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How do High Street estate agents justify being more expensive than online estate agents?

Asked on Jul 22 2011, General in Brentwood | Report content

Answers (11)

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  • I don't think they can to be honest. Anyone looking to buy a house simply look on websites such as Zoopla.

    Answered on Jul 22 2011, Report content
  • Hmmm... let me turn the question around. How can Online Agents justify their ridiculously low charges for offering what they claim to be a comparable service to established High Street Agencies?

    Answered on Jul 25 2011, Report content
  • Well, Paulb2610... By selling those properties that High Street agents otherwise would but at a fee that is ten times lower. That's the simple justification I suppose. If the job gets done for less, surely that is justification enough?

    Answered on Jul 25 2011, Report content
  • I think part of the reason is the overheads can be higher for high street agents. Plus an online estate agent is probably not going to be able to give the same level of service that a high street agent can. You can at least speak face to face with a high street agent if they are not working well for you. Less fees might just mean less value all round.

    Answered on Jul 25 2011, Report content
  • Really? I mean how many people actually venture in to High Street estate agents' offices these days? About the same percentage of customers that wander into Swintons still to renew their car insurance I suspect. You can still get great service over the phone and by email. Service isnt mutually exclusive to being face to face and, indeed, being ignored by some grumpy estate agent who you've interrupted playing solitaire or minesweeper.

    Answered on Jul 25 2011, Report content
  • You do not represent online estate agents well with this attitude. I wouldn't want to slam either, not without good reason. I believe the high street agent plays a vital role for those who do not want to be restricted to the internet. They are there for people to speak to, not just over the phone or by email. The picture you paint of the high street agent probably only applies to very few. Why not encourage people to use an online estate agent such as yourself instead of pointing out what you see as other people’s failings.

    Answered on Jul 25 2011, Report content
  • Sorry to be so direct. However I simply illustrate the fact that the traditional model of numerous staff in numerous offices is not conducive with buyer behaviour and thus those expensive offices are wasted, as are the high fees that are charged in order to fund them. I am not surprised at High Street agents' hesitance in accepting the inevitable change to a better, cheaper model. It would be like turkeys voting for Christmas, after all. But to expound the 'face to face service' and 'local knowledge' mantras as being justification for charging thousands for a job that is worth hundreds now, is misleading and inaccurate.

    Answered on Jul 25 2011, Report content
  • I do take your point, there is definitely room for both.

    Answered on Jul 25 2011, Report content
  • I don't really know how they justify it? I would want to cut costs if selling, so would use an online estate agent. I think most people look at Zoopla and Rightmove for property, so high street estate agents can't be too busy with people walking in the shops anymore.

    Answered on Jul 25 2011, Report content
  • It's simple - I've been in the industry over a decade and high street fees or business models haven't altered at all since the introduction of portals like Rightmove... Ignoring the success of portals is simply putting your head in the sand and online agents like us simply acknowledge the positive selling capabilities of portals and indeed web sites in general. There's a market for both high street and online - just like some people refuse to do internet banking... I couldn't do without it...

    Answered on Aug 1 2011, Report content
  • I think people are missing the point. The role if an Estate agent is to achieve the highest net selling price (ie money to the seller post commission). At present the online estate agents sell with low commissions but at lower achieved prices. I fully accept that estate agents need to reduce their overheads but there is still a need for an online presence to be matched with a physical location. Buying houses is not like Internet shopping.

    Answered on Feb 6 2012, Report content

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