Has London Benefited from Online Estate Agents?

Online estate agents seem to have taken the United Kingdom by storm, with many homeowners in the nation making the switch from high street to online agent. This is most evident in estate agency royalty, Savills, recent investment in online estate agent startup YOPA. The minority stake purchased by Savills is testament to the potential in this rising industry, as a true veteran in the field has invested into a direct competitor of their own company.

While the Savills procurement is a great example of potential, it does not show the current benefit that online estate agents have on the property selling market, if any. The plastering of Tepilo, PurpleBricks and HouseSimple adverts up and down the country, always tell the tale of the infinite savings, ease of use and flexibility customers can gain by using their platforms. How much of this is true? More importantly, how much of this is true for our Londoners? The London property market is responsible for a hefty number of property sales in the UK, meaning that these online estate agents should have created options to appease our beloved London residents.

Variety

Variety is the spice of life. However too many options can just become overwhelming and confusing. The introduction of online estate agents has offered a nice alternative to high street agents, with competitive pricing and an innovative process, it’s refreshing to see some healthy competition against the traditional agents. However, as with any new field, there isn’t just one top player, there are several. With the emergence of online estate agents, there came numerous competitors in the field. So much so that when considering an online estate agent it is difficult to know where to start, the different business models and price points can all be somewhat perplexing.

However it seems that our intelligent Londoners have embraced rather than opposed the diversity. Nearly 3000 unique searches are made each month for the term “online estate agents” just from the London area alone, not only this, several thousand users have registered to our online estate agency, CastleSmart for either selling or buying purposes. The major traction from London shows the want and maybe need for the service that online estate agents offer.

Online estate agents

Savings

The unique selling point of each and every online estate agent out available; their savings. Nearly all adverts will brandish in big bold lettering “Save XXX amount using our service”, while this is a great statement to make, how much of this is true? Here at CastleSmart our cheapest package will see a customer saving £7000 on a £500,000 home with the high street agent taking a 1.5% commission.However, PurpleBricks, arguably the largest online estate agent in town only offer an approximate saving of £6,500 exclusively for London customers when considering the same criteria. While this a large jump from the aforementioned savings it’s still thousands in savings, something that cannot be argued against.

 

Sales

If you weren’t aware, the business model for most online estate agents is a fixed price fee. Meaning that the seller pays an amount up front and their property listed on the market, the only flaw in this model when compared to traditional estate agents is that you’re still paying regardless if your property sells or not. This is major difference between the traditional and online business and also the cause of deterrence from the online option. A sale may not be guaranteed, but that does not mean that they do not happen as both agents do essentially the same thing. Properties nowadays are found online, not by contacting estate agents, meaning that it is the agent’s responsibility to make sure your homes can be found on all major property platforms (which is the service that traditional and online agents alike offer).

With this in mind, do Londoners successfully sell their properties via online estate agents? After speaking with a PurpleBricks representative they stated they currently have “795 properties on the market in London” and “300 have sold recently” although unable to give an exact time frame for “recently”. Now, this comparatively to the amount of properties that are sold in London on a monthly basis is just a splash in the water, but it does provide evidence that properties can and are being successfully sold in London via online estate agents.

purplebricks

Availability and Comfort

The hustle and bustle in London can sometimes be intimidating and but important extremely time consuming. If you observe the average Central London employee, their frantic pace makes it seem as though there isn’t enough time in the day. And there probably isn’t. It seems the online estate agent industry has seen this and answered the busy home sellers prayers. The online agents pride themselves in creating platforms that are not only cheaper than the traditional kind, but much more convenient to use. For example CastleSmart boasts a simple four step process to list your property on the market, which in a total run time takes approximately 10 minutes. As you can imagine this a considerably shorter than visiting an estate agents office and also provides the comfort of your own home.

Speed is not the only item in the online agent convenience package, it also bolsters availability. Your average real estate agent will available from the hours of 9 to 5, after which time you’ll have a hard time getting hold of them. Juxtaposed to this, most online estate agents offer 24/7 availability, allowing you to list your property on the market any time of the day.

 

Conclusion

Yes, it’s fair to say Londoners have undoubtedly benefited from the launch of online estate agents. They’ve flocked in their thousands to give their services a try and the results have been extremely positive. While we’re way’s away from a complete transition to the online agent, they’re definitely here to stay.

You May Also Enjoy

how to present your property for sale
Estate Agent Talk

6 Property Management Marketing Strategies For And Beyond

Did you know that over 70% of individual renters find their new homes on the­ internet? In our current digital e­ra, a sturdy online existence­ isn’t just an extra for property management firms—it’s a critical need. Nonethele­ss, with innumerable property administrators scrambling for visibility, how might your firm gain promine­nce? The solution is a de­tailed…
Read More
Estate Agent Talk

Strategies for Successful Real Estate Investment: Emphasising Luxury and Privacy

The appeal of luxury real estate lies in its ability to combine opulence with exclusivity, offering more than just a property but a lifestyle investment. For those seeking to enter this lucrative market, understanding the nuances of where and how to invest is crucial. As we navigate through key strategies for successful real estate investments,…
Read More
Estate Agent Talk

Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill – Thoughts from the Industry

The Leasehold and Freehold Reform Bill has become law with the Act making it easier and cheaper for leaseholders to buy their freehold, increase standard lease extension terms to 990 years for houses and flats, and provide greater transparency over service charges. The Act will also remove barriers for leaseholders to challenge their landlords’ unreasonable…
Read More
Who are Rentd
Letting Agent Talk

Renters (Reform) Bill Dropped – Thoughts from the Industry

The Renters (Reform) Bill has been dropped as a result of the general election being called. Here are some thoughts from within the property industry. Ben Beadle, Chief Executive of the National Residential Landlords Association: “It is hugely disappointing that this Bill will not now make it into law. The news comes despite the fact that…
Read More
Estate Agent Talk

July 4 General Election – Thoughts from the Industry

Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak has called a general election for July 4, 2024, citing now being the time for the people of Britain to choose the next government. Here are some thoughts from within the property industry. Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s property expert: “A look back at recent elections shows that house prices and activity usually…
Read More
Rightmove logo
Breaking News

Rightmove’s weekly mortgage tracker

Matt Smith, Rightmove’s mortgage expert said: “Today’s inflation drop feels like an important milestone on the road to the first Base Rate cut. There’s been some to-ing and fro-ing over whether we’ll see a summer Base Rate cut, but today’s news will likely reinforce some of the positive words coming from the Bank of England…
Read More