Would you online gamble with your property?

When it comes to marketing your house wouldn’t you want a full and comprehensive service aimed at ensuring that your property sale runs smoothly from marketing to sale agreed to completion? A recent survey by a group of solicitors has found that this is not the case should you choose an internet agent to market your property.

Low cost fees heavily advertised by internet agents can be very alluring, especially when they are suggesting that they don’t charge ‘commission’. Nothing in this life comes for free and what they are really saying is we won’t charge you a percentage but we will charge you a fee!

The thing that these internet agents have unfortunately done is obscure all the good work that traditional agents do to ensure a property sale and the successful completion of the sometimes complex sales chain and conveyancing process. To highlight fee structure in such a misleading way is targeting the one thing that holds most people’s attention – money.

Looking beyond the apparent money saving headline you can see that not everything is as it seems. In most cases internet agents are either paid up front or clients have signed up to a loan to guarantee the money. This creates a scenario where the client is paying for a service that they have not yet, or may not even, receive. A No Sale – Pay Fee business model means that there is less impetus to ensure that a sale is achieved as the fee is already guaranteed!

This is also mirrored in the efforts to maintain a successful property transaction chain. Whereas traditional agents are extremely proactive in ensuring the effective progression of an agreed sale to exchange and completion, it is often the agent who already has a guaranteed fee that creates the weak link in this chain. And as we know a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. If one sale collapses then the rest comes tumbling down around it.

Delving deeper into the package on offer you often find that the low fees are subsidised by additional charges for standard services. Accompanied viewings come at an additional £30-65 per viewing in some cases! And it takes, on average, 11 viewings before a sale is agreed. Experienced legal conveyancers are required to see the sale agreed through to completion and this service is generally not offered as standard and is another fee to add on. Professional photographs come as standard with our sales package, as do interactive floorplans and the possibility of property video tours. These are also often added as a further charge by internet agents. Even the basics of a property brochure are sometimes omitted from an online package.

Our service offers all the internet coverage of online agents (and has done before internet agents existed) with exposure on RightMove, Zoopla and Lake District Property alongside the Poole Townsend web site. On top of this we use local media, applicant lists and proactive marketing to provide a service beyond just the World Wide Web.

Local agents have local knowledge and experience and all their fees are laid out from the start. By offering a No Sale – No Fee service with no withdrawal charges we carry all the risk in a house sale. We therefore have a vested interest in agreeing and more importantly completing a sale. For a full and comprehensive marketing package which is aimed at seeing your property through to completion contact one of our offices to discuss what we can do for you.

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