Local versus online property agents


Local versus online property agents

Posted on Friday, September 9, 2022

With the proliferation of online property agents such as Yopa and Purple Bricks, it’s only natural to think that the days of traditional, high-street branches are numbered. 

The reality is, this couldn’t be further from the truth – and local estate agents continue to hold their own in a fiercely competitive market. 

So, what exactly is so special about them? Our Holmfirth estate agent team is here to tell you… 

  1. Unparalleled local knowledge 

While many online sellers may claim to have expertise from a variety of local areas, they’re unlikely to know the ins-and-outs of your specific location – which means valuations may not be as accurate.

Having been in operation as an estate agent in Holmfirth for over eight years, Applegate Properties is intimately aware of how the local market is performing and is able to provide advice that accurately reflects ongoing performance from street to street.

But it’s not just about selling – local partners steal a march on digital competitors when it comes to buying too. Of course, a quick Google search can bring up recommendations for everything from broadband and energy providers to schools, eateries, and must-do activities, but nothing beats guidance from people who live and breathe that specific area.

  1. A more personal service

There’s no denying that customers may be able to cut a few small costs by choosing an online seller, but there’s no beating a local estate agent on customer service.

While an online professional will visit a property to create floor plans and take photos, homeowners won’t usually communicate in-person with digital-based companies. And this can prove a real frustration in the after-sales process, when customers are trying to get an update and unable to speak to the same person.

At Applegate, every client will be allocated their very own Holmfirth based estate agent – Taylor, Claire, Grace, or Amy – to manage their account. And we guarantee to answer every call in under two rings!

As well as being able to speak to the same advisor when dealing with a traditional local property agent – to ask specific questions and glean crucial advice – but you can also select a property partner that truly aligns with your needs. 

When you arrive in the branch, you’ll instantly get a feel for whether they’re right for you, based on how they welcome you, how friendly and professional the environment is, how comfortable you feel speaking to them, and so on. But when you’re dealing with an online property agent, this becomes an increasingly challenging feat.

  1. Support with sales negotiations and progression 

Local estate agents are incentivised by a sale, whereas online representatives usually work on a fixed fee basis – which means the latter usually takes longer to complete the sale.

Not only do traditional property professionals ensure the progress of a sale by liaising with both parties and their solicitors on a proactive, ongoing basis, but they will also protect your finances as much as possible by getting the best price. 

Our Holmfirth estate agent team has a specialist negotiator in-house to deal with offers – ensuring that both buyers get the best price, and sellers don’t settle for an offer that’s lower than it should be. 

  1. No upfront payment 

As the economy continues to fluctuate and customers are rightfully keen to keep a sharp eye on their finances, there’s often a compulsion to pick the option with the lowest immediate price tag. 

Yet, while online agents might seem cheaper at face value, they often require a heavy upfront payment – which means that you’ll be out of pocket in the event of your home not selling. 

Because most local property agents work on a commission basis, they will work hard to achieve the best possible offer on your behalf. 

Plus, they also tend to include marketing assets as standard, unlike online companies – which means services such as photography and viewing arrangements are included in the initial fee. That’s why it always pays to read the small print, to avoid mounting costs!  

  1. Access to resources  

With local property agents taking time and effort to build their career, they know the market very well and can leverage this insight to your benefit – particularly when it comes to utilising their network of contacts.

They can recommend trusted contractors, solicitors, insurance underwriters, inspectors, and more – mitigating uncertainties and risks as much as possible. This direction can make the crucial difference between completing in just a few weeks or many months. Plus, because these contacts are local, customers can also benefit from reduced prices – making work more affordable whilst supporting the local community.

Not only this, but traditional partners will also liaise with other local agents to matchmake buyers and sellers to benefit both parties.

Despite the increasing popularity of online estate agents, over 90% of sellers still choose local agents to market their properties, according to the HomeOwners Alliance. And when you take the above factors into consideration, this should come as no surprise.

Statistics show that moving house can be one of the most stressful journeys we embark on – scoring close to managing a bereavement or divorce. And when we reviewed this data even further, we ascertained that one of the most challenging aspects of moving was communication – or lack thereof.

Applegate Properties is local to Huddersfield and Holmfirth and provides a friendly, and expert service – delivering leading advice and maintaining excellent communication. Updating when there is no update, liaising throughout the entire sale chain, or simply guaranteeing to answer every call can be the difference between a challenging or exciting journey.

If you’re still doing your own research, and want to speak to a member of our Holmfirth estate agent team, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. 

You can either fill in our enquiry form, give us a call on 01484 682999, or why not visit our local branch for a coffee and a chat?

Sound like your kind of people?
Then we would love to hear from you.