Property is a people’s business. A statement agreed by all estate agents and is why many successful businesses have continued to expand their presence on the high street rather than shy away behind a computer screen.
Property is a people’s business.
A statement agreed by all estate agents and is why many successful businesses have continued to expand their presence on the high street rather than shy away behind a computer screen.
‘There is no doubt that the internet has dramatically changed the property industry making it easier to promote property to a wide net of buyers’ comments Steve Allen (Bridport Office). ‘However, a proper agent utilises it as just one valuable tool in their no stone unturned approach rather than their only tool.’
‘Simply uploading photos on the internet may generate some viewings, and if you’re lucky an offer but undoubtedly will not help you achieve the best sale price, nor a steady and smooth sale process. It is no secret that the process of buying and selling property in the UK is cumbersome, long and potentially tricky and time after time we have been brought on board with a sale when a vendor has lost their buyer with an online agent. Why? An online agent is paid as soon as they are instructed to put your property on the market leaving no incentive to actually get your home sold and manage the sales process, unlike a traditional agent who only gets paid when your property has exchanged’.
‘The facts on this speak for themselves’ adds Simon Neville-Jones (Blandford Office). Online agents sell less than 50% of their properties, so if you go with an online agent you have a 50/50 chance of selling and subsequently losing not only your fee to them, but having to pay a traditional agents fees on top. Would you gamble that sort of money on the toss of a coin?’
‘Symonds & Sampson selling rate is 85% and if you don’t sell, you pay nothing.’
So, why are traditional agents more successful and how can they justify their fees?
Firstly, you pay for local expertise and experience. Unlike online agency, one agent would specialise in one town or a localised area rather than an entire county where prices can be dramatically different allowing them to value an accurate price which inevitably results in a quicker and more successful sale without continual price reductions or under-selling.
We talk to your buyers in the office, on the phone, at a viewing.
This is something an online agent does not offer. You do all the talking, schedule the viewings, hold the viewings and then do the negotiating. Also you can only speak to those who are specifically interested in your property. A traditional agent will speak to hundreds of buyers who may at first have dismissed your property until persuaded to view it after speaking to someone who has. More often than not, buyers settle on something totally different to what they set out to buy.
‘With over 5,000 applicants on our books at any given time we are always on the phone promoting your property’ adds Simon. ‘Our 12 local offices (and one in London) work together marketing our properties across the whole network. You never just have one person working towards your sale but the whole firm working as one.’
Another issue with simply using online portals is that 11% of adults still don’t use the internet. If you are on with an online agent prepare to miss out on some good potential buyers, often local downsizers.
‘We still value local and national newspaper advertising, phone outs, office window cards, attending property events and posting particulars as well as email property updates, online property portals, social media and our own website as we have a hugely diverse range of buyers and properties and a one size fits all method simply is not thorough enough to achieve a good sale’ adds Simon.
But why do you need a high street office for all this? Could this not be done remotely or in a large unit out of town?
‘It can’ adds Neal Wilson (Wimborne Office). ‘But the pitfalls of this are great. Our local offices means local sellers and buyers can pop in with ease to discuss anything they like which is crucial when an offer is made and the sale is progressing and our clients rarely have to make a special trip to see us. It also means we can accommodate last minute viewings and valuation requests as we will be nearby and in short offer a superior service and real and regular face to face interaction. Property is a people’s business and it is this that is the key to our successes and is why over half of consumers prefer the traditional agent (Deloitte). Unlike online agents we offer a quality service not quantity. Each client matters and gets the attention they deserve.’
‘In addition to the service it allows us to offer, our offices experience an unremitting level of footfall each day’ comments Simon Neville-Jones. ‘The amount of people that look at property in our windows is staggering and in-turn come in to request details giving us the opportunity to promote other properties they could be interested in, often resulting in a number of viewings on more than one property. If we lost our offices, we would lose an inordinate amount of business.’
Due to the extensive marketing avenues taken a traditional agents will often achieve a better price for your home, meaning although you may be paying a higher fee you may walk away with more money in your pocket in the end.
‘Buying and selling your property will be one of the biggest transactions of your life’ adds Neal. ‘Selling with an online agent leaves you doing all the work and is a little like selling your home on Gumtree or Ebay – you just wouldn’t do it!’
‘We also believe in the local community and our offices allow us to be a part of it’ adds Tim Bennett (Ilminster Office). ‘Our Ilminster Office opened less than a year ago and we have enjoyed getting know the town and its residents by supporting a number of community events’.
‘It may be 2018 but we don’t remember when this meant that a personal and professional service went out the window’ adds Andy Wakinshaw (Sherborne Office). ‘Since when did people stop talking and going out? Technology is here to help us stay in touch not to stop us and that is why we continue to expand our ‘real-life’ offices and support our local towns and community as well as provide the very best service to our clients’.
Find out how Symonds & Sampson can help you achieve the best price for your home and contact your local office.