Battle of the Estate Agents: Online Vs. High Street

Today I have decided to pit the wits of a High Street Estate agent against the technological and cheaper might of an Online Estate Agent to sell my newly renovated property.

So what’s the story?

Well you may remember I was hugely impressed with the service level and price offering of Hatched who are an online estate agent and who I posted about here.

In all honesty, I was not going to entertain the idea of using a High Street Estate Agent to sell the Stevenage property after the disastrous experience I had trying to sell my flat in London (and which ended with me sacking them, which I posted about here)

So what happened to change my mind?

Well, Alan from Geoffrey Matthew estate agents changed my mind.  He was charm and persuasion personified.  I am not a person to be easily sold to (otherwise known as a stubborn cow!) but Alan was just so persuasive and I couldn’t help but think to myself: Can I really just sell a property myself using Hatched as an Online Estate agent…or will Geoffrey Matthew do something more with their High Street presence and estate agency knowledge to sell my property?

The key objective is to sell the property for the most money in the shortest period of time.

But what is the best way to sell a property?

Can a High Street estate agent sell a property quicker and for more money as Geoffrey Matthew claim they can – or will it be cheaper, less hassle and better to sell with Hatched – as they claim they will?

There was only one way to decide – and you have to imagine this in the words of Harry Hill of TV Burp fame: “FIGHT!!”

And so the battle has begun.  It is an estate agent duel.  It is a real life challenge of online estate agent vs. high street estate agent.

estate agent fight

And I have informed both agents of my intentions.  Surprised would be one word to describe their reaction…But both of them were keen to take on the challenge and prove their worth and property selling ability.

Maybe I shouldn’t be conducting this online vs. high street estate agency battle in real life with a property I actually want to sell – but in reality, I can think of no better way than to understand what really sells a property than to compare and contrast – and create competition.

And so the property will be listed with both Geoffrey Matthew as a high street estate agency AND with Hatched as an online estate agency.

The price difference is HUGE: Geoffrey Matthew are charging me 1% of the sale price + VAT, Hatched are charging a flat fee of £199 + VAT upfront and £199 + VAT when the sale completes.  If we sell the property at £185,000, my bill to Geoffrey Matthew will be: £2220 (inc VAT) Vs. just £477.60 (inc VAT) if we sell with Hatched. That is a difference of £1742.40. It’s a whopping saving if Hatched can pull it off…but Geoffrey Matthew assure me they are “worth” their extra fee..Hatched beg to differ.

Time will tell.

Get your bets placed – and let’s start a sweepstake!

The instructions should soon be live….

    1. Sam

      Tony, it’s meant to be me but I am going on holiday so they will while I am away. This was the clincher for me in terms of service levels.

      1. Tony

        That is great Sam.

        We used an on-line agent for a sale a while back. They did not show the property but we had someone else show the buyers around and it worked very well as it gives everyone space and improves your ability to negotiate with the buyer.

        It sounds like a Hatched have an excellent service going.

        Good luck

        1. Sam

          That sounds great Tony – and it’s interesting that you also used somebody else to do the viewings – was that a friend/ employee? Was it a conscious decision to put “distance” between you and the buyer or for practicality reasons?

  1. HMO Landlady

    Hi Sam

    I’m facing a similar issue with a house which has been vacated but is located 200 miles away so viewings are impossible. Do online agents have agents “on the ground” as it were to do the viewings if necessary? The agent price difference is huge which is important when the sales figure is fairly low – as in my case!

    1. Sam

      I contacted Hatched direct and explained the situation and they were able to assist on this occasion as they had people they could use from their head office. They have a few offices so maybe it’s worth asking? Call them (0845 678 0908) and ask to speak to James Venning. He is one of the Director’s there and is so lovely, definitely worth asking the question – even if you have to pay a little extra for the viewings.

  2. Phill

    I can see this fight turning into a ‘Rocky’ style run of rematches.
    The only way to truly compare services is with a real experiment such as this.

    If I had to bet, I would see online agent winning first few rounds but if not had offers with 6 weeks the trad agent will probably win on points.

    Fascinating contest….Ding..Ding….Round One…..

  3. Andrew

    It is quite common for high street estate agents to over value a property to secure the contract for selling it and then when there is no interest recommend the price is drastically reduced. With an online estate agent you are less likely to get these false valuations and the amount you save in commssion fees can actually allow you to sell very quickly at a slightly reduced price.

  4. Midlands Landlord

    I don’t see how hatched can do (say) 10 accompanied viewings and all the rest unless someone is working for less than a reasoanable rate, or on a zero hours contract, somewhere.

  5. Chris

    Hi Sam,

    It’s now been 3 months since you posted this, so…. Has a sale been agreed ? What levels of viewings/ number of offers have you received from both sides ? Are you able to draw any conclusions from this experiment? Please share 🙂

  6. What's The Best Way To Sell a Property? Online Estate Agents Vs. High Street Estate Agents

    […] It’s now 14 days since the property I refurbished and wrote about here, has been on the market.  In a bid to understand the difference between online estate agents and high street estate agents I decided to conduct a real life experiment and instruct both: the property would be for sale with an online estate agent and a high street estate agent which I wrote about in Battle of the estate agents. […]

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