Are High Street Estate Agents Still Needed?

Published on , in Mortgages.

The internet has shaken the foundations of so many business models - food, fashion, entertainment, homeware - the list goes on. Almost every sector has been affected by the surge of online technologies, and their strategies have adapted in order to survive the digital age we live in. You can stream a film at the click of a button, order a takeout online, arrange a cooker to be fitted…but can you sell a house?

Does the surge in Ecommerce threaten the high street estate agent? Lettings website are hoping up all over the place, so is your local one at risk? 1 Van 1 Man takes a closer look.

Selling A Property Online

As an example, let’s look at the popular lettings website Right Move. Homeowners can submit their houses to the website, name their price, arrange viewings and ultimately sell their home. At just the fraction of the cost to a high street estate agent, Right Move seemingly has many advantages.

What Selling Online Cannot Do

What’s missing from online property selling is the experience. It’s all well and good clicking buttons, but estate agents live and breathe this stuff. Selling your house online lacks:

  • The requisite knowhow to oversee such a transaction without getting ripped off
  • The extra time to handle all the logistics of selling a property
  • The confidence and willpower to do this yourself, rather than let somebody else do the hard work

These three factors ensure that high street estate agents still have a stake in the market. They are paid to sell houses, whereas homeowners are not. Estate agents have the experience, contacts and time to handle everything under one banner. For many people, this is attractive enough to warrant the larger price tag.

So, in 2016, it seems there is room for both. Have you successfully sold a home via Rightmove or Zoopla? Was it worth the extra paperwork, or would you be happier handing it over to an estate agent? Let us know in the comments!

Are high street estate agents still needed?

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