Home Front logoThe Big Debate

Unless you have been living under a rock for the last twelve months you cannot help but notice the latest trend in online Estate Agencies.   Currently whipping up a major debate in the property world is whether online only agents will have an impact in the market place, thus challenging the regular high street agent as we know it. Looked at objectively, such a new service provision is simply another way for consumers to buy and sell properties. However, any new concept in the market place should improve or develop what is already there so that service to the consumer is enhanced, but can online agents really improve the process of selling property, that is the question. I fear the opposite and would suggest that rather they will inevitably bring some reduction in service to sellers. Personally I struggle to believe that someone selling what is likely to be their biggest and most valuable asset purely on line with no real personal back up with all the usual emotion and difficulties that can arise throughout the process can have confidence that they can get the job done effectively. Yes it may on face value seem like a fairly simple task, you have something to sell, they introduce a buyer to you, but later down the line when things start falling apart with such things as trying to coordinate a chain, this can be an extremely fractious situation and as a seller you would be experiencing levels of frustration far beyond the norm if you are not able to reach out to a designated agent that you can drop in to see and discuss the way forward.  And what about a down valuation, again another huge hiccup that can occur along the way, which with the right people can easily be overcome but with no real support from your agent the sale will fall flat on its face.  Another consideration is viewings, whilst every seller may think they are the best person to show a potential buyer around their house this couldn’t be further from the truth. Selling is an art and highlighting the selling points and down playing any negatives comes easy to a professional, get this wrong and the buyer will slip through your fingers before the viewing is even over. With respect to fees the ability to question and perhaps negotiate is afforded if the agent is sitting in front of you, not so easy if the agreement simply arrives in your inbox.  Whilst it’s absolutely unavoidably true that the world seems aligned with online service in almost every area of life I do believe that there are still some things that require the personal touch and that includes selling a house, treat your asset with the care it deserves.