Over the last few years we have seen a major increase in the number of no advice property sites helping people to sell and rent property. Many of these have made their way onto the stock market turning ambitious ideas into hundreds of millions of pounds. While the emergence of these no advice websites has forced the real estate market to sit up and listen, is there a long-term role to play for no advice property sites?
Someone to talk to
The main benefit of online no advice property service sites are that they are able to cut costs and commissions to the bone. Due to relatively small overheads much of these cost savings can be passed on to potential customers, reducing margins but hopefully increasing volumes. This is all good and well if you have experience, if you know the right price and you know the best way to market your property. However, what happens if you want somebody to talk to? What happens if you are not sure about the timing?
Quality advice pays for itself
Only traditional real estate agencies are able to pull together the advice side and the actual cost of putting deals together and reporting them correctly. Some areas of this process subsidise others but once you take one element away then normally the cost of individual elements increases.
Let us assume that you are selling your property using an online property website where no advice is offered and you simply add pictures and choose the price. What happens if you are not sure that you are asking the right price? Online companies will give you indications of price in your area but what if your property may be worth a little more? In this instance it would be perfect if you were able to turn to an unconnected third party, ask their advice and reflect this in a more reasonable asking price. However, the likelihood is that any professional valuation advice given not as part of an overall package but in isolation could be costly.
Advisers will always have a place
Whether we like it or not, property advisers will always have a place in the worldwide property market because at the end of the day it is good to talk. It is good to talk about the current property market, it is good to talk about current prices and it is good to talk about new trends. Traditional estate agency fees may look relatively expensive compared to their no advice online counterparts but in reality you are comparing apples and pears.
If you have experience of the property market, you are happy to do your own research and take any potential risks on your own bat then cheap online property sale/rental portals might suit you down to the ground. However, those with perhaps a little less experience would be advised to think very carefully about going for the cheapest option.
It will be interesting to see how the online property portal market develops in the future because while they are a perfect means for advertising and marketing assets and services, the majority of buyers and sellers will always need and want advice.