Monthly Archives: October, 2017

Not all online estate agents are the same – An eSale blog

LET’S GET A FEW THINGS STRAIGHT…

It seems one of our rivals in the online estate agency game may have scored a bit of an own goal with a recent press release.

They sent the media some statistics they had extrapolated suggesting that, so far in 2017, sellers have shelled out over £300m in estate agents’ fees.

“RIP OFF!” screamed the strident headline, which is probably what the estate agent responsible was hoping for… However, the article failed to make a clear distinction between high street estate agents charging commission and online agents charging a (much lower) flat fee.

The result? Well … most readers who only skimmed through the details may have been left with the impression that ALL estate agents are rip-off merchants, reinforcing a stereotype which none of us in the industry really wants.

It’s a shame really as the release made some good points – including one suggestion that, without the new breed of internet-only estate agents, the total amount paid in fees may have been much higher; without the competition, high street estate agents would have continued to demand a much higher commission.

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But, instead, anyone who read the piece could now be tarring us all with the same brush – so maybe it’s time to reiterate a few things about the service we offer our customers.

First of all, although we do offer a flat-rate up-front package, it’s by no means the only choice; sellers can also opt for a pay-on-completion deal in exactly the same way they can if they deal with a high street agent on commission.

There are no strings attached; there are no deferred payments or thinly-disguised credit agreements. If we don’t sell your home, then you pay us nothing. It’s as simple as that.

We offer assisted viewings, we provide EPCs, floor plans and pictures, we utilise Rightmove, Zoopla, and PrimeLocation in the UK to market homes we’ve taken instruction on, as well as a network of 80 portals in 50 countries around the world.

We have a trusted network of suppliers for things like conveyancing and removals but they are entirely optional and sellers are free to search for their own.

And what’s more, as far as we know, we’re also the only online estate agent offering a 100% money-back guarantee. If you’re not happy with our service for any reason, simply say so within 30 days and we’ll return any money you have paid up front. No quibble; no argument. Just your cash back.

We’re from Yorkshire so we prefer to keep things straightforward. Perhaps that’s why we’re rated No2 in our field in the UK on independent review website Trustpilot, we have won awards for customer service and we have grown our portfolio across England and Wales rapidly over the last 12 months.

But, as the saying goes, the proof of the pudding is in the eating so, if you’re selling property, why not give us a try? Just drop us a line or give us a call and maybe we can get you started with a free, no obligation valuation.

The property website On The Market – What we think at eSale

GOING ON THE MARKET? A WORD IN YOUR EAR …

The property portal On The Market has been in the news recently as its prepared for a floatation on the stock market. But, although it may be a topic of conversation in UK estate agents’ offices, we wouldn’t be surprised if it was under the radar of the buying and selling public.

But, as there was a TV campaign to herald its launch a little while ago and in case you feel you need to be filled in on what all the fuss is about, we thought we’d offer a potted history of the story so far:

What is On The Market?

On The Market is a property portal set up by Agents Mutual – a consortium of high street estate agents opposed to the Rightmove/Zoopla duopoly. Not happy about the fees they had to pay either (or both) to advertise property online, they set up their own portal to compete with the two established names. Stock was always going to be an issue to begin so fees for listings with On The Market were considerably lower to tempt agents to give it a try. However, those who signed up had to abide by the controversial “one-other-portal” rule which decreed, if they wanted to use On The Market, they had to dump either Zoopla or Rightmove. Online estate agents like us – and even the bigger names like Emoov and Purple Bricks – were not permitted to use the new portal.

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What benefit is there to the participating agents?

Put simply, they get to advertise property online much more cheaply. They also have a semblance of control over the portal as it’s owned by the consortium of leading high street estate agents. It also cuts out the online agents, whose lower fees many traditional estate agents see as a direct threat.

And the drawbacks?

Despite an initial impact – particularly on Zoopla, which most agents who joined On The Market opted to dump – the new portal hasn’t really taken the market by storm. Its share of the online audience is still lagging well behind Zoopla and Rightmove who have continued to return impressive trading results. As a result, some high street agents have begun to get a little twitchy about the reduction in profile for properties they’re trying to sell – to such an extent some have rebelled against the “one-other-portal” rule.

What happens next?

It has been announced that Agents Mutual wishes to offer shares in On The Market. A floatation will raise capital which can then be re-invested in the business – hopefully giving On the Market a better profile and thus more traction.

So, as a seller or a buyer, what’s in it for me?

Probably nothing. This was never about improving services for customers. It was about taking on the online portals and reducing the participating agents’ overheads.

Will the floatation change that?

Possibly, but it depends if the change from a mutual to a new (public) company also means an end to the “one-other-portal” rule. At the moment, customers signed up to agents using On The Market have a significantly reduced audience for their property as it (probably) won’t be advertised on Zoopla. If the new-look company relaxes the restrictions, then customers’ homes will be available to view on as many portals as they wish.

Hopefully, that answers questions you may have. As an online agent, we are not members of On The Market but currently advertise our customers’ homes on both Rightmove and Zoopla, as well as PrimeLocation and an international network of 80 property portals in over 50 countries and in 19 different languages. If you’d like to know more, feel free to drop us a line or even give us a call. We’d be more than happy to help.

 

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About esale

eSale  Estate Agents, founded in 2012, bringing a fresh, clear and easy approach to online estate agency in England and Wales. We are a group of professionals with years of experience in helping people sell and buy property.

We have the skills to ensure the correct price is set for your property and we can negotiate the right sale price between buyer and seller.

Additionally, we can arrange accompanied viewings and also see the sale through to completion.

Your property will feature on Rightmove , Zoopla  and Primelocation esale have a wide advertising network, come and join our approach to selling a property, no matter what your property value is.