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What place does online only 'estate agents' have in today's market?

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What strikes me is that much of it is all about grabbing an audience with headlines that offer a fantastic low cost deal and then when you are hooked you start to see that there are extras if you want things that you would have taken as a given if you were with a high street agent. I have come across For Sale boards as an extra, accompanied viewings as an extra, newspaper adverts as an extra, brochures as an extra money up front even if you don’t sell ….!

A high traditional high street estate agent is a prime example of a one stop shop. As shop where you can call in and talk to an advisor, have discussions about your needs and aspirations and somewhere that you feel you really matter. After all it is about you the seller!

 I have found that at least one of the colourful national online only estate agents does not even offer a means for a potential buyer to call and make an offer! We have an example at our sister company, Oaktree Mortgages, where they had to make an offer on behalf of a client and it took a week on online attempts and ‘helpline’ calls to get the offer placed. If I was the vendor I would not have been well pleased to know that a buyer could not get an offer to me.

 So I ask myself “Is there a place for the online only estate agent?” and in all honesty I can’t really see what I would get for my money. At the end of the day it comes down to trust for me. I want to have the assurance that I have a group of local experts looking out for my interests in what will probably be the most significant financial transaction that I will ever do. I want to be able to see them or talk to them straight away if I have any questions or concerns. I don’t see how entrusting this to a form fill on a website and a DIY approach will help me.