The High-street Agent vs the Online Agent; be in the know

Feb 1, 2019 | Blog

It’s been the big debate of 2018 and continues into 2019. How do we know if the hyped-up online Estate Agents are worth taking a chance on? How much do we really know about this business model?

We caught up with CEO and serial Entrepreneur Maximillian de Kment about the pro’s and con’s of each business model.

It’s true, more and more ‘Online Agents’ seem to crop up daily and last year saw many new contenders trying to crack the online market. However, many have already fallen at the first hurdle.

There’s no denying, some people are considering a cheaper, online alternative when it comes to selling their property. However, let’s take a minute to reflect; your home is potentially one of the single most expensive purchases you will make in your life. Wouldn’t it make sense to appoint an established, tried and tested, local Estate Agent?

With this in mind, we’ve come up with the pros and cons of both business models to find out the best way to sell your property hassle-free, in the quickest time period for the maximum return.

We understand Online Agents offer some positives…

  • Online agents offer a low cost, fixed-fee service where you will pay anywhere from £300-£1500 to sell your property. This could save you money.
  • Online agents usually offer a range of packages and optional services / extras for you to choose from. This means that you can choose how much help you want.
  • Online agents often have a call centre with support staff ready and waiting to answer your questions whenever you call.
  • Some online agents will let the seller take their own photos and provide their own floor-plans. If you have a great camera and enjoy a spot of photography, you may like this autonomy!

However there are negatives to using Online Agents…

  • Because most online agents operate purely online and do not have a physical High Street office, it is highly likely that you will not have any face-to-face contact with them throughout the sale of your property. If you prefer speaking to a designated person, someone who understands your buying or selling position and will look after you throughout the marketing and selling transitions, a high street agent is better for this. A direct, personalised, point of call.
  • A local high-street agent will have significant knowledge of the property market and will know the value of different properties in the area very well. An online agent may not have this wealth of knowledge and experience. Plus, the homeowner (conducting the viewing in online Agent cases) is not a property expert. How can they offer air comparisons, market knowledge or insights?
  • Online estate agents charge an upfront fees to sell your property, and the huge mistake people make is this. They don’t realise you have to pay them even if they don’t successfully sell your property. It’s an upfront fee… regardless of sale! This is a concern for many cash-conscious sellers as you can end up handing over £1000 for a service that doesn’t actually work or get you results. Traditional Estate Agents operate a “no-sale-no-fee” approach, because they only get paid their commission if they successfully sell the property, meaning they go the extra mile to make your sale happen, else they don’t get paid! Although you could end up paying more to a high street agent, we believe it’s for a first-class service, and we can guarantee you won’t pay a penny if we don’t sell your home.
  • If you’re not confident taking responsibility of communication (with potential buyers as well as solicitors), and don’t have great negotiation skills, an online Estate Agent service is going to force you to take on these responsibilities that you don’t enjoy. This can be extremely time consuming and unless you are prepared to deal with picky and sometimes greedy buyers, it can be a stressful time not a smooth ride.


Ultimately, we understand some people base their decisions on price. However, we’d like to remind people that buying or selling property is no small task. You need professionals around you operating at the same level of integrity, decorum, speed and professionalism as yourself. Why should you scrimp on cost when you are dealing with your family home, or similar?

Here at Saxe Coburg, we don’t want people to come to us because we are cheap. We want people to come to us because of our service.

Ultimately, your decision should be made on what’s the most important to you, and what you are and aren’t prepared to pay for when selling your home. Ask local friends and neighbours for personal recommendations for a local high-street Estate Agent that you feel you can trust, cares about its customers and offers a face-to-face personal service.