Online Estate Agents seem too good to be true?

Online Estate Agents seem too good to be true?

9:29 AM, 23rd December 2016, About 7 years ago 10

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Hello an online estate agent is offering a hard to believe marketing deal to advertise property on all the big sites for an absurdly low £99 until sold.too good

Ive found sites that are costly compared to what it cost say four years ago so how come can these agents undercut everyone?

Also why are High Street agents still in abundance surely they’re irrelevant these days where everything is done on social media even the US election ?

Is it too good to be true ?


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Nigel Fielden

11:00 AM, 23rd December 2016, About 7 years ago

Hard to understand, I agree. However I advertised a house for rent on Upad a couple of weeks ago. They advertised it on Rightmove, Zoopla and Prime Location all for the sum of £96. I had 5 prospective tenants all within 4-5 days and the first one to view it took it. My usual letting agent would have charged about £400 for the same outcome (even though I had to do the viewings and raise the ASTmyself)

Martin McD

12:58 PM, 23rd December 2016, About 7 years ago

OpenRent also provide a good service at a lower rate, I am only associated with them as a satisfied customer.

Graham Bowcock

13:29 PM, 23rd December 2016, About 7 years ago

Dear Simon

You pose an interesting question but the answer must be to do with what happens when things go wrong. I am not sure if you are talking about sales or lettings agents, but the same basic principles apply.

Starting at the beginning not everybody has the time or inclination to do what needs to be done. A decent agent will provide sound advice on the local market and provide helpful particulars (with good photos) and make sure that all documents are in order. For a letting this may well include gas and electric certificates and for sales and lettings an EPC is needed. Legal requirements.

Moving on to viewings this is also time consuming and viewers usually have lots of technical questions. Ok, most owners can explain where the parking is and what the neighbours are like, but what about questions on the sales process? How much does the average vendor or landlord know about the legals?

A good agent will set up a deal which is right for the landlord. For a sale this will obviously include the best price, but also verification that the buyer can pay. You don't want to get to exchange and find that the buyer hasn't got any money - have they got a mortgage sorted? Are they happy with valuation/survey reports? All this needs reviewing and monitoring.

The amount of chasing and paperwork that agents have to do would surprise most clients. And then of course, if things do go wrong who is responsible? My firm's PI policy (with a good claim's history) costs nearly £100,000 a year. Eye watering! We have to agree procedures with our insurers. We are FCA registered and have to do money laundering procedures. Our fee income is not money for old rope. Most agency work is done on a conditional fee basis (no deal, no fee) so this has to be factored into sales generally - until clients want to pay just for the time taken. Clients withdraw properties because they can - change of mind, illness, matrimonial - and most agents cannot charge anything other than a token fee.

Internet agents have a role in this modern world but their clients need to appreciate the extent of a full service from a reputable local agent and value that.

And yes we are still open all day today - 23rd December!

Happy Christmas


16:34 PM, 23rd December 2016, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Graham Bowcock" at "23/12/2016 - 13:29":

An excellent response from Graham Bowcock. Go to the top of the class Sir.

steve watt

9:51 AM, 24th December 2016, About 7 years ago

I have used Openrent about 10 times. They charge £29 and the property appears on Rightmove, primelocation, zoopla, gumtree etc. Very satisfied, although I would say you have to be careful about timing. The adverts are pulled after about 50 enquiries (I presume openrent have to pay rightmove according to the number of enquiries).
Because prospective tenants can be very fickle (they change their mind, they forget they were looking, they realise the flat was cheap because it was not in London but in Redcar, they want the flat in 3 months, or they can't wait 2 weeks, or it is a mystery number where there is never a reply) one may find that there is not one suitable tenant out of the 50. In which case you just spend another £29.
The advertising is completed using a template, so it is not possible to wax lyrical about the property, but pictures can say 1000 words, and this is where you can have the edge over letting agents who can be be lazy.

Si G

10:18 AM, 24th December 2016, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Graham Bowcock" at "23/12/2016 - 13:29":

Graham, thankyou for your detailed reply i agree cant beat a shop window and local knowledge so looks like in a way the old adage "you get what you pay for" applies i agree people on a 9-5 or busy may not have the time or experience to be "hands on" with all the behind the scenes paperwork, inventory, viewings etc.
I realise this site is primarily concerned with the lettings market rather than the resale market also.
Thanks also to the other respondents and have an enjoyable festive season to all.

Si G

10:19 AM, 24th December 2016, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Nigel Fielden" at "23/12/2016 - 11:00":

Thanks Nigel will make a note nice to save a bit when one can these days

Si G

10:22 AM, 24th December 2016, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Martin McDonagh" at "23/12/2016 - 12:58":

Thanks Martin and Steve will make a note of open rent for the future, looks like with the general uk housing shortage buy 2 let in some form or other is here to stay adaption is the game

Rob Crawford

18:42 PM, 24th December 2016, About 7 years ago

I think you will find that goes the extra mile by using local representatives. You have the benefit of low cost in line processes and local knowledge. They are also very flexible in their services permitting the landlord to decide how involved they want to be.

Si G

14:41 PM, 24th February 2017, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Rob Crawford" at "24/12/2016 - 18:42":

Hello Rob, a friend is looking at entering the b2let market and wants to cut out as much outlay as possible, can anyone suggest cheaper options than the traditional high street agent or is he best to simply hand the property to them ive heard of 10 - 12% being charged seems a tad high.
ps ill look at the above company too

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