The face of property selling has made a dramatic shift over the last 10 years. Whereas it used to be that the majority of property buyers would discover homes for sale using the services of high street estate agents, it’s now more often than not the case that buyers will turn to the internet as their first port of call.
To meet this increasing demand for online services and instant accessibility, estate agents have also been migrating online. In addition, the 21st century has seen the rise of the exclusively online agent – one which operates solely on the internet with the express intention of reducing both their own costs and those of their prospective customers.
Because so much of this business is now conducted online, it’s crucial that property buyers be able to navigate through the mire of inexperienced, ‘have-a-go’ online agents, in order to discover those agents who both know their stuff and are worth the financial outlay necessary to engage their services. And, when one is in pursuit of the perfect home, making wise financial decisions is absolutely crucial.
From a Seller’s Perspective
To properly understand how competent an online estate agent is at doing their job, one must consider their role from both a seller’s and buyer’s perspective. For sellers, it’s essential that the agent is able to present their property in the best possible light, reach as many potential buyers as possible, and to recommend the right price in the first instance. Buyers can evaluate the effectiveness of an agent from the outset by paying attention to these details: for example, how many sites has the agent used to list the property, how professional do the photos look and how precise are the floor measurements included in the listing? A good online agent, such as House Network, will be thorough in both their listings and presentation.
Communication is Key
Once you enter into the buying process, an agent’s professional abilities will become much clearer. As a buyer, you should expect a comptetent estate agent to be easily contactable and readily available for questions and queries. In many respects, online estate agents are no different to high street estate agents. They should make contact with you no more than 48 hours after a viewing, and seem eager to go. However, companies that operate online should assume more responsibility for communication than high street operators, since they don’t have the luxury of a physical premises. As a buyer, if you feel as though an online estate agent is not being open, honest and as communicative as they should be, this should be a warning sign that perhaps they aren’t the agent for you.