Over recent years there seems to have been a huge uprising in the number of online-only estate agents. Each jostles for attention within an increasingly crowded market with promises of ‘big’ savings for customers. These companies are usually operating from a back bedroom somewhere or a call centre on an anonymous and remote business park somewhere. But are these ‘Call Centre’ style estate agents really saving consumers money? In this blog we take a look at this key question and explain why, when you’re dealing with a faceless ‘Call Centre or Online’ estate agency, it pays to be careful.

Let’s begin with what should be every estate agent’s focus: Location, location, location

They say that selling a property is often more about location than it may be about the property itself. Parents will research schools, commuters will research infrastructure and everyone will consider local amenities and which area boasts the best reputation.

Whether you’re buying or selling it seriously pays to be talking with an estate agent who knows the local area (and its pros and cons) inside out – and as all too many consumers find, online-only estate agents simply don’t cut the mustard as they are often remote, cover an enormous territory and simply do not have the “on the ground” knowledge and experience.

Think that the shop window is an old school marketing tool? Think again.

The well-placed estate agency shop window upon the busy high street is an essential marketing tool that many sellers overlook. After all the majority of savvy buyers will be researching any potential area that they’re considering moving to, and key to this is checking out the local high street.

An estate agents office is another 24-7 advertising hoarding for your property alongside the undoubted benefits of the internet. Why not have both? Sheffield Residential are effectively an online agent with huge internet coverage but also have a prime Sheffield city centre location providing additional and relevant local coverage.

The cheapest fee is often the most expensive

Paying a low fee may, at first, seem attractive but saving a thousand pounds or two, pales into insignificance, if an agent fails to get the best price and sells your home for five, ten or twenty thousand pounds less because they haven’t reached all potential buyers. Paying a fee upfront irrespective of result is hardly an incentive for great service or performance either. Yes, the fee may be cheaper but you will pay even if you don’t get the sale you seek.

Listing Fee or Selling Fee

The majority of the online only estate agencies ask for an upfront fee so whether you sell or not, they’ve got your listing and your money so they’ve done what they need to do…list your property! Often look at the small print, and you’ll see you have to do all the viewings yourself (unless you want to pay per viewing!), pay for every little extra and be lucky if any viewer responds to an auto message asking them for feedback! Then there’s no one to use their expert local knowledge to get you the best price by negotiating on your behalf.

Faceless estate agents are exactly that – faceless

Lacking face to face contact can be a real negative. No one-to-one meetings where your circumstances can be discussed and actions agreed and actioned. There are many situations where it is much easier to resolve issues and make progress when sat across a table with a cup of tea! Of course, the benefits of face to face contact also extends to the potential pool of buyers that sellers may be missing if they opt for an online estate agency.

A sometimes sorry reputation that proceeds them

Whilst there has been many an online-only estate agency cashing in on what seems to be the latest trend of trading via internet and phone alone, many such companies already have a (pretty poor) reputation. Check out their social media presence and reviews. You can’t? No, often they have removed themselves from the potential firing line as feedback and comment on their service is less than favourable. Nobody is perfect but at Sheffield Residential we believe in resolving any aspects that need addressing rather than just hiding them in the cloud!

And finally… At Sheffield Residential, we are as good as our word

We have a solid reputation that goes before us. We know our local and national markets inside out and back to front – from school’s latest Ofsted report to the average journey times from and to local towns and cities. We also appreciate the need for superstar customer service that is far from faceless.

Our teams are exactly that, teams. You are not reliant on a single person but benefit from our team. Yes, you will have one main point of contact but also the support of other staff working diligently on your behalf.

So if you want to deal with tried, tested and trusted professionals who are anything but faceless, then talk to us today. After all, why would you entrust the sale of your bricks and mortar property to a company who exists only within the online world?


For more insight and thoughts like this on the Sheffield Property Market – please visit the Sheffield Property Blog at https://sheffieldpropertyblog.com

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