Gavin Brazg who runs www.theadvisory.co.uk has spent a long time weighing up the pro's and con's of online vs high street agency. It's worth a read before paying out over £1000 upfront to an online agent.
Here are the key points:
- The top 10 online estate agents accounted for just 3.8% of all new properties listed (down from a market share high of 5.19% in May ’19).
- Purplebricks market share of the online estate agency sector nudged up from 69.6% to 70.2% (down from a high of 71.8% in Feb ’19).
- Housesimple lost momentum and were caught by Yopa to tie for 2nd place on the Top 10 online estate agency ranking table.
- High street estate agents grew their market share at a greater rate than the top 3 online estate agents (Purplebricks, Yopa & Housesimple).
- Good news for all estate agents as stock levels increased.
Should you use an ‘internet only’ estate agent?
At first glance it certainly looks like a shrewd move. It’s almost a no-brainer if in the past you’ve used high street estate agents and been left less than impressed. Now, we don’t know what your experiences have been, but here are some things we’ve learned during our years in the property business: We don’t know many house-hunters that didn’t start their search on either; Rightmove, Zoopla, PrimeLocation or Onthemarket. We don’t know of any estate agents that have managed to talk someone into buying a home they didn’t want. We don’t know of any house seller that doesn’t know how to find out what local houses have historically sold for by checking Zoopla (or one of the other websites that displays Land Registry recorded sold prices). We don’t know any house seller that doesn’t believe their house will sell (eventually) if priced correctly and listed on Rightmove. We don’t know of any high street estate agent that won’t come round your house and give you a free valuation / market appraisal. Given everything above: Why on earth would any intelligent person choose to use a high street estate agent that charges commission of 0.75%-1.5%+VAT on a no sale no fee basis? Why would they do that when an online (or hybrid) estate agent will list their property on all the major property portals for a fraction of the cost? These are two very good questions to ask. They’re questions we’ve asked ourselves (and grappled with) repeatedly for the last few years. What is my angle here? Yes, I’m the founder of an independent consumer advice group for house sellers, so naturally I’m interested in the whole online vs. high street estate agency debate. However, professionally I manage a team which buy and sell houses (across the UK) on behalf of corporate relocation companies, and homebuilders offering part exchange schemes to prospective purchasers. I’m one of these ‘Pro’ house sellers mentioned earlier and I have a confession to make:
"I always use local high street estate agents!"
THE FULL STORY CAN BE READ HERE.