A network of high street firms has launched a ‘What, no commission?’ campaign aimed at consumers thinking of using an online – or ‘call centre’ – agent.
The Experts in Property – formerly part of Team – has almost 80 offices in the south-west.
It said it had created the campaign “in response to a high number of its member agencies requesting material explaining the differences between traditional full service estate agents and the ‘cheap’ online-only alternatives, disappointed that there is no help or support in this area from their trade bodies, such as NAEA Propertymark”.
Steve Moir, chairman of the network, said: “Decisions about buying or selling a home are not taken lightly, and why should they be? Our homes are our biggest, most crucial and highly valued assets, so it makes absolute and non-disputable sense to take the path of greatest care when selling them.
“Granted, listing agencies are cheap, but is that really the case when all the basic extras are added on and they have no incentive to get the best price?
“As we all know, there is a whole lot more to selling a home than simply advertising it on the internet, and finding a buyer is only the start of what a good agent does for clients.”
He went on: “Back in 2010, the fall-through rate was widely reported at around 20-25%, while new data reveals that 34% of home sales fell through in the first quarter of 2017.
“Perhaps this increase is due, in part, to the rise in popularity of cheap listing agents and their lack of effort in preventing some of these fall-throughs?
“Indeed, the fall-through rate within our network currently sits at an average of around 10%, and some of our agents have begun offering to cover the up-front fees paid by vendors to online agents for their unsold homes, confident that they will achieve a sale for these new instructions, at the best price.
“We are on a mission to demonstrate that the traditional full-service estate agent is better, and at the end of the day more cost-effective, than online listing agents, with less stress and disappointment.”
The campaign includes brochures which will be made available in all its member offices.
The network said it is keen to get its message to vendors UK-wide, so is happy to talk to individual firms, affinity groups or multi-office firms about providing them with their own ‘white label’ versions for a nominal £98 + VAT charge.