Selling your home is a major life decision, not to be taken lightly. So with all of these new online selling portals available, do we really need estate agents anymore?
I’ve recently moved back to Southsea in Hampshire, with the soul purpose of decorating and selling my seafront apartment. I’ve had the place over 10 years but for quite a bit of that time, it has been rented out.
It’s been an OK investment for my ex girlfriend and I but we decided around 6 weeks ago, it was time to sell.
Now being the co-creator of an online estate agent app, does mean I come into contact with many different estate agents on a regular basis. It also means I get a good idea of how they work and get to understand which ones might specialise in a specific area of the market.
The other thing that I’ve become very aware of since working with people in this market, is that websites and even apps, don’t actually “sell” a property. Now that might sound like a strange thing for the owner of an online business to say but I still believe that homes are bought with the heart and mind and not through a few glossy pictures.
In fact, having so many property portals and so many properties online, can actually cause a problem. You can end up attracting people who will never buy and you can end up with stacks of viewings but no offers. And it works the other way too. You can get your shortlist of potential properties to buy and end up with a list of 17. When you actually see them though, they are not quite what you thought they would be.
This is why our agents have all of their properties stored on their app. It’s stand alone, less confusing and the agent has direct contact with the customer. Some may say that it’s all about attracting as many viewings as possible but I don’t agree with that. I’d rather have 2 really interested parties, rather than 10 people who are “curious” and think it’s worth a browse.
So I’m using an agent. I believe their cost will be worth it in terms of advice and information because they have the same vested interest as me. They don’t earn anything until a deal on my flat goes through, so it’s not about them creating lots of work for themselves, it’s about getting the right buyer, to view the right property.
To give you an example of how this decision had endorsed itself. My agent does a “mystery” home service. If they get an enquiry for a certain property and have another similar on the books, they will show it to the buyer as a “mystery home”.
On Saturday, a couple who had never found my apartment online were shown it as a “mystery home”. They loved it and even after they saw their original property the enquired about, I heard that the agents are confident that we might get an offer this afternoon.
Without the intervention of the Agent, there is no way these people would have viewed my place, a place they have now fallen in love with.
Online is a fantastic starting point, a great place to have a million homes all at the touch of a button but “good” estate agents will survive because of those little extras they offer. So if you’re selling your home in the near future, it might be more about finding the right agent, rather than the right website.