What does 2015 hold for house sellers?
2014 saw an exciting rapid growth in the modern online estate agency market.
This is partly because a high street agent selling a £500,000 home generally costs the homeowner around £8,406. With online estate agents like Tepilo.com it costs £594 (including VAT) and it’s hard to see what you get for the extra £7,812.
Leading online estate agents are achieving high prices and delivering excellent customer service and this is proving hard to compete with.
So how are traditional agents responding to the situation?
It appears they have formed a cartel style old boys club, Agents Mutual, who in Jan 2015 are launching a new property site, OnTheMarket.com, that only allows traditional estate agents with shops and this higher fee structure to join – modern online estate agents are to be ‘banned’.
We also understand that part of the criteria to join is that these Agents Mutual members will agree to no longer list their customers’ properties on both Rightmove and Zoopla, which means fewer potential buyers will see their properties for sale.
In 2013, Rightmove was the 6th most visited site in the UK.
Sarah Beeny from Tepilo warns: “It is possible that this move is to enable high street agents to deliver a cheaper service so they can pass this saving on to the consumer. However many suggest it is simply an attempt to try and protect their exorbitant fee structure.”
She continues: “If you want to sell or rent your home I would strongly suggest you ensure (whether you use a modern online agent or a traditional agent) that they list your property on both Rightmove and Zoopla where all the buyers are. This makes sure you have the best possible chance of selling. I do worry that this new property portal might expose traditional estate agent’s financial priorities and will not help their reputation or long-term future.”
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