A recent increase in the house sales fall-through rate is due in part to the rise in cheap online listing agents, says South West independent agent network The Experts in Property (TEiP).
Chairman Steve Moir (pictured, below) says he believes the current high fall-through rate, which he says is 34% among all agents in the UK compared to between 25% and 30% in 2010, is down to online agents working less hard in preventing fall-throughs.
He also says the fall-through rate within his network of agents is just 10%, and reveals that his members have begun offering to pay the upfront fees of vendors who have failed to sell their homes through an online agent.
“We are on a mission to demonstrate that the traditional full-service estate agent is better and at the end of the day, more cost effective than online listing agents, with less stress and disappointment, all the way to a move, and we are prepared to take a hit to prove the point,” he says.
To make these points, Steve has launched a video on YouTube as part of the campaign.
TEiP, which represents 80 traditional agents, has produced the “hard-hitting campaign” because its members are disappointed that there is no support from NAEA Propertymark to help consumers understand the difference between the two models.
The 1 minute 40 second video, which you can watch below, features a curiously purple online estate agent explaining how he can sell a potential vendor’s home for “no commission” but does charge an upfront fee “whether we sell it or not” which doesn’t include accompanied viewings or sales progression but does offer support from a national call centre.
One of the core messages of the video and TEiP campaign is that up-front fees reduce the incentive of the agent to sell the property or get the best price, one of the key criticism traditional agents have levelled against agents such as Purplebricks, Yopa and eMoov.
“As we all know, there is a whole lot more to selling a home than simply advertising it on the internet, and finding a buyer is only the start of what a good agent does for his/her clients,” says Steve Moir.
“Like full service estate agencies, some listing agencies are of course better than others and some vendors are obviously happy to take their own photographs, manage and conduct their own viewings, negotiate their own offers and liaise with solicitors and estate agents up and down the chain to sort any issues before they become problems.
“But surely that doesn’t suit the majority, including those who work, those with small children and the older generation, all of whom may not have the time, the confidence, or the inclination to handle all that themselves.”