Are estate agents necessary when completing a property purchase or sale? Here are the benefits of estate agents in 2021.
So much of life is conducted online nowadays, a trend only intensified by the Coronavirus pandemic, and the number of digital property agencies is rising. With efforts to appeal to a new generation of buyers and sellers who are used to working, socialising and shopping online, they offer virtual services often conducted via a website or app with no face-to-face interaction. On the surface, online agencies may seem like an easy alternative to enlisting the help of a real-life estate agent. But do they really compare to the human expertise offered by those on the high street? Here are the benefits of estate agents in 2021.
Expertise and local knowledge
One of the benefits of estate agents is not only do they know the market inside out, but they are experts on the local area where you are buying or selling. Claire Markwell, Director of Winkworth Devizes comments: “A lot of estate agents come to the job as second careers meaning we’ve experienced life on the other side. It’s not all about putting a value on a property. Good research skills, common sense, knowing the ‘patch’ and understanding the market are all part of our value.”
Matthew Hallett, Director of Winkworth Salisbury agrees: “The pandemic has changed retail on the high street but it has allowed traditional agency practice to shine as clients lean on trusted professionals for guidance in difficult times. Good quality estate agents are more important than ever.”
Having a real human being to help during what can be a complicating process is also invaluable. “Dealing with a portal or a call center is a poor substitute for a caring property professional with your best interests at heart,” says Matthew.
Claire adds, “When you are planning to sell your greatest asset, your home, it’s reassuring to meet a human being and to build a relationship whereby you trust their professionalism, their experience, their knowledge of the process and their word.”
As well as a wealth of knowledge and experience, established estate agents have plenty of useful resources in their arsenal. For example, they can spread the word about your property via marketing, from local brochures and window displays to sophisticated digital advertising and e-marketing, in order to find a good buyer as soon as possible.
Furthermore, each office will have a database of active clients with details of their property criteria. Rather than spending months searching for a buyer, the right person could already be on their system, just a phone call away. Likewise when searching to buy a property, those who have built good relationships with agents are likely to be the first port of call when a home matching their requirements comes to the market — or perhaps even beforehand.
No upfront fee
Estate agents will only take a fee once the sale completes, meaning you don’t have to worry about upfront bills. “We are working for the vendor and, unless we push the transaction through, we get nothing at all,” says Claire. “We will have outlaid a great deal of money for photographs, floorplans, videos, marketing and so on. We invest both financially, and personally as we get to know our clients and act in a manner to do the very best for them.”
Matthew emphasises that investing in a good quality agent is money well spent. “In the words of Red Adair, ‘If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur’.”
Estate agents are the go-between that holds an entire property chain together, ensuring everything runs smoothly from the first valuation to the final exchange. Moving house is said to be the most stressful life event after death and divorce, so a reliable estate agent can take a lot of pressure off.
“We are the conduit between the seller and buyer, vendor and solicitor, someone who can find surveyors, removal firms, house clearers and cleaners; it cannot be underestimated how comforting it is to have an accountable face to go and see, pick up the phone to and have proper updates and conversations with. Someone who understands your concerns and knows what to do when things wobble,” says Claire.
“People like dealing with other people, not portals,” says Matthew. “Estate agents are experts in property, they deliver sales and they make a difference to people’s lives — that is what they are good for in a modern world.”
If you are looking to buy, sell, rent or let a property, enlisting the help of an experienced, qualified and well established estate agency is key to success.