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Cheap Estate Agent - What are the Costs?

Finding a cheap estate agent may feel like a bargain, all they need to do is stick a property on the market right? They are all the same? Wrong!

What is the True Cost of a Cheap Estate Agent

First it’s important to make a clear distinction right from the start. Cost, is what you pay your estate agent to sell your home. Value is what an estate agency provides to you for that fee.

Cost and Value are Very Different.

Who are the Cheapest Estate Agents

Well it’s important to note that anyone can become an estate agent. You only need to be registered with certain dispute resolution agencies in order to trade. Just because an organisation states they are estate agents, doesn’t mean they are experienced or will provide a good level of service.

There has been a rise (and fall) of online agencies offering to sell your property for a low fee. That low fee gives you a low level of service when compared to a high street estate agent.

The biggest question is how can a profitable online estate agent sell your house for substantially less than a traditional high street agent. Thinking about it logically it probably comes down to two possibilities.

  1. The online agent isn’t doing the same level of work as a traditional agent, so you are getting less by paying less.
  2. Traditional high street agents overcharge for their services.

I’m going to throw another possibility into the mix. That online agencies are running at a huge loss in order to capture market share. If you look at the financial statement posted for the major online agents you will see they make huge multi million pound losses year on year, and the only reason they survive is through continued outside investment. This isn’t a sustainable model as can be seen from the demise of Emoov in 2018.

If they are making huge losses and require huge investment, then what are they spending their money on? Marketing themselves, not your property. Television adverts are expensive, national billboard campaigns are expensive. The money we spend on marketing we use to actually market your property, not us.

It’s true that a high street agent does have higher overheads than an online agent. We have rent, rates, electric, etc to pay each month. However, we are present in your area. We work in your area. We know your area.

What Do Cheap Agents Offer

I can’t speak for other agents, but Preston Baker have perfected a method where we sell properties for 3.7% more using our Property Launch method. That averages out at £7,300 more per property. Any fee we charge, comes coupled with that average increase in value. Meaning in reality, we put more money into your pocket than we take out.

Online agencies will list your property for sale. For an UPFRONT fixed fee. If they don’t sell, then you have lost that money.

We increase the value you may be able to realise for your property, and we operate on a no sale no fee basis. If we don’t sell your property for any reason, you pay us nothing.

There is more to selling a house than simply sticking it up on rightmove, zoopla, primelocation or onthemarket. HOW an agent markets your property makes a huge difference to how much the property sells for and how quickly.

All the Added Extras

How many of you have flown on a budget airline? The initial fee is cheap, but then you find there is a booking fee. If you want a meal that’s extra. If you want to take luggage, that’s extra. If you want to check in at the airport, that’s extra. Soon you find that budget flight wasn’t as cheap as you thought.

The same seems to ring true for online agencies. You want sales progression, that’s extra. You want viewing services, that’s extra. You want better quality photos or videos, extra. You soon find that upfront fee is nearing the level of a high street agent and it’s money out of your pocket, with no guarantee of sale.

If they don't sell your property you have lost that money.

Cheap High Street Agents

As a reaction to an increase in online agencies, many traditional high street agents started to slash their fees. Again, this is not a sustainable model.

It has caused a few things to happen

  1. You find estate agents closing down branches and consolidating staff into fewer areas, or closing down completely.
  2. They have to make staff redundant, meaning less bodies to actually work on your property sale
  3. They cut back on the portals they post on and the services (or quality) they offer

During this period of online agencies that we are experiencing, Preston Baker is expanding. We are employing more staff to specialise in the unique aspects of your property sale. We want to provide more than ever in this market not less. We want to put more money in your pocket than we take out.

Selling with us gives you best chance of maximising the value of your property. On a typical £250k property that equates to £7,300. On higher value properties, it can be much more.

Standard Online Agency Services

  1. They list your property on some of the major portals
  2. They give you access to an app where you can organise your own viewings and accept / reject offers.

It’s likely you have to take your own photographs and write your own description. If you want professional looking photos then that’s extra. If you want them to manage the sale, that’s extra. You want them to arrange a viewing that’s extra. So that upfront low cost, gives you pretty low value.

Preston Baker Standard Services

A fully diverse team that specialise in the following key areas.

  • Local Property Experts
  • Professional Photographers
  • Professional Video Creation
  • Video Editing and Animation
  • Colour Coded floor plans
  • Professional copywriters to create your property descriptions
  • Google Adword creation and management. We market your property to people before they even look on Rightmove, Zoopla or OnTheMarket using our marketing strategies
  • Facebook Social Listings and Advertising
  • Twitter property posting
  • Dedicated valuers whose sole job is to maximise the value of your property by listing it for the right price.
  • A dedicated negotiator as your point of contact / account manager. They will arrange viewings, organise the property launch, and deal with offers that come in.
  • A dedicated customer care team to progress your case once you you have accepted an offer.
  • An outbound call team to drum up interest in your property from our huge database of buyers.
  • Staff that man our phones every night until 10pm to speak with buyer and sellers and help progress the sale
  • A Financial Services team that help pre-qualify buyers, leading to a 50% reduction in fall throughs. They can also find you the best mortgage for your circumstances, potentially saving you tens of thousands of pounds over the life of a mortgage.
  • A Financial Services customer care team, that progress your mortgage application up until the point you complete.
  • A dedicated marketing team the push your property through 20 different marketing channels. If there is someone out there with the potential to be interested in your property - We will find them. We have a very particular set of skills...

On top of that, we run a Property Launch event for all our properties as standard, which has been proven to increase the amount of money you get on your property.

We do all this, and we charge nothing upfront.

If you want to walk away with more money in your back pocket then get in touch with us. If you want more stress, less service, and potentially less money, then choose someone else. It may sound blunt, but it is that simple.

We get you more, because we do more.