SOMETIMES TECHNOLOGY JUST MOVES ON. As an estate agent, naturally we read the property press and, to be honest, quite a lot of the time, it’s not a pleasurable experience.
It’s a fact of life that the industry’s media is dominated by The Establishment – almost all of them High Street Henrys who have been around for donkey’s years and feel very much threatened by the newer online business model.
Barely a day goes by without online estate agents coming under fire – so it’s refreshing to come across something which seems to make a genuine fist of telling things as they are without favouring one side or the other.
Over the weekend, the Mirror’s Money Section had a stab at a direct comparison between the high street agents and their online equivalents and, to be fair, it was pretty balanced. However, there is a BUT – and it’s the fact the author never really dug deep enough into the online offer.
With a small fortune spent of TV advertising and marketing, it’s hardly surprising folk are mesmerised by Purple Bricks. But, on the other hand, it’s actually misleading to suggest that all online agents slavishly follow their lead.
1/ Well the article claimed, if they opt to use on online agent, vendors have to pay a non-refundable fee up front. Wrong.
Instruct eSale and, yes, you have an up-front package as an option. However, if you’re not happy and you tell us within 30 days, that fee is returned.
2/ The article also claimed “on completion” deals offered by online agents are non-negotiable and non-refundable. Wrong again.
Opt for ours, and you pay us nothing unless we sell your home. It really is that simple. There are no hidden credit agreements or deferred payments.
3/ The article suggested vendors who call with inquiries will find themselves speaking to a call centre. Er… Wrong.
At eSale, customer service is our byword and you are assigned to a member of our sales team who will help you every step of the way. If you call and they are not in for any reason, your message will be relayed to them as soon as possible.
4/ The article suggested that online agents offer a package which seems competitive but doesn’t include extras such as a floor plan, photographs. Wrong.
We offer two simple packages which not only include floor plans and photographs but VAT as well. The price you see is the price you pay.
5/ The article claimed vendors who opt to use an online estate agent will usually find themselves conducting viewings themselves. Wrong.
If you prefer, eSale will send someone to assist with the viewing. They will be fully briefed on your property and will report back to us immediately with any feedback from a potential buyer. We will then report to you. We are by no means alone either; many other online estate agents offer a similar service too.
6/ The article suggests online estate agents cannot chase up solicitors which can slow down progress on your sale. Wrong.
At eSale, we speak to lawyers on a regular basis – whether it’s the vendor’s or the buyer’s. We’re actually pretty adept at banging heads together if required and have done so on a number of occasions.
So, as you can see, we’re no Purple Bricks. They may be bigger but that doesn’t mean they’re the only players in the game or that everyone else has to do as they do.
When a reviewer only has limited time and space to make comparisons, it’s easy to focus on the giants. But, just as Coca-Cola might be the behemoth of the soft drinks industry, it doesn’t follow all soft drinks taste the same…