Q. I am hearing more and more about online Estate Agencies and there is even talk of a new TV show being launched covering that very topic. My wife thinks it may be a good idea and a great way to save money but I still think there is nothing like meeting someone and having an expert represent you to get the job done, what are your thoughts on this?
A. This is true, the appearance of online agencies offering quick sales for a one off inexpensive fee have become increasingly prevalent in the last couple of years but can they really take on the traditional high street agent? In this era of a technology rich world some would argue that maybe they can. Personally I believe that although both the world and agency as a whole has moved more in the direction of online than it ever has in that buyers and sellers would rather hit the property portals to sift through desirable property than hit the high street and tread the streets looking for property like they used to, when it comes to valuations and viewings Vendors, Landlords, buyers and applicants would far rather meet an actual person who they can converse with and answer their questions. Having a conversation with an agent that knows your area like the back of his hand and who can provide good solid advice as to what your property should be pitched at to sell or rent is invaluable. As home owners our expectations are usually significantly higher than the true value and it often needs a conversation with a professional to put us on the right track to achieve that sale or let. Of course there will always be an argument from the super confident out there that it’s a piece of cake to sell or rent your home but perhaps when the sale takes a turn for the worse, for instance when the property is down valued having an agent that is privy to be able to speak to all four parties in the transaction at the end of the phone that can get things back on track again would be more than useful. At the end of the day like all things it usually comes down to money, and my final comment would be that you get what you pay for. So if you want a 5 star service then hire a credible agent to do the job properly, after all this is likely to be the most expensive item you are ever likely to sell so treat it with the respect it deserves.