While they present themselves as a cheaper option, online estate agents cannot match the benefits of using a real local estate agent, according to one man who has tried both.
The happy Dawsons customer from Swansea originally placed his property with a well publicised online estate agent, before switching to Dawsons.
“I felt they had a good platform which made it easy to get feedback. Also, we felt the house we were selling would do most of the work itself,” he said.
However, after two weeks of viewings, he started to doubt his choice.
“My wife and I were conducting the viewings and we were finding that some of the feedback we were getting related to things we had said during the viewings. While we were thinking these were very positive things, people were clearly thinking in a different way to us.”
He started to suspect that he and his wife were not well placed to handle the viewings and to answer potential buyers’ questions in the best way.
“It was making us think that maybe if we had local estate agents dealing with the viewings they would be better equipped to deal with those questions.”
Being keen to sell the house quickly, he put it on the market with Dawsons, and was immediately impressed by their proactive approach.
“Dawsons have a good presence in the area, and I was struck by how proactive they were: they will call people up to tell them they have something that might suit them, and they have a database of people looking to move to the area via the Relocation Agent Network.
“Their estate agents are well equipped to handle the viewing and answer any awkward questions, and I also think people generally feel a bit more relaxed viewing with an agent rather than the people who own the house.”
Just as he hoped, Dawsons secured a buyer very quickly and the sale progressed smoothly. He appreciated having easy, regular contact with Dawsons so that he could keep up to date with what was happening.
“I liked having that personal touch and it was good to have that local point of contact.”
In hindsight, he feels that the apparent cost savings of the online platform did not compare to the benefits of having a local agent on the case.
“The commission we paid Dawsons is a small percentage compared to what you get from the sale of the house so we were willing to take that hit to sell property – and they sold it very, very quickly.
“It’s a nice house in a good area so we were surprised we didn’t quickly get a buyer through the online platform. I think I underestimated the value of a local estate agent compared to an online platform.”
David Parton (pictured), branch manager for Dawsons, said that outperforming an online estate agent comes naturally for Dawsons.
“When the vendor described his issues with his experience to date and what he was looking for, we could clearly see we would be the ideal match for his needs,” he said.
“Our highly experienced Senior Negotiator/Valuer, who has spent 20 years with the company and lives in the area, carried out the market appraisal and clearly laid out what our strong team of 5 would do every step of the way, from ringing out to our database the same day to gain viewings, typing up the sale and progressing the sale up until exchange and completion.”
Although the vendor had paid an up front fee of several hundred pounds to the online estate agent, he could still appreciate that paying Dawsons’ fees, if they agreed a sale, would be well worth his while.
“We lined up six viewings within the first day, and the vendor appreciated the constructive feedback he received from us within 24 hours of them happening.”
Very quickly an offer was made which Dawsons negotiated and agreed the same day.
“Due to the complex nature of the chain and different dates required for different parties within the chain, it took a lot of my 14 years’ industry experience to progress the sale – even over the Christmas break which fell in the middle of it,” said David. “The vendor and I spoke almost daily on the run up to exchange of contracts and he commented at the time that it’s a good job we have a dedicated sales progressor within the team.
Dawsons finally completed the whole process and moved the vendor and his family to their new home.
“We are all thrilled to have been a part of and have enjoyed catch ups with him and his wife as we regularly bump into them within our local shopping area,” he said.