New research has revealed the key reason why online and hybrid agents have had limited success in disrupting the estate agent sector.
Most vendors care much less about the fee they pay their estate agency or whether they are invoiced up-front or on completion than they do about selling their home quickly and for the asking price.
And only 21% of vendors are happy to pay their estate agency fees up front, the research among 3,186 people by consumer advice website PropertyRoad has found.
It also found that 60% of home owners were happy to pay their agent on completion, while 19% said they had no preference.
Its spokesperson says: “The online estate agency model was born very much on the belief people wanted lower fees and were prepared to pay upfront to get them.
“If the results of our survey are anything to go by, this is not true, even for people already considering an online agent.”
Low-cost estate agent
The research reveals that those paying up-front understand they are getting a ‘cheap’ service from their estate agent in return for possibly losing their payment should the home not sell.
Those paying on completion were prepared to pay substantially more to sell their home because they were guaranteed a sale.
Within this group, a third were prepared to pay up to £1,000, another third up to £1,500 and the rest up to £2,000. The average fee in the UK is over £4,000.
But the disruption that online agents has brought to the housing market is also evident.
Nearly three-quarters of vendors said they would be happy to conduct some of the viewings themselves, while the rest said they’d prefer their agent to do all the viewings.