Estate agent comment: The pitfalls of using an on line estate agent

estate agents in london

The founding director of the award winning and leading London estate agency has warned people selling property to think twice when considering an online estate agency.

According to Lee James Pendleton of London estate agents James Pendleton, using an online agent will not only provide very little service but could also lose you money in the long run.

“What are you paying for when you use an online agency?” asks Mr Pendleton. “Your fee may be lower when marketing online than through a high street agent, but it is far less clear what that money is spent on. Shareholders?”

“Selling a property is an incredibly personal process – one whose outcome is likely to intimately affect, maybe even transform, your life. What’s more, the sale process is complex and can be difficult to navigate as well as being extremely emotional. Selling online and bypassing the help of a professional negotiator, then, is a highly risky thing to do.”

“When you go online to sell property you are only marketing your property/ investment, not one person is there to help you achieve a sale and you are paying up front. Does that sound fair?”

“You are not paying to sell as you will be doing that yourself, you are paying to go on the internet, and that’s it! Where is the value is giving an on line agent money?”

“Time and time again clients have come to us with tales of wildly inaccurate valuations and of communication ceasing once their property was on an online agent’s books. I personally engaged with one on line agent and I received an email with a £300,000 variance. I was astounded how much they didn’t know about the area.”

“You could also lose out on the value of your home when selling through an online agent as high street agents has local knowledge and a track record of selling. Negotiating is a skill which develops with experience, and your property’s eventual sale value could suffer if the process is not supported by professional know-how.”

If you’re considering buying online, Pendleton advises asking yourself a number of questions:

  • “Do you have the time and confidence to carry out pre visit checks on the buyer – can they really afford it and have they been correctly vetted?
  • Do you have time to organise daily viewings and get the right feedback for the desired result?
  • Does your on line agent offer open days?
  • Can your online agent help with progressing the sale once one is agreed?
  • Can your online agent deal with difficult problem and sometimes people; does an on line agent have empathy and the ability to control any situation?”

The most important question to ask, though, is:

“Does an online agent care if your property sells once you have paid your fee?

James Pendleton does, and this is the value in using a high street agency.”

James Pendleton Estate Agents are established local high street agents covering primarily South West and Prime Central London. To find out more visit or email


About James Pendleton
News Estate Agency blogs: News about Property market, Property Management, Estate Agents, James Pendleton

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