The Scorpion #2 – The Property Chronicle
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Real estate, alternative real assets and other diversions

The Scorpion #2 Online vs high street, estate agents' boards, and rude receptionists

The Agent

The battle between traditional high street agencies and their online competitors rumbles on, in a Goliath versus Goliath sort of way. While city investors don’t seem very keen on the former at the moment, the latter are not without their problems either. Do you care? Probably not…unless you’re a shareholder. But what do you need to know as a fee paying customer?

Online agencies tend to charge a relatively small fee, but they charge it upfront, and it is not refunded if the property remains unsold. The traditional agencies charge a larger fee, but it is usually a percentage of the sale price, and it is payed after the sale has taken place. No sale, no fee. The data can be manipulated to make a case for either system. But to me, the important thing as a seller, would be the net result. I may not want to pay for a service that is, to many, intangible, but I don’t really care so long as I end up with what I wanted. To argue against this is like refusing to take a pay rise because of the extra income tax you would incur. On the other hand, if you think a traditional agency brings no extra value to the table, then it makes perfect sense to list your property on eBay. More on this subject another time…

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