh what they cost in fees.

    1. Sam

      Tony, I agree – your comments about a good agent adding value to the sale price is one of the reasons I have now opted for a High Street agent.

      1. Jo King

        I agree too – but what I would also say is that as most online agents don’t cost very much (some are free!) then why not try both? No need to flood the market with your property which can be off-putting to potential buyers but a balance of both might be the best way to go.

  3. James

    Sam, I think on this occasion you opted for the right choice. The truth is that a 90 mile round journey could have lead to a number of onerous complications.

    That said, on-line agents can serve a purpose, especially for more cost concious sellers.

    We are a new entrant to the market in London (co-incidentally where we intend to market our services) and we believe that our service suits sellers who are quite happy to carry out their own viewings (though we also intend to offer a viewing service too).

    In fact we’ve spoken to local sellers who have made arrangements with local high street agencies to carry out their own viewings in exchange for reduced agency fees!

    Some of Jo’s comments are fair, but I’d like to add my own opinion to some of these.

    Jo point 1: We tell our sellers that they only show the property. We negotiate and talk through feedback after the viewing. We wouldn’t ever expect a seller to negotiate unless they felt they wanted to. Not everybody lacks this ability to negotiate however. Also some sellers really can talk about the positives of the property and area far better than any agent would.

    Jo point 3: I think the days of having a list of buyers as long as your arm are over for the short-term. Clearly in more affluent markets buyers potentially would have registered with an agent they built a good relationship with and buy through them eventually. Not so sure about that any more. Buyers details are far more likely to have come via a portal and therefore are more likely to be registered with just about every agent in the area. I don’t think there is any magic that the high street possesses over an on-line agent. Admittedly many of the ‘UK wide’ on-line agents are likely to have low levels of stock penetration in any given specific area. A local agent should have much greater volumes and therefore this will increase the number of potential buyers registering.

    Jo point 4: I think the motivation comes down to the owner of the business and their core values. As a new business we are just as motivated to provide an excellent service for our customers regardless of the fact we may have already been paid our fee. The fact is that any business needs viral recommendations from happy customers in order to grow. On-line businesses still have running costs (albeit potentially lower than a high street office) however when charging fees of only a few hundred pounds to customers, the business still needs to hit key targets for survival and ultimately growth.

    5: As mentioned before on-line agents are more likely to appeal to owner occupiers so this point shouldn’t have much impact.

    6: I disagree that many buyer like to see their agent. We’ve just launched our sales service and have successfully sold two properties having never communicated with the buyer by any other means than email and telephone. We built a very good trust and relationship with them too and have gained feedback and a customer testimonial that supports our focus on an attentive, trustworthy and personable service. In fact you can build trust with a client by establishing and maintaining integrity, whether in your phone calls or emails. Face to face has no impact in this. The person created the trust.

    When I bought my own property I dealt with my agent in much the same way and only ever saw him originally at the first viewing. The second I did directly with the seller. It didn’t impact me buying a property I really wanted. In my opinion the younger generation are becoming more tech savvy and dependent, and less sociable in their behaviours (first texting, now FB). Consumers buy more on-line and deal less with real people face to face. Call centres are part of our everyday life, and providing the experience is both pleasant, convenient and ultimately satisfactory, then I see the need to actually meet the agent even less likely to be such a requirement for a buyer as the industry advances.

    Although we are setting up an on-line business we are not blinded to the fact that for most people a high street agent provides the service they require (even if the cost is sometimes something of a shock). We are also confident however that consumer psychology is changing and people are looking harder for a better deal.

    In our opinion Rightmove along with other key portals are the power for the industry. Over 90% of leads come from these sources, and if that continues to grow, then advertising in any other format will be pointless other than a limited effect brand awareness exercise.

    In no way am I suggesting Jo’s comments are wrong in any way, merely I’m adding another perspective.

    James
    fishneedwater.com

    1. Christopher Walkey

      Agree that online property portals are the power behind many sales today. Rightmove is quite simply a must for anybody looking to sell a property as most people turn to it when initially conducting a property search online.
      What determines if a house will sell or not is purely it’s price, give a well priced property to a high street estate agency or a virtual agency online and they both stand just the same chance of selling it.
      Agree that consumer psychology is changing when it comes to searching for property…

      Christopher
      PropertyMarketingSolutions.co.uk

  4. Ruth Phillips

    I do think you’ve made the right choice Sam. Yes, a holiday would be nice on the proceeds of your savings but if you’re not living in the property and have to travel to it to carry out viewings (one in four of who won’t turn up – not a good statistic if you’ve only got one viewing in a day). The saving you’d make would soon be eaten into in time, expenses and, as you say, being available to do what you do and possibly missed opportunities.

    Having said this many agents, especially in my area do not accompany viewings. When I sold a house in the summer the vendor was shocked that this was part of my service (as was)….Even more shocked that on the day of completion I hoovered the hallway for them.

    I know what James is saying – they have to earn their fee whether they get paid in advance or on successful sale. It’s the same as when I buy my shopping online from Waitrose – their reputation is at stake if they send me all the old rubbish rather than quality fruit and veg I would chose myself.

    Obviously this is a bit more important than a bruised pear and I agree with Jo and Tony’s comments and it’s true you do get what you pay for. There is a lot of time and effort needed to successfully market a property to completion, which can run into several hours a week if things start going awry during the sales process. If an online company is charging £400 just to find a buyer it’s one thing. But if they are meant to be seeing through the sale to completion I would have to wonder what sort of service I was going to get for £100 per month if the sale (like my vendors above) drags on for 3 – 4 months. I certainly value my time, expertise and customer service to be worth significantly more than that.

    If their service does only provide the introduction, then again you have to weigh up the value of your time in losing a couple of hours a week in speaking to solicitors, surveyors and your buyer.

    Good choice Sam!

    1. James

      Ruth, I understand your points, however many of the online agents offer a post sale administration service and it would be a trifle unfair to comment on the quality of this service unless having experienced it first hand.

      If we look for example at one of the largest UK online agents Housenetwork, they are NAEA registered agents, so I’d be confident that they understand just what is expected of them to progress a sale through to its completion. Just like a high street agent they probably employ staff who are experienced in this role and are employed to do this and this alone.

      Also factor in that many online agents charge for each property whether sold or not. I remember reading recently that along the lines of only 22% of an agents stock is currently selling.

      Using a coarse example: if an online agent instructed 10 properties at £495 each, then that’s a gross income of £4950. Only 2 will sell, and with their office cost likely to be reciprocally less than a high street office which would usually employ staff, and Company cars for example, I would imagine they can devote just as much time as a high street agent who instructs 10 properties and sells 2 with gross incomes of perhaps 8-10k on average. Obviously I’m not being locality specific here, as many London codes will mean far higher gross commissions than this for the agent.

      I also have experienced first hand when selling a property previously, a large London and South East based agent whom charge high end fees and actually don’t have a post sale team. Their vendor was buying a house I was selling and getting any information from them that was actually current or useful was an impossible mission. The agent I used at the time to sell my property (another huge London based chain) fared little better. I ended up doing a big chunk of the work myself and luckily had a pretty proactive Solicitor who actually returned my emails every few days and kept me abreast of developments. Now I can’t say that every agent offers a slack service in this department, but the two I have had experience of, offered a less than credible experience.

      Another local agent who is respected in our immediate area has their sales staff administrate their own sales. This, and this is an opinion, has just got to be confusing two distinctly different roles. I was always of the understanding that sales staff don’t make good administrators and vice versa.

      I think if you have an experienced post sale administration team, then you can be pretty darn good at it, and if an online agent such HN that instructs 500 properties per month have one of those, I’d guess that the service they offer (apart from the inability to host viewings) is very little different from that of a respectable high street agent.

      All in my opinion of course.

      Respectfully

      James

    2. Sam

      Ruth and James thank you for your valued comments and opinions. On this occasion due to my busy diary and the property being some distance away I think it was better to opt for a High Street estate agent who could offer the full service – including accompanied viewings.

      To be honest, it was a very close call as to which I would go for – online estate agent vs. high street estate agent. This further discussion from yourselves, Jo and Tony has really made me think about the decision that I have made, and while this time, feel it was the correct one (for now), next time I would again have to really think through how I am selling the property and should I give the online estate agencies a chance!

      1. Jo King

        There are some very good and balanced comments here which I hope everyone wanting to sell properties will consider.

        It has prompted me to write a blog today on why I made my decision. I believe that what we can take from this is that there is no one answer, we make the best decisions we can from the information available at the time and the services we find on offer compared to our own particular needs.

        Each person speaks from their own experiences and every experience is different but one thing is clear, like every business ever established – much depends on the individual who provides the service as to the results you get.

        Getting your property out there for all to see is the easy bit – I guess we’re all agreed on that. How it looks to potential buyers and how the viewings, negotiation and transaction are dealt with lies with the service provider and we need to be sure we’ve done our best to find the right one – be it online or offline.

        1. Sam

          Interesting blog Jo – just goes to show how when you find things aren’t to your liking – you can “make” them more to your liking. A great and inspiring post which shows how things can change with positive action! Go Girl!!

        2. James

          Jo, its great that this has led you to write a blog about it! That’s why social media interaction is great.

          A nice balanced answer, and one that I agree with also.

          I think it’s absolutely down to the individual.

          Whether you run an on-line business or a high street business, you are either in it to make a living using as little effort as you can, or you aim to provide a service to your client even if it means going beyond what’s expected of you. I fall into the latter category (but that’s likely more down to ones personal philosophy than anything else).

          I’m actually sure that both high street and on-line agents meet the needs of their respective clients, and because of that there will be room for them both for the forseeable future. Whether technology changes that, I don’t think anyone can guess right now. One thing for sure is the journey will be pretty intriguing.

          Looking forward to reading your blog.

          Best
          James

  5. Simon Ward

    Local online agencies are the future. There are loads of important things to consider when selling a property. One example:

    Creating a relaxed atmosphere on viewings so that buyers associate this feeling with the property. Viewing someone else’s house when they’re at the property is not relaxing.

    Most of my vendors would be terrible at doing a viewing. The viewing is a key part of the negotiation. Those that think the phone calls are where the neg REALLY happens aren’t very good at it.

    1. TNB

      When I was buying, there’s nothing more annoying than the vendor not being present to ask details. Had so many questions that only the owner would have answers to. An agent alone at viewings just isn’t enough, but then I like to have full details of what I am spending my ££ on 🙂

  6. Simon Ward

    Agreeing the sale of a property is one thing: agreeing a sale to the most suitable buyer, for the best money is entirely another.

    Agreeing a sale doesn’t put the money in your bank either.

    1. Sam

      Christopher, I agree that consumer psychology is changing – although, I would say that it has already changed in terms on searching for properties.

      Simon – yes, agreeing a sale is only one part of the equation. A lot more “hand holding” is required to ensure that sale goes through to completion and the monies hit the bank account.

      On this occasion, it was the “hand holding” and previous success with a High Street estate agent which also swayed my decision towards the High Street agent.

      Sam

  7. Simon Ward

    My agency shares a high street office, only advertises online, operates in a local area (so local knowledge) and conducts every viewing along with sales progress from the person that put sale together (very important).

    All round better service at a cost in-between a full-blown online agency and a traditional agent.

  8. Online Estate Agents

    Jo’s list of reasons to use a local agent to accompany viewers is valid in parts although not altogether totally convincing.
    But with many properties attracting a fee of several THOUSAND pounds when sold via High Street agents, can you really justify paying say, £5000 for the convenience of someone to accompany people. That’s the only difference between online and High Street after all….

  9. Simon Ward

    Someone else doing viewings is far more than a convenience. Vendors 100% shouldn’t do viewings.

    My agency got 99.79% average achieved price against asking prices in 2010. No national online agent will come close to that as the process is geared to sell property, not sell for the best price. Stack ’em high, sell ’em cheap is great. when selling loaves of bread.

  10. Martin

    Simon is the closest to being right for me. I genuinely don’t believe it doesn’t have to matter whether an agent is a ‘high street agent’ or not.

    What matters is the agent themselves (the person) and that they are local.

    Take the personal estate agent model for instance – going back to Jo’s comments, you don’t get more ‘hungry’ business people than the business owner.

    Both HomeXperts (I’ll declare a personal interest there!) and Hunters are doing very well on that model.

    The online estate agents that offer nationwide cover have an edge on the FSBO websites that are out there (I’d draw a distinction between the two), but they offer primarily a price-sensitive service.

    That’s totally different to the choice of ‘high street’ versus ‘online’ for me.

    Martin

  11. Sam

    I agree with you about the “person” and I feel that also extends to “agency culture”. It is the “way” in which some agencies do things which make them more successful than other’s – regardless of whether they are online or not.

    I know a very successful letting agency in my town which refuses to advertise (and doesn’t need to advertise) on any of the property portals. His business is purely built from cultural economics, networking and word of mouth

    Sam

  12. Ben Harris

    From a business model perspective the online estate agents biggest challenge is demonstrating credibility. There are such an array of different types of online agents in terms of pricing models and varying levels of service.

    Ultimately home sellers choose the agent they instinctively trusted the most (Our home moving trends survey for the last 4yrs has backed this up) and this is probably the big challenge for 100% online agents. If an online agent gives you a personal service and the belief you can trust them to deliver, then coupled with the price savings why wouldn’t you give them a try.

    The type of agents Sam mentions in the post that take all the fee up front are less likely to gain my confidence, but this model does seem to work for a number of high street agents, so maybe there is a balance to be had in getting the model right and building the trust.

    1. James

      That’s interesting information Ben, thanks for sharing it. We too think that this will be our biggest challenge (and likely the biggest challenge for any new on-line offerings). If a consumer was 100% confident the service on offer worked, then I’m sure most would be happy to pay the fee upon instruction, in exchange for a huge cost saving. If there’s any doubt, they wouldn’t, and this is perhaps why the commission upon completion has worked so well for the high street for such a long time.

      We have tried to combat this by offering different payment options, including a commission only option (which is consistent with the offerings of more established with on-line agents, such as Hatched or House Network).

      On-line models such as i-sold have chosen to go down the low-cost upon completion, though I’ve noticed their fees have just increased, and I’m sure they can only support this model due to the collective strength of the owners of the business. Unless in possession of a rather large capital reserve, most on-line agents will require some payment in advance for cash flow as their completion fees are usually much lower. Clearly the model of all on-line agents is one of volume. If you don’t get the volume, you’ll either need to increase fees or change your strategy.

      I think trust can only be built over time, once you have grown a reputation for a quality service and have some evidence that your service works (much as HN has now after years of successfully selling property). It isn’t going to work all the time and for everyone, and even recently on another forum an agent criticised them (and on-line agents in general) suggesting that they couldn’t sell a property that this particular agent then went on to sell. It wasn’t a good example, as I’m sure HN have sold more properties than this type of occasion has happened. I also changed agent with a property I sold a couple of years ago, so this affliction isn’t limited to just on-line agents, and it must happen very regularly throughout the industry.

      I wasn’t aware that some high street agents charge fees upfront, and that is interesting.

      Respectfully
      James

      1. Simon Ward

        First pic (which is the single most important by a mile) is the worst photo, out of a possible 49! I’ve never seen a listing with so many pics.

        If they put 6-8 pics up of the nicest parts of the property, they’d get more viewings, which would have then led them to work out that it’s overpriced by now (Crappy spot on really busy road).

        1. James

          I think I agree that 49 photos is excessive and kind of illustrates the fact the photographer is not experienced.

          From my own observations when buying property, there needs to be an element of mystique. You have to feel like you simply need to see the property.

          1. Simon Ward

            Hiding the best parts of a property within 49 other pictures is a very bad idea.

            The sole point of a set of property details is to generate the enquiry. Any potential buyer shouldn’t decide if they’re going to buy it or not, solely from the online advert.

            About 75% of the property we sell will have originally come from a Rightmove enquiry, but more often than not, it won’t have been for the property they end up buying.

  13. Southampton Flats

    I don’t know if you’ve read the original ‘Freakonomics’ book by Steven Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, but it has an interesting chapter on American real estate agents.

    It points out it is generally in their best interests NOT to get the best price, but to get a fast sale. The logic is the get maybe 4% of the sale value. Getting you an additional £5k on a sale will only net them £200. When compared with the benefits of getting the sales faster, for a lower prices (less advertising costs, less effort), they may well do that.

    Of course, the prices are also pushed up, as agents are more likely to be instructed when they convincingly say they can market your property for a higher price than the other agents.

    Well worth a read if you have not done so!

  14. Jenny Attridge

    Unfortunately I am not leaning in to the favour of High street agents, as some agents are just not efficient as they used to be, it’s too long winded and from previous experience I’ve had to chase them up about my property rather than the other way around. After this experience, I decided to experiment with the recent property I sold; I felt exactly how Sam did, the feeling that there are risks of selling your property online. But I decided to give it a chance; I initially did some research on online estate agents like rightmove.co.uk and other leading online agencies. I also asked family members and friends, and funnily enough they sold their properties online. So what was the worry about? They said these agencies are more efficient and simple to use compared to your standard high street estate agent. Ultimately a majority of the public are online now days, and therefore more likely to go online to look for property. My family and friends recommended emoov.co.uk and rightmove.co.uk; I chose emoov.co.uk to sell my property as they looked professional and trustworthy. My house got sold within 2 months! I saved just over £2500 in estate agent fees. Online estate agencies are the way forward!

  15. James hall

    Jenny
    Rightmove is a web based agent portal. It’s not an agent. Seems your post has more to do with link building and name dropping than actually providing valuable content.

  16. Josef Costeira

    Can I just say what a relief to find someone who actually knows what theyre talking about on the internet. You definitely know how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More people need to read this and understand this side of the story. I cant believe youre not more popular because you definitely have the gift.

  17. John

    BUYER BEWARE !

    It seems like I am a party pooper or wowser as the aussies say in regards to eMoov.

    When I did my research a few months ago there were no dissenting voices of all the opinions I found online, they were all agreed it was a good thing and so nice to save the estate agent’s fee of 3k or more. Their enthusiasm was akin to a religious revival meeting !

    However my experience is a tad different. In 3 months in Nottingham I have had only ONE enquiry. This was from a local couple who declared my house ‘stunning’. The house is certainly not overpriced for what it is, and considering the area it is in.

    So having paid several hundred pounds upfront to eMoov I now find myself in the position of having to market with a local estate agent who are strong in the area.

    So my advice to those thinking of eselling on eMoov or elsewhere is ‘buyer beware’. Check out the experience of other emove sellers in the area, and how many viewings they have had. I noticed an eMoov house a couple of miles away a few weeks back that had not sold. The last time I looked their board had been replaced by a local agent’s. So I guess I’ve come to the same conclusion as them – the internet isn’t always better. I grant it’s a lot cheaper – if it works.

    I also think it is disingenuous and misleading of eMoov to quote their fee as £395. The board is extra, as is the energy certificate (EPC) so when VAT is added on you are paying well over £500.

    Also their board seems to be more about advertising their services as selling your house. They should consider giving free to prospective clients one of those additional signs that tag onto the board that says what is house is ‘e.g. semi 3 bed extended with garage’. That way they would at least get some passing trade.

    Also not everyone is internet savvy. So say older buyers might not go on the net to find a place to but, so if your property is more likely to be
    bought by such, you might not reach your best market if only selling on the net.

    1. Sam

      Hi, thanks for sharing your experience.

      I conducted a real life experiment of online vs. high street and we sold with hatched the online estate agent.

      I paid upfront for Hatched but only had to pay the high street EA if they sold the property. Perhaps you could consider having the property on the market with both the online EA and the High Street EA?

      I would be interested to hear how you get on

      1. Richard Watters

        It’s not just a choice between traditional and online estate Agents. For Sale By Owner (FSBO) companies are a good option and much cheaper than either.
        The reason a lot of people shy away from this is that they don’t like doing viewings but there is now a company who can do viewings anywhere in the UK. See http://www.access2view.co.uk

        1. Sam

          Good point. I think the market has moved on quite a bit now in that area and its interesting to see the product developments thanks

          1. Sam

            I agree – it’s down to demand. Also, you CAN get a mortgage when buying a property at auction as I have proven! The cardinal rule is you need to be organised – and also have a back up plan in place 🙂

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