The Online Estate Agent Service: A Recent Case Study
We recently were instructed to sell a conventional house in an SE London postcode. The postcode town is unremarkable and much like any other London town, there are good roads, and not so good roads, and the road in which this property was situated was probably better than average and conveniently located for useful transport links.
The seller contacted us having read some information about our service options when he found us using a Google search looking for a local agent. He liked the potential cost savings, something we tend to bang on about!. He called us and asked lots of questions about us, how we operate and what exactly we would do for him and the money he would be spending.
A week passed before he called us again. The conversation steered towards our services again, and I sensed he wanted reassurance about what we would do for the money being charged.
As a business we offer services that require an upfront fee to be paid, or services that can be paid after completion of a successful sale. For obvious reasons our most cost effective services are the upfront fee options.
He seemed a little worried that we might ‘take his money’ an then simply not try, however I reassured him that that would be a business strategy destined to fail quickly. I re-affirmed that as a small business owner (and one that understands the power of ‘word of mouth’) we understand how business growth can be compounded by viral testimonies, from happy clients.
Another week passed and he called back, but this time with his credit card details as he had made the buying decision, one in which he would give us a try out. He mentioned that a factor was because we had taken the time to research not only sold house prices for very similar properties in his road, but also the surrounding roads and we had fully justified our reasoning for why we had valued his property at the level we did (admittedly without actually seeing it). Another agent had given a valuation at a whole £20,000 higher than ours an he had felt sceptical after seeing a lot of unsold stock being marketed at high prices by many local agents. Obviously I was delighted he chose to use us, because 1. we need the business as a new agent, and 2. almost everybody falls for the ‘we can sell your property for this impossibly high price – even though nothing else has sold for anything remotely like it’- routine.
We booked his professional photographer, prepared his marketing and listed the property on the portals.
8 days later we had numerous viewings which resulted in 3 separate offers for purchase and we had negotiated a full asking price offer from a full qualified and highly motivated buyer!
Many of the properties that were listed by other agents when we did the initial research to value our clients property are still on the market, prices unchanged.
And for those who think we might have sold it too cheap, the valuer lowered the valuation even further. By our workings out the local agent who valued the property incredibly over stated the value by a whopping 9%. So any deal agreed at their valuation amount would almost certainly have collapsed leaving the seller bitterly disappointed. Our sale, is still on track as our valuation was very realistic at 97% accurate.
The only thing this seller did to save over £5000 was show a few potential buyers around.
Feedback I received I received from both seller and prospective buyers was that it was a pleasant experience meeting the home-owner directly without an agent rambling on (trying too hard to sell the property). The seller also did a sterling job of letting buyers know why the area is great and what he likes so much about it.
Online estate agents offer a much cheaper way of doing things. But don’t listen to the old school agents. It isn’t an inferior way in any sense. Just different. But like when looking for any service, just be sure to choose the right online estate agent, as there is very good and very bad in just about every walk of life.
fishneedwater offers premium quality full estate agency marketing for a whole let less than it should cost.