In today’s digital world, online estate agents were an inevitable development, with their convenience and potential cost savings making them an attractive option for both buyers and sellers. But how do they compare with the tried and proven service delivered by an established, traditional estate agent?

Online agents offer similar services to traditional high street estate agents. They’ll provide advice on the price achievable for your home, produce floor plans, take professional photos and promote it on property listings websites.

They can arrange viewings, negotiate offers on your behalf and even liaise with your solicitor. But if you’re looking for local market expertise, a more personalised service and comprehensive support, you should definitely consider using a traditional estate agent.

Local knowledge.

A good agent could well have decades of in-depth knowledge of the local market conditions, including property values, trends, and buyer preferences, which means they can provide accurate and realistic advice, helping sellers price their homes competitively to achieve best result.

Online agents may lack this local expertise as they operate remotely and may struggle to compete with a traditional agent who knows your neighbourhood and its property market inside out – one reason why properties sold by online agents usually take longer to sell, and sell for less.

Level of service.

A professional, traditional estate agent will offer you a complete marketing package, along with a single point of contact and ongoing personal support throughout the whole selling process, from appraisal to completion, assisting with any issues along the way.

An online estate agent will probably offer you a standard package that includes an appraisal and an advert on major online property portals. The rest of the work, such as viewings and handling offers, will be your responsibility – with the option to pay extra for hosted viewings, professional photos and sales progression.

A more personal touch.  

It goes without saying that interactions with online agents are mostly in digital form, whereas your relationship with a local estate agent will be conducted on a personal basis where you’re able to express your preferences or concerns clearly, and get an immediate response.

Wider network knowledge.  

The digital platforms that online agents often rely on leaves them at a real disadvantage not suffered by a well-established and informed traditional agent when it comes to connecting with the target market.

The high value benefits of well-established networks within the local community of professionals, links with other estate agents, plus a ready access to potential buyers, all mean that a traditional agent can attract a wider pool of interested parties, increasing the chances of a successful sale.

Talking a better deal.

Astute face to face negotiations are an important factor when seeking the best property deal, and here again the experienced high street agent has the advantage over their online counterpart, who is unlikely to have comparable person to person negotiating expertise. A high street agent is more likely to do a better job of securing favourable terms for their clients and protecting their interests.

End to end support.

Buying or selling a home is invariably a series of complex stages involving legal, financial and administrative negotiations. With a typical online agent, limited on the ground support means that a client with only a basic package is left to handle their own viewings, vet buyers, and arrange any offline marketing.

Here again a traditional estate agent can provide a comprehensive level of professional support to help clients with any paperwork, solicitors, arrange property viewings, inspections and surveys.

Whether buying or selling your home, working with a good local agent who can provide you with personal, on the ground reassurance, support and guidance can make all the difference.