Estate agents – what is the future?

August 6, 2018

Find a house near me

When you are buying a house, where do you start? Do you wander down the high street looking in estate agent’s windows? What if you don’t live in the area you want to move to? Do you go to that area and find estate agents there? Or do you start your search online with Zoopla, Rightmove, or Prime Location?
Research tells us that 90% of people begin their searches online. They search in the comfort of their own homes where details of properties can be found 24 hours a day. Equally important, viewings can be arranged with one click without stepping over the threshold of an estate agent’s office. Indeed, you might never visit the Estate Agent other than to pick up the keys to your new home.

What we do know is that the dam has broken and only the upmarket estate agents in the luxury and country home market are likely to survive the onslaught.The Guardian
For a while now we’ve been championing agents who offer their clients out of hours services. As people’s lifestyles become less formulaic and more reliant on technology, there seems to be a desire for more round the clock services.Gnomen

That’s why we believe estate agents as we know them today will die out. Instead a new breed of estate agents will take their place, operating completely online. First, the traditional high street estate agent’s window, with its property cards will be a thing of the past. These are already being replaced by easy-to-search responsive websites. Additionally, the swanky office will become an unnecessary overhead that no longer has to be passed on to property buyers.

Selling your home through online estate agents

For sellers too, online agencies are the way forward and fixed fees are becoming the future. With properties selling days faster than through traditional agencies it is, as one of our satisfied clients told us, “a no-brainer”.
In fact, according to research by Which?, properties sell on average 38 days faster through online estate agents than traditional agents. This is largely thanks to the technology online estate agents use to streamline the process.
Online estate agents deal with everything digitally. Correspondingly this means that you have a better chance of a quick response to your questions rather than waiting for a time that’s convenient to the agent. And talking of convenience, selling a property through traditional estate agents may involve at least one time-consuming in-office appointment to discuss  your requirements. This can be extremely inconvenient, since high street estate agents very rarely operate outside everyone else’s working hours.
The revolution has begun with giant national agencies Purple Bricks, emoov and Yopa leading the way. But what about local knowledge? What about the personal touch? What about accompanied viewings, negotiating with prospective purchasers, someone to take the stress out of selling your home?

The new breed of estate agents

A local presence has been a key part of agency from the beginning and it seems that this will never change. If you have staff on the ground covering a specific market, it doesn’t mean an office is a necessity. – Gnomen

That’s where the hybrid agency steps in – the new breed I mentioned. A hybrid agency, like a traditional agency, will offer properties online through Zoopla, RightMove, Prime Location, and via their own website. Similarly they will be based in an area that they know well. The best will offer free valuations, accompanied viewings, glossy brochures with floorplans, and prominent signposting at no extra cost (unlike the national online agencies). And, like the high street agent, they will know every road, lane, crescent and cul-de-sac of their area. Again, like a high street agent, they will personally take care of negotiations on behalf of the seller. But that’s where the comparison ends. Hybrid agents charge a low-cost fixed fee saving thousands on the usual 1.25% charge levied by high street estate agents.

A fairer way to sell your home

We believe that this is a fairer way to sell. There is the same amount of work involved in selling a million pound mansion as there is in selling a £150,000 flat. So why should vendors of more expensive properties pay so much more than owners of more modestly priced properties?

When we decided to create House Fox Estate Agents, we felt that all sellers should be treated the same and get great value for money. Subsequently, we’ve provided a package based on extended an excellent service at a reasonable, transparent, fixed fee. Not on how expensive your home is. Furthermore, we’ve stuck with what we know. We only operate across North Somerset.

We cover Backwell, Burnham-on-Sea, Clevedon, Nailsea, Portishead, Weston-super-Mare, Worle and the surrounding villages, towns and hamlets.

This way we can use our detailed local knowledge of North Somerset to market properties at the right price to sell your home quickly. And we can respond faster to requests for valuations and accompanied viewings.

The result is unique. The result is a fairer way to sell your home.

Selling your home? Call us on 03300 584282 and learn more about the benefits of selling through a hybrid estate agent. Alternatively, fill in our handy online form to book a free valuation.