Why choose a traditional estate agent to sell your property?

29/06/2015

There has been lots of talk in recent years about whether sellers should sell their home with an online agent or stick with a traditional high-street one. Well, it won’t surprise you to know, we’re about to give you a number of reasons why traditional agents with a high-street presence are still best.

The thing online agents’ play on most is the cheaper fees they charge, but this comes with concessions. High-street agents will offer a comprehensive marketing strategy – both online and locally – carry out viewings, take high-quality photographs, provide floor plans and bring your sale to completion in a fast and efficient manner.

You’re unlikely to receive the same face-to-face interaction with an online estate agent, you’ll have to conduct your own viewings (with all the potential issues this causes), and you won’t be able to rely on the help and support of an experienced agent with fantastic local knowledge. Buyers don’t always like buying through an online agent as it’s nigh in impossible to request help and advice from them off-the-cuff – they don’t, after all, have a branch to pop into during the day.

It does, essentially, come down to a question of trust. With your biggest and most important asset, do you want to deal with a human being or a faceless, anonymous machine? If you went to the doctor, would you rather be reassured by a kind, smiley doctor or an emotionless robot? The same thing applies to estate agency. So much of what an estate agent does is built around trust and reputation. Agents build a rapport with sellers – in turn, sellers entrust their agent to get them the best possible price for their home.

Selling a home isn’t the same thing as booking a holiday or purchasing a product online. It doesn’t happen at the click of a button and it doesn’t come without a large element of risk. It can be a long process at times, and people feel more reassured if they can speak to a real person and get an honest answer or opinion from them.

We’ll also be there to regularly chase both solicitors and mortgage advisors/lenders, deal with surveyors’ recommendations for further inspections and reports, and handle negotiations should the buyer or lender request a price reduction for further works or a down valuation. Furthermore, we send twice weekly updates to our sellers and buyers to keep them abreast of the latest developments.

Local knowledge is often cited as one of the main attributes vendors look for when choosing a suitable estate agent. This not only means a greater chance of an accurate valuation based on the local market, it also guarantees that your agent will be able to convey the best attributes of the area you live in when they conduct viewings with would-be buyers. Would you be able to get this same local knowledge and personalised service from an online agent? The short answer, we believe, is no.

The principal argument for online agents is that most property searches are started online, so estate agency should follow suit. What this neglects to mention is that most traditional agents have a significant presence online – we are both local and online! At Mishon Mackay, like many other traditional agents, we have a slick, regularly updated website, visibility on social media and an appreciation of the importance of portals in the sales process.

In other words, we offer the best of both worlds. We have as much of a presence on the internet as purely online agents, but we also cater to consumers who want to follow a more traditional route. Trust us, they do still exist!

People still pop into branches, people still see For Sale/To Let boards and come to see us to declare their interest, people do still see the value in traditional, proven marketing methods to go alongside more modern, interactive ones.

We often hear about the imminent death of the high street agent. We hear grand claims about online agents taking over the world in the next few years. However, the actual evidence doesn’t tally with these premonitions. Online agents still only account for less than 2% of the market, while high-street agents only seem to be getting stronger – if the demand wasn’t there, more agencies wouldn’t be popping up all the time and existing agencies wouldn’t be expanding at a rapid rate. If the high-street agent really is on its way to extinction, it’s got a funny way of showing it.

For more advice on buying and selling property in Brighton, Hove and the surrounding areas, please get in touch with Mishon Mackay on 01273 821 800. As part of our service we offer an instant online valuation to give you an accurate estimation of your property’s value in the current marketplace.