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The estate agency industry has seen quite a shake up in the last few years with the rise in popularity of online agents. DIY agents such as Purplebricks have certainly brought a different dynamic to the industry.

Choosing your Estate agent should be a considered and well researched process.

To help with your decision please consider the following points:


The low fees can certainly seem very attractive. In comparison with DIY agents, your usual high street agent or full service agent will usually charge between 1% and 1.5% plus VAT of the sales price.

As with most things in life you get what you pay for. The reason why so many DIY agents are so cheap is because you have to do a lot of the work yourself whereas a full service agent like us will do the work for you.

Online agents generally charge their fees upfront irrespective of whether they sell your home or not.

They have your money regardless. Ask yourself – where is the incentive for selling your home?

Costly Extras

Online and DIY agents tend to limit their offer. Many have a time limit written into their contact on how long they will market your home for. If your home doesn’t sell in this time you will have to pay out another upfront fee to stay with them whereas a full service agent does not have a time limit.

Many online agents charge extras that a full service would include in their fee. Floor plans, brochures, for sale boards, viewings, sales negotiation, photography are a few areas the online agents charge for.

Quality and level of Service

When considering which agent to choose, dig into exactly what you get for you money. Do you get a real person that you can speak to on a regular basis about your sale. Do you get a point of contract? Once the sale is agreed most online agents pass your file to a call centre.

With Williams & Donovan you have the convenience of a high street office staffed with real people, who you can actually talk to face to face.

Selling a home is a personal process. It is full of ups and downs. The human and relationship element is fundamental in ensuring the process goes as smoothly as possible. Where is the personal touch if you are speaking to a random person in a call centre which is based miles away? Where is the human touch if sellers and buyers have to manage their sale/purchase through an external call centre either over the phone or using a digital platform?

And finally …….

The irony of all this is that the internet has revolutionised the entire property market. We are all Online now and we market our properties on far more online platforms than the so called online agents!

Of course, with the advent of so-called hybrid and online-only estate agents, some people – not least the national press - seem to think that the days of the traditional high street agent are numbered.

But they couldn’t be more wrong! Here at Williams & Donovan, we’re confident that the future for good traditional full service High Street estate agents is as rosy as ever – particularly at those times when market conditions are a little more challenging.

Get in touch

Call us on Benfleet: 01268 755252 / Hockley: 01702 200666 or send us a message...