Which type of estate agent is right for you?

October 22nd, 2021

The world of estate agency has changed drastically over the last few years. With the development and increasing use of technology, the way in which we search for property has changed which explains why the way in which estate agents work has also changed.

Selling your home can be a daunting task for any homeowner. With so many options available when choosing an agent, it can be even more of a minefield for some people. Here, we will discuss some of the options and how they differ to help you choose the estate agent that is right for you.

DIY/Online Only

Property portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla really changed the way in which we search for homes. For many people, they no longer felt the need to visit a high street branch to discuss their property requirements as they could now search for property online at the touch of a button and in their own time. With this, we saw a rise in online/diy estate agents that offered a more cost effective, ‘out of hours’ service.

Over the years, this type of service has developed and there are now many different types of ‘online’ estate agents. These agents can work well for homeowners that want a more ‘hands-on’ approach. Often you will need to take your own photos, conduct your own viewings and negotiate your own offers. This type of service will require a confident seller who is comfortable carrying out these tasks and will often mean that you will need to be in direct contact with your buyer. This can be really helpful in moving the legal process forward but it can also be very time consuming for you as a seller.

Large Corporate Firms

These agents are your ‘chain’ estate agents. Big, established brands with multiple branches in different locations. These are typically your more traditional agents that have a high street presence and operate within ‘business hours’. Some customers see these agents as somewhat of a security blanket, they are the tried and tested agents that have been around for years which makes a lot of people feel more comfortable.

They will typically have a larger team of staff and often you will find the service can be a little less personal. They generally have high overheads, an office on the high street is not cheap! With that, they will need to sell a high level of houses to pay the bills. They will often have established processes in place which will sometimes mean their sales strategy is a ‘one size fits all’ and less of a tailored approach.

Small Independents

These are your super local ‘village’ agents. Very often they have been around for years, sometimes they are very well established family run businesses. In many locations, these are the ‘go-to’ agents that will sell a high property in one particular location. Again, they will also usually have a high street presence and will operate within ‘business hours’.

They may have a slightly smaller team than the average corporate agent and will sometimes offer a more personal service, however, they will also still need to work with a lot of customers and sell lots of homes in order to fund their businesses and high street offices.

Personal Estate Agents and Property Finders

These are often ‘one man bands’ that have set up their own businesses. Generally they are highly experienced agents that have come from a corporate or independent estate agency but now want to take the reins and own their own business. They will rarely have an office or high street presence and tend to work on the road, out and about in the local community. Often you will find them working away at their favourite local coffee shop! This means they can offer a service outside of your typical ‘business hours’.

For some customers, they prefer the security of a team so that they know their house sale is still taken care of if their agent takes time off or is unwell. However, you will find personal property agents will work within a support network of other agents or will have a supporting member of staff who acts as an extra layer of support for their customers. These agents will usually work with a very small number of clients and will not only help with their sale but will help them find their next home as well, they will then oversee the whole transaction. As they work on a much smaller scale, they often offer a very personalised service with marketing tailored for you and your home. (Psst…this type of agency is us by the way!)