There's still room for high street estate agents
TURN on the TV any time of the day and the chances are that you’ll find an advert for the latest online estate agency service.
The emphasis on selling property via the internet is so great that homeowners could be forgiven for thinking that the age of the traditional high street estate agent is over.
But leading Sheffield property expert Keith Egan insists that online agents are only really driven by gaining instructions, not by actually selling houses.
Keith is the General Manager of Sheffield’s Martin & Co, part of the largest letting and property management franchise business in the UK, with a network of 192 offices across the country.
The company has both a strong high-street and online presence and is nationally acknowledged for its award-winning service.
Keith believes that too many internet only operations favour listings over sales and that although a strong presence online might appear to be the best deal it will not always result in the best result for anybody selling a property.
“Any homeowner trying to sell their property will know it isn’t as simple as putting a house on the market for the highest price possible and waiting for the buyers to come,” he said.
Keith pointed out that one of the principal problems with going online is that it’s the buyer who makes the saving, not necessarily the seller who makes a profit.
“An online agent is less likely to negotiate to get the best price for the seller – and buyers often know this and use it to their advantage,” he explained.
“Setting up your own viewings can also be problematic and there is a good reason why most established agents insist their client is not home during viewings, certainly not in the first instance.
“With the vendor around, buyers can feel like they are intruding and will spend much less time looking and paying full attention, reducing the potential for a successful sale.
“Most of the time, you need to be clever and utilise all the skills that an estate agent has at their disposal to achieve your desired price.
“Even in the easiest of sales, there is multiple back and forth between vendor and buyer, solicitor and surveyor, so having an estate agent you can trust to be the glue that holds the deal together over the many weeks is essential.”
He added that research also demonstrated that online sales were not even always the most lucrative.
“In a world where everything is just a click away, it can be tempting to turn to the internet to sell your property, but research suggests that property owners will get considerably less from their sale than they would if they were to use an estate agent,” Keith explained.
“So if achieving the highest price possible is top of your list, it’s worth investing in an expert who knows the area and the market inside out.
“In addition, in a world that is speeding up, face-to-face service is more important than ever and Martin and Co understands the importance of empathy and honesty at such a stressful time.”
Martin & Co has branches in Sheffield city centre, Woodseats, Hillsborough and Worksop and is part of a network with more than 190 branches nationwide
This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by John Highfield .