Online estate agents – money saver or time waster?

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  • Online estate agents offer low flat fees, but often fail to include standard facilities
  • Traditional estate agents are around 30% more likely to secure a successful sale

Online estate agents seem to be advertising everywhere these days, and anyone who wants to sell property in London, or indeed anywhere else in the UK, seems to be spoiled for choice when it comes to finding a low cost agency. However, can the claims that they can offer huge savings when compared to traditional firms be substantiated?

Is internet-only property marketing actually a bargain?

Only around half of online estate agents complete on sales compared with 84% of traditional firms.

It isn’t surprising that many sellers are attracted to the exciting possibilities that online estate agents appear to offer. With their promises of low flat fees and wide internet exposure, these companies can seem very appealing, especially for those with larger properties to sell who are drawn in by the idea of making a substantial saving over traditional estate agent fees. However, are these flat fees really the bargain they seem to be, or are they a gamble that simply isn’t worth taking?

Our estate agents in Canary Wharf warn sellers in the London housing market about the potential problems of opting to use an online agency. “In today’s tough financial climate, it stands to reason that sellers in the London property market are keen to save as much money as possible. It’s no wonder, then, that the flat fees offered by these online companies look very appealing – after all, if you want to sell a property in Canary Wharf you could be looking at a potentially impressive saving. However, the reality is often a very different story.”

Looking beyond the numbers

The attractive headline figures advertised by online estate agents often do not cover the key elements which come as standard when using a bricks and mortar agency. While traditional firms offer photographs, floor plans, sales boards and accompanied viewings, these facilities are rarely part of the package with online providers. Without these essential components of a sale, the difference in fees is immediately less cut and dried, especially when sellers bear in mind that those fees must be paid upfront and they are also non-returnable should the property fail to sell.

Another factor to bear in mind is that online agents are also considerably less likely to complete on a sale, with official figures revealing that even the best known online firms only complete on around half of their listings. When this data is compared with the 84% completion figures for traditional estate agents with a local office, it’s clear which route is more likely to result in a successful sale. As a result of this, many sellers end up instructing a traditional agent when their online agency listing fails to find a buyer, and this means paying out two sets of fees and actually losing money rather than enjoying the promised savings.

When all of this is borne in mind, it seems clear that the safest and most effective way to sell property in London is to make a traditional estate agent like Henry Wiltshire the first port of call. Not only is a sale more likely to be secured, but sellers are also more likely to save money in the long run. See why you should choose Henry Wiltshire as your London estate agents.

Sell property in Canary Wharf

Our Canary Wharf team are highly experienced estate agents with a deep knowledge of the London property market. Call 020 7001 9160 today and find out how we can secure a sale for your property.

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