Online Estate agents vs Traditional - what's the difference?

As consumers we all have different needs and desires and look to companies providing products or services to help us to solve our problems.  Therefore, it is no surprise to hear that different companies focus on solving very different types of problems.   One thing is for sure, no one product or service can be everything to everyone and so we need to find out which companies can address our unique needs.

In the world of estate agency there is a great deal of choice.  No more so than between online or traditional estate agents. 

Both options may appear to be very similar at first glance, but their fundamental model and methodology are worlds apart. 

Both, of course, make extensive use of the internet to market your property – traditional doesn’t mean out-dated. Each may claim to be best: save you money, perform better or provide other bells and whistles, but they are separated by one vital difference.

The Traditional Approach

Traditionally, estate agents have adopted an approach whereby their customers only pay for the service provided, when a successful outcome is achieved for their client.   The cost of providing the service is born by the estate agent and they will only seek to recover those costs once the customer has their money.  The estate agent in this scenario carries all the financial risk should the sale not proceed for whatever reason.  This ensures that the agent is heavily motivated to sell the property and see the transaction through to a successful conclusion. Homeowners have flexibility to change their minds without any financial consequences.  The reality for this type of estate agent is not getting paid for the services provided in all instances and will have to shoulder those costs.

The typical online model

In an attempt to remove the financial risk of losing money, a different model has been adopted by the online estate agents.  They seek to transfer the financial burden to the customer and expect to be paid for their services regardless.  The focus of their attention is therefore shifted from achieving a successful conclusion to listing properties from which they receive income irrespective.

Which is right for you?

The fixed fee approach of most online agents may appear the cheapest compared to the commission structure adopted by most traditional agents. But the downside is that they have no incentive to obtain the best possible price for your property – which can end up costing you thousands of pounds.

So before you choose an estate agent – online or traditional - make sure you understand how the fees are structured and exactly what they will do to earn those fees.

Here at The Property Hive we understand the importance of helping people to achieve their aspirations and have created a service designed to make it happen whilst reducing homeowner’s risks, albeit financial or otherwise.   If you are looking to move and want to make it happen, give us a buzz on 01302 247754 to find out how.

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