We’ve had a number of High Street agent competitors give us cause to chuckle and gloat a bit in the past few days.
There’s no love lost between the ‘tradionalistas’ and the newbies. The old boys stick to their rigid script that online estate agents are ‘no threat’ to them and the internet is just a tool, a fad in property terms in fact. ‘Clients need face to face contact and local knowledge’ they say.
We disagree. You no longer need (or probably want) to shake an estate agent’s hand and buyers will not be blamed for having better things to do than spending a couple of hours wandering in and out of shop after shop repeating their name, address, phone number, email address, price range and property requirements to agent after agent. The property portals can do that for you now, in a couple of clicks. And what about those predatory mortgage brokers that jump out from behind desks and filing cabinets to pin you down for an ‘exploratory appointment’. They are definitely worth avoiding.
As for local knowledge, buyers couldn’t give two hoots about whether the agent is local or not. They’ll type ‘Leeds… £200,000…. Four bedrooms’ into Rightmove, Zoopla, Prime Location or FindaProperty and view whatever comes up that they like the look of.
About My Place (part of Rightmove), Google Maps, UpMyStreet.com and NetHouseprices.com provide everything that a prospective purchaser, or the agent in fact, requires to know about a town or area, its schools, leisure facilities, transport links and house prices.
So it looks like the Yodas of the estate agency industry, that can tell you how old the Town Hall is, what London Road used to be called and which bus stops outside the butchers, are well and truly redundant. People simply don’t care. And sellers certainly won’t pay a ten fold premium in fees in order to ensure the comfort of a local agent that knows where all the post boxes are.
And so to our gloating bit. Despite a gaggle of High Street estate agents justifying their HIGH fees as above, we’ve been kicking their arses recently (excuse the graphic phraseology).
Beech Rd in Oadby had been on the market with an expensive estate agent for 12 months until eMoov were instructed to market it recently. They couldn’t sell it, in spite of all that face to face, local knowledge stuff. Our fee? £349 plus vat. Their fee? £4500 plus vat. The upshot? We’ve just sold it.
Ash Way, Daventry has been marketed simultaneously with eMoov and Tremayne Belcher. But, this weekend, we have sold it.
Spooner Row, Wymondham for sale for £550,000. Abbotts, part of the Countrywide Group, told the owner that they weren’t concerned at being jointly instructed with an online estate agent. ‘They don’t count’, they said. Well, count we DO as we have so far introduced DOUBLE the number of viewings compared to our Abbotts friends AND, according to the owners of the house, produced ‘far better photos and sales particulars’. Bearing in mind the TEN THOUSAND pound difference in selling fee, we think that’s pretty impressive.
And Stonemason Close, Harpenden. ‘Don’t use a faceless internet estate agent’ said the £5k agent to Mr McArdle, the prospective seller. But eMoov, ‘faceless’ estate agents sold his house in two weeks and saw it through to an exchange of contracts within six weeks at a figure that was GREATER than the valuation figure given by the ‘face to face’ agent with all that local knowledge.