>And so it goes on, online...
In my opinion, there is a market for both. There will always be sellers who like to know that they can pop in to their local High Street office to find out what the latest batch of viewers thought of their property, equally there are those that are purely driven by the cheapest fee that they can get, whether the agent is just around the corner or based in a call centre 100s of miles away. With the property market in full swing, it isn't surprising to see more online estate agents appearing and some sellers no doubt will be seduced by the fees on offer, even if that means paying an upfront fee, carrying out your own viewings, having to log on to a website for feedback, having to negotiate directly with buyers, paying a bit extra for a for sale board etc. But at what cost? Having spent many years working in High Street Estate Agents I believe 100% that a strong, independent, local agent who knows and specialises in your area, will get the best possible price for your property. But do they need an office in the High Street? I'm sorry, but certainly in the London market, I don't think so.Here's the bit that reads like an advert.Benjamin Matthews Estate Agents in Forest Hill, SE23 was set up to give people an alternative, a hybrid if you like of the traditional High Street Estate Agency model and the new breed of online Estate Agents. How do we fit in? Well we do everything that a good High Street agency would do, we just don't have an expensive office space to pay for and because of this we can be far more competitive with our fees. We are local, some agents like to use phrases such “we live here”, we actually do. We are part of your local community. We will come and provide you with a valuation of your property, we will arrange photography and floor-plans, we will accompany ALL viewings, we will feedback to you within 24 hours (unless you'd rather we didn't), we will negotiate offers for you and most importantly, once you have accepted an offer, we will handle the progression of the sale every step of the way. Oh and we don't charge a penny unless your sale goes through. Can we match the £500.00ish fee that some of the online agents offer? No. When we set up Benjamin Matthews Estate Agents we did initially offer an option of an upfront sales fee of £395.00 as a kind of DIY solution, but the more people we spoke to locally, the more we realised that most sellers would rather pay a little extra and not have the stress of handling the sale of their often most valuable asset themselves, but were reluctant to pay the high fees that many High Street agents charge. That's how we fit in. You talked, we listened and the outcome of what sellers really want in the current market, turned into Benjamin Matthews, YOUR estate agents!This is a subject that causes a lot of debate. If you are a homeowner and are thinking of selling, perhaps this will give some food for thought.