High street agents losing out to online rivals
As the business world continues to move away from traditional shopfronts, high street agents are slowly realising that the future may not be as promising as once hoped.
For decades, high street estate agents have enjoyed a bountiful supply of potential home buyers coming through their doors on a daily basis, but their dominance over both the local and national property market could be nearing its end unless they act fast.
In the days prior to the internet, any individual looking to buy had little choice but to liaise with their local agent in order to find the perfect home for themselves. And for many years, these agents enjoyed a handsome commission on all sold house prices. However, with an increasing number of online rivals offering the same service – often with lower fees – is it any wonder that more and more traditional agents are beginning to feel the squeeze?
Of course, for certain older members of society, there remains the belief that an established local high street agent possesses a level of knowledge regarding the area that is worth the additional price. For younger, more tech savvy individuals, however, there is little a local agent can offer them in terms of knowledge that they cannot attain themselves via a quick Google search – and with stagnating wage increases and continually rising house prices, the appeal of an online alternative with cheaper fees is hard to resist.
In recent years, industry analysts have been quick to note the fall in business experienced by high street agents. Even market leaders such as Foxtons and Countrywide have seen the value of their shares plummet by over a quarter in the past year alone.
It unsurprising to learn, then, that many larger companies have been examining the possibility of merging their assets in an effort to remain on top. However, with online rivals such as Purple Bricks, Yopa and eMoov posting record profits year on year, many experts are wondering whether the former giants of high street sales have left their plans for recovery a little too late, and investors appear to be more than aware of this shift in fortunes according to Varde Partners’ Tim Mooney, who claims that high street commissions are simply “a joke”.
“There’s an analogy to travel agents — nobody books their holidays in a high-street travel agent’s anymore, it’s online,” he added.
For younger people, this is not so much of an issue, having grown-up in a digital world where any information can be accessed from a handheld device in a matter of seconds. For older, more traditional sellers, however, the switch to digital mediums may feel a little overwhelming.
Luckily, older vendors who need to sell their house fast, but would prefer to avoid online agents will always have the option of talking to house buying companies such as National Homebuyers who will happily discuss all available options that are open to them. And with the ability to complete a sale on a house within two weeks, regardless of situation or location, they can rest assured that the stress normally associated with selling a home can be easily avoided.
Prefer to avoid online estate agents? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.