What’s the difference between a traditional and an online only estate agent?

29 December 2017

There is one VERY BIG one.

As a traditional estate agent one of the most common questions I am asked when first meeting a potential vendor is this one.

Is it no sale, no fee?

The answer to this question is invariably YES.

Why do people ask this? Here are a few reasons.

They may be uncertain about the move. They may have one particular house in mind and if they don’t get it they probably won’t move and may not want, or be able to afford to pay anything if it falls through. They may be in financial difficulties. They may want to appoint a second agent at some future date.

All valid reasons and if the shoe was on the other foot I’m sure I would ask the same question.

People who have used our services before don’t need to ask as they know how we operate.

When you are in a hurry and need to sell quickly, you’re looking for an immediate result and if you don’t get one then you are looking for other means to finding that elusive buyer. That is when the “no sale, no fee “  is important. You have the option to go elsewhere or bring in a second agent.

It’s not always the best thing to do but at least you have the option. The national average for finding a buyer is ninety days

So what is the alternative?

You can go to an online agent who doesn’t charge commission. How does that work?

The usual model is either an upfront, non-refundable charge which can be deferred for several months by signing a loan agreement. So the agent gets paid immediately and your debt is owed to the loan company after six or seven months whether you have sold or not. Can I repeat that is non-refundable. They will just take it out of your bank account.

The stark reality?

The clever bit from them is that they get paid and you are obliged to pay for nothing, other than frustration. Their business model means that once instructed, they are never uninstructed. they have been paid remember. You won’t walk away and lose your money so you stick it out, good or bad.

Any estate agent will admit that they never get a 100% success rate. It’s impossible.

I can think of 100 other reasons not to use an online only agent, the main one is obviously that not everyone has a computer and the second is that lots of us don’t trust buying anything online.

Most traditional agents are online and on the major portals. We, at Renown, have been selling houses and advising on property matters for over forty years.  We are ranked number one year on year for house sales in our town. Online only agents account for around five per cent of sales achieved. Dont forget you only pay for results.

We’d love to hear from you.


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