The internet has revolutionised how we buy and sell property and a growing number of online agents are encouraging people to sell their own properties through them and not use a High Street alternative. One argument they use is by using an online agent there is a significant financial saving through lower fees which are often tiered and structured. For example, an up front fee with the balance paid on completion or the fee paid through finance or alternatively pay a smaller amount now or a larger amount later. Other options include pay now, pay monthly with these figures being further reduced if you agree to use their nominated conveyancers. Whilst extra payment after is required for additional services such as accompanied viewings where the cost could be £75 a viewing.
The claim, however, that online agents save you money is a spurious one. The High Street estate agent is often accused of being expensive in comparison, but it has not yet been demonstrated that the online agents produce a better selling price. The cheapest is not necessarily value for money and most agents are paid from the proceeds of sale and do not insist on upfront charges, as many online agents do. What incentive can there be for them to do the best for their client when they have already been paid? Furthermore, the online agents provide a significantly narrower service and as a consequence their marketing exposure is significantly less.
Woolley & Wallis has seven offices which cover a wide geographical area encompassing Wiltshire, Dorset and Hampshire, and we also have our own website and are on the major property portals, one of which, On The Market, is only accessible to High Street estate agents. The exposure we are able to give a property therefore cannot be matched by small portals selling people’s private houses directly.
At Woolley & Wallis we sell homes for people with the emphasis on ‘homes’ and ‘people’ – the online agent sells houses. In addition a good agent will sell your home as they will know how and what to draw people’s attention to, they will know how to market it and they will also know their buyers and can match buyers to properties. It is not all about viewings.
Some viewers simply want to see the house down the road to compare to theirs, some like the idea of a different house but cannot afford it, some people are lonely, others are just window shoppers and some are looking for a bargain. The agent is your protective barrier. You don’t have to waste your time with timewasters, you don’t have to listen to negative comments, and your agent can ‘qualify’ a prospective purchaser and help mitigate and protect you against underhand tactics such as renegotiating at the last minute when you are on the point of exchanging contracts in the sale.
At Woolley & Wallis little gives us more pleasure than encouraging purchasers to pay more for a property than they thought they could or would, thereby achieving the very best price for our clients. Evidence of this is the amount of repeat business we gain as people often say ‘you made us pay more than we wanted to when we bought through you, so we are coming back to you in the hope you will do the same again with our purchaser’.
In conclusion there is no substitute for the experienced agent who can bring personal experience and knowledge to bear on pricing, carry out viewings, weed out timewasters and generally protect their client’s interests. Online agents may claim to be cheaper, but could potentially cost you dear. At Woolley & Wallis we will always act in your best interests, represent you without compromise and achieve the best possible price for you with the best and most suitable buyer.