Why High Street vs Online Makes No Sense

“High Street” or “traditional” estate agents are being continually attacked by the comparatively new phenomenon known as “online” agents.

“We’ll save you thousands of pounds”, the internet boys and girls cry.

“But we’ll work much harder to get you a decent price for your home, thus making you thousands of pounds”, retort the traditional crew.

So, who’s right?

Well… everybody, to be honest.

Online agents charge less, but don’t generally offer such a personal, hands-on service. They leave their vendors with an awful lot more to do in order to get their homes sold. There is also an argument to say that, as their fees are often paid upfront, they may not be so keen to achieve the best price for their clients’ properties. Why should they worry, after all, when the amount they earn is not based upon the price they attain?

But they do offer a service that some people will find appealing. A cheaper fee, in other words, but arguably with less enthusiasm for getting the top price for the properties they are selling.

There’s nothing wrong with that.

I just wish they would start to be more honest about the service they (don’t) offer, rather than purely making ridiculous comparisons to the commission rates people might have to pay if they employ a High Street agent (and, to be honest, they often quote commission rates like 2%  … like, er, when was the last time we were able to command that sort of fee?).

Having said all of this, we’ll have to see how we get on as we are now inviting people with property anywhere in the UK to ask us to oversee their sales. Through the Guild of Professional Estate Agents, we have access to a network of brilliant independent estate agents throughout the country. And our partnership with Network Auctions means that we can now sell, by auction, all those plots of land, commercial premises, shops, tenanted homes, short-lease flats, derelict buildings, properties with structural issues, ground rents, etc etc etc, from our office in Bristol, wherever the properties might be.

Oh. And back to the title of this piece. Why doesn’t “High Street vs Online” make any sense?

Simply put: all High Street offices have an online presence. But not vice versa.

I’m hoping we can bridge that gap.