Dear Dawn

I’m hearing a lot about online estate agencies that can sell your property for a very competitive fee. But is it a false economy even though the savings seem like a good deal?

Prospective Vendor

Dear Prospective Vendor

Online agencies have been around for a while now but I think their presence has become more obvious over the past couple of years.

My view is typically you get what you pay for. If someone is offering to do a job for the fraction of the price of others in the market it is not unreasonable to ask why that is?

Of course, as an agent myself I know just how fraught the sale of a home can be and there are huge advantages to using an agency to act on your behalf.

Agents are in a very advantageous position because we are the only party that is able to communicate directly with all four parties – the vendor, purchaser and their respective solicitors.

This clearly gives us the edge as we can often get things agreed quickly between all four parties over a phone call or an email.

Removing the agent and left to the solicitors only to communicate formally this same issue could take weeks to resolve.

To have someone on the other end of the phone that is an expert in your area and can work tirelessly to push your sale through to exchange and completion I believe is invaluable. With online services often all you get is the bare bones.

Traditional agents are trained to sell houses so, when attending viewings we can use our expertise to secure a sale for you as quickly as possible.

Leaving the vendor to do it alone can be a risky business – I’ve experienced inadvertent sale sabotage with just a comment on the occasions they’ve been present during a viewing.

I also fiercely believe that keeping the vendor and the purchaser apart is crucial, particularly as towards the end of the process as things can get heated.

Online agencies that effectively just advertise your property don’t allow for that distance, which can lead to problems and, of course, delays.

Dawn Sandoval is the owner of Dawn Sandoval Residential in Canary Wharf

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