As a well-established High Street Estate Agent, we appreciate that we live in a world where you can do almost everything without having to speak to another human being. You can shop in-store and use the automated check-outs. You can order take-away online. You can ask for recommendations for local tradespeople and send a quick message to your preferred choice. You can pay your bills and do your banking through your phone.
It’s quick, easy and (connection issues and password resets aside) hassle free.
Technology is changing the way people do every day things. Sometimes it’s for the better – speeding up processes, giving people more control over their finances or providing them with information at the click of a button. However, there are other occasions when maybe the convenience and benefits are more perceived than realised.
Take selling a house, for example.
These days it’s possible to use an online estate agent to sell your property rather than relying on the high street agents. Everything can be done via an internet connection, from listing the property for sale to arranging viewings, and seeing updates as they come in. On paper it can seem the cheaper of two options, with low-cost fees to tempt you in.
However, selling your property online can be a bit like shopping online. You order kale, but there’s none in stock, so you get sent sliced greens instead. You might like sliced greens, and they might go perfectly with your bangers and mash, but it’s not what you asked for. It’s a compromise.
Traditional high street estate agents have undoubtedly felt the pinch from the emerging online market, and as a result, have had to adapt. With reduced overheads, online agents can offer lower fees; however, many traditional agents now offer fees that can easily compete with their online counterparts.
For example, The Purple Property Shop, along with a few other high street estate agents in Bolton, now offer the choice between paying on completion, or paying a reduced fee up front (with a guarantee of no further fees). It’s important to be aware that many online agents who offer a reduced up-front fee will make a further charge if your property hasn’t sold within say ten months.
The high street agents have an added incentive to sell your property. The work that has gone in to providing a valuation, taking the photographs, do the listings, and conduct the viewings all take time (all at no extra charge). Time costs money – which means it’s only worth it if the job is actually completed. We genuinely want to get your property sold. That’s the whole point of our business. It is literally what we’re there for.
Whilst money can be an overriding issue for some vendors, which makes perfect sense, high street estate agents can offer something the online ones can’t; a genuinely personal service. With a base in the area you’re selling in, they have far greater knowledge than a faceless rep who covers a much greater range of postcodes.
Here at The Purple Property Shop we know the areas we work in. We know the local amenities in Bolton, what schools have the best reputations, what the rush hour traffic is like, how good the local chippy is, what days the bins go out. We can answer the questions you desperately want the answers to. If we don’t know the answer immediately, we have people on the ground who can find out. Quickly.
For those who are selling properties they don’t live close to, it’s also helpful to know you have an agent not far away who can pop in to keep an eye on the house. Knowing a property is being checked on removes a lot of the worries that other vendors may experience; stopping the junk mail from piling up, making sure the front garden hasn’t become full of litter or dead leaves etc. These are the little things that can really make a huge difference.
Having a physical presence as a high street estate agent also means we’re there, for you to just pop in and see us. Whether you’re dropping off keys or have a question you want to ask as you’re passing by. Of course, you can still phone, email or contact us via social media – those options all exist, but sometimes you want a face to face. We can provide that.
When you’re selling the biggest asset you will ever own, isn’t it better to be seen as a person, rather than just a name on the screen and a house number? Do you just want to be “Mrs Smith from 54 Letsbe Avenue”, or would you rather be “Karen and Bob, selling their 1 bed apartment because their first baby is due in November”?
Regardless of the reason why your property is on the market, we understand it can be a very difficult, and occasionally stressful time. When things don’t go according to plan, when others get nervous and your chain looks like it might collapse, those are the times you really do want to speak to a real live person. Sometimes all it takes is to come in, sit down, have a cup of tea, and talk it through with us to suddenly make it all seem so much better.
Sally Jones is a Director and Co-Founder of The Purple Property Shop, an award-winning estate agent serving Bolton, Bury and the surrounding areas of North West England. The Purple Property Shop was founded in 2010 and quickly grew to become one of Bolton’s leading estate agents, specialising in residential property sales, property lettings and management.