Online Vs. Local Estate Agent


Using an online agent can save you money but can you trust them to handle what is probably your most important financial transaction?  The main attraction is lower fees but as with most things in life, ”you get what you pay for” says Franca Carbone, Sales Manager at Philip James. There is a reason why in this digital age the nation is still choosing traditional estate agents over online.

‘Don’t just take my word for it’ says Franca who looks after sales of properties within the M34 area. There are a number of benefits of using a local agent to an online company and Franca has lots of real life examples of her customers that have unsuccessfully gone down the ‘online’ route before eventually coming on the market with PJW. For example, within M34, according to Rightmove online agents were only responsible for selling 4.8% of all properties sold throughout the whole of 2016.

Ash Road, Dane Bank- Mr & Mrs Cooper

We instructed Purple Bricks to sell our home in the summer and unfortunately paid them upfront. After 2 weeks we had had no viewings. We were advised that the market in Dane Bank was busy and properties were selling quite quickly so were quite surprised with the little response we had. They were terrible at responding to emails or calls.

After 2 weeks their only response to the lack of viewings was to reduce the price. We instructed PJW to sell the property and within the 1st week we had 4 viewings. The property was sold shortly after having 8 viewings on the house. We were delighted with the service we received, Franca was very knowledgeable about the area and the local market, the photos that PJW took far exceeded those that Purple bricks supplied. We ended up having to pay 2 agents in the end as the money we paid PB was non-refundable, we only wish we had gone to PJW first.

Baytree, Ave, Denton- Ms Hayes

Placed on the market with Yopa, after 4 weeks and almost no interest on the property the house was marketed with PJW at the same marketing price, within 10 days PJW had 4 viewings and a sale was agreed.

Newport Avenue, Reddish – Mrs Curley

I have experienced using both an online agent and local agent. I initially chose Purplebricks due to their reasonable fees, however I felt very let down. Some of the potential buyers who viewed my property commented that they had trouble booking an appointment to view the house online. I decided to change to Philip James Wilson and found the experience very different. It was stress-free, the agent was consistent in keeping in touch with feedback from viewings and any updates. I was led to believe online agents are the way to go when selling your house however I would disagree. Verbal communication and having agents to do the work for you is much better. I can’t fault the Philip James and would never recommend an online agent whatever the fees are.

Longford Road West, Reddish – Mrs Aspinall

I chose an online agent initially but struggled immensely due to my lack of technical knowledge. It was extremely frustrating for me as I had to rely heavily on my daughter to help me arrange viewings via the electronic calendar. 

My decision to change to Philip James was due to my age and busy lifestyle, I just didn’t have time to constantly mess around with the online portal. They took over and provided me with dates of viewings, verbal feedback and up to date correspondence. As a result, I sold my property within hours of it going back on the market with PJW, as opposed to being on the market for several months with an online agent. I felt very let down by Purplebricks as I was sold a service that sadly didn’t live up to its promise of low fees and a quick sale. 

So what are the benefits of using a local agent such as Philip James Wilson?

Valuation– Many online agents operate from nationwide call centres and the sales representatives that cover your area may have a more limited local knowledge as the area they cover is vast. This means they often value your house using online data. That is fine as a guide but you really need someone with a good local knowledge to set the correct price and thus help you achieve the best possible price for your property.

Track record– An agent that has a good track record in your area will have a strong database of clients who are ready and looking to buy in your area.  If the online agent has not sold too many properties in the area, not only will they not have a good grasp for what demand there is they will not have a big enough database of people looking to buy in your area meaning it could take longer to sell.

Fees– Often fees are required up -front, this means that there is less motivation for the agent to actually sell the property as they have already been paid. PJW only charge a fee once the sale has gone through to completion which means we are incentivised not only to sell the property but to ensure that the sale successfully completes.

Viewings– At Philip James we can carry out all of your viewings at no extra charge including evening and weekend viewings, many online agents will charge extra for this service. Our property experts will accompany viewings, because we get to know our clients, we know what they are looking for and can therefore better place them with the correct property and manage the feedback.

Hassle Free– Online agents will expect you to do much of the legwork yourself including booking and arranging viewings directly with potential buyers, negotiating the sale, and keeping track of the sale once it has been agreed. Philip James will do all of this for you. We will manage the negotiation process and keep you updated every step of the way.

Higher fall through rates

It’s widely known that online agents don’t tend to chase sales from offer stage through to completion as effectively as traditional agents. They have a lack of local knowledge and are unlikely to be dealing with previous clients so are at a serious disadvantage compared to local estate agents. With many properties attracting more than one buyer, a sellers estate agent will not value a client who has sold through an online agent as highly as one who has sold through a traditional agent as it’s far more likely to fall through and there is often a lack of background checks. This can really affect your ability to purchase the best properties which come to the market.

When selling their home most people want to achieve the best possible price with the least amount of hassle and this is why choosing your local agent who is experienced in selling properties in your area is the better choice.

If you are thinking of selling and would like a free market appraisal, call Philip James Wilson now on 0161 431 5556

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