The Differences

There has been a lot of press recently regarding the emergence of online estate agents, who can supposedly sell houses cheaper than the traditional high street agent. Many thought this would be the end of high street estate agents as we know them. However, several years later,while online estate agents are indeed thriving, so are traditional high street agents like Lifestyle.  The purpose of this article is to show the difference between online and high street agents, and why picking a high street agent like lifestyle might be better for you and your family.

What is an online estate agent? 

An online estate agent is the same as a traditional estate agent, but with one major difference – they do not have a shop front. By not having a shop front they are able to keep costs to a minimum which means that these savings can be passed onto the customer.  Online Estate Agents rely on property portals such as Zoopla and Rightmove to provide enquiries from potential purchasers, thus often provide a national service from a call centre.  Recent research from the Property Price Advice shows that almost 95% of people looking for a new home start their search on the internet – and in the 18-24 age group the proportion rises to the full 100%.  Even much older people start their search online, with 66% of over 75-year-olds using the internet.

Does online estate agency suit everyone? 

Whilst it may seem enticing at first, this service does not suit everyone.  Covering such a large area also means that they are not able to accurately value property and will not accompany viewings.  So if you are planning on using an online estate agent you will need to know what your property is worth and also have the time and confidence to show people around yourself, which can be a hassle for you and your family.

Why use a high street agent? 

High street estate agents are usually local experts.  They will be able to provide you with an accurate valuation based upon similar properties that they have sold in the area, but also take into account local factors such as transport links. At Lifestyle, all of our staff know their locality better than anyone, and can easily let you know the benefits of certain properties. Many people lead busy lives; juggling work and family commitments, so by using Lifestyle you can be more flexible with viewing times, and you also don’t necessarily need to be present as one of our helpful agents can show people around.