Beware the ‘no frills’ estate agent and its cheap promises

Added on February 21, 2017 in Main Blog, Plymouth City Office Blog

House sellers considering opting for one of the growing number of online estate agents have been urged to think again, by the Managing Director of Mansbridge Balment Plymouth.

Many online only based agencies are currently promoting their ‘no commission’ based house sales via high profile TV and radio advertising campaigns.

But Darren Lawson – based at the agent’s Plymouth City office – has appealed to people to look carefully behind the marketing gloss.

He said that while it is important to offer customers a wide choice of options, he believes key claims by online competitors are deeply flawed and they are wrong to portray commission payments as a negative.

“What frustrates me most is this marketing message when online agencies suggest they are ‘exactly the same as High Street agents, but cheaper,” said Darren.

“Patently they are not the same otherwise they wouldn’t be promoting their ‘no frills’ service as being better than full service agencies like Mansbridge Balment Plymouth, agencies with a long established heritage, infrastructure and highly skilled, experienced staff with exceptional local knowledge.

“Commission should not be seen as a dirty word, in fact it should give potential sellers confidence that they will receive a service that goes above and beyond, as clearly it is an incentive to the agent to do everything they can to deliver the best possible result.”

Darren said customers should also be wary of the fact that some online agencies will ask for an upfront fee that in most cases they will be unable to recover – even if their property fails to sell and they have to take their business elsewhere.

He points out that with no commission available, online agency staff have no incentive to go the extra mile for their clients and are unable offer the many benefits Mansbridge Balment Plymouth does, such as its seven days a week office opening hours, an established money back guarantee and its Gold Standard accreditation for customer service.

“While the price of fees is clearly a major factor for anyone to consider, I am certain people are sensible enough to weigh up the many other benefits a High Street agent offers – heritage, professionalism, trust and integrity,as well as accountability and accessibility, ” said Darren.

“As in most facets of industry and commerce, performance related pay is what drives staff to deliver the very best service they possibly can.

“In the final analysis, what matters most is did we find the best buyer at the best possible price. I firmly believe you can only be certain of delivering that through a commission based service and I think most home owners would agree with me.”