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Over the past few years, we have seen an increase in the number of online estate agents but a key question is whether they pose a real threat to the high street agent. The main advantage to online agents is obvious, they significantly reduce the cost sellers incur when selling a property. However, does this mean they are ready to dominate the market place?

Depending on what you read, it is conventional wisdom that online agents now control 5% of the market and some expect this to increase to 50% over the coming years. Although cost is a major factor for sellers, high street agents still provide a service which hold the seller’s hand throughout the entire process. They still have know-how that is very difficult to replicate within the online space. Some of these include local knowledge, understanding which buyers to present to a particular property and negotiating the sale price, to name but a few.

Regardless of having to pay more with a high street agent, many still feel more comfortable when dealing with people face to face, especially when we are talking about an asset with such high value. This is why even though online agents will penetrate a share of the market, high street agents are still here to stay. Their knowledge, expertise and end to end service are invaluable to many sellers and whilst online agents pose a threat, it won’t be as prominent as some expect.

That being said, sellers will increasingly have more choice when deciding which agent they use to sell their property. Although cost is important, choosing the agent most suited to selling a seller’s home is the first question that should be answered. Finding the right agent to sell your home will possibly lead to a smoother, more stress free and successful sale.

Therefore, a seller should focus on finding the right agent for their home.

Over the last couple of years, we have seen a rise in property technology. The property market has traditionally been slower on the uptake of technology and is one of the few industries to fully embrace the benefits of technology. This trend has seen a dramatic shift not only with the rise of online agents but also innovative companies looking to enhance the services both buyers and sellers have when buying or selling a property.

In the near future, we will see many investors and entrepreneurs infiltrate the market with the latest innovations trying to disrupt the market. I can see many of the traditional high street agent practices increasingly moving online offering better services, increased efficiency and advanced products to possibly change the way agents market and sell a property. Much of the services offered by agents will be more automated and will accommodate the busy lives that potential buyers and sellers have.

This is a step in the right direction and it will be interesting to view the landscape of property sales in the next few years.
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