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High Street Estate Agents vs Online

High Street Estate Agents vs Online: Why Traditional Agents Work Best

When it comes to selling property, there is a clear winner in the high street estate agent vs online debate. Whilst online agents bring certain qualities that work for some homeowners, they can’t compete with the traditional high street estate agent when it comes to expertise in the local property market, achieving high sales prices and, most importantly, and customer service. 

The benefits of using a high street estate agent

The advantages of selling your home with a local high street estate agent are many and start from the initial pre-sale valuation. Unlike online estate agents that rely largely on online data to value a property, high street estate agents use their extensive knowledge and experience of the local property market to provide a much more accurate valuation. While online estate agents might offer the services of a “local property expert”, in reality this agent most likely covers a wide geographical area and lacks the level of insight and familiarity that a genuine local estate agent possesses.

With a high street estate agent, you can also expect:

  • Personal face-to-face customer service vs. national call centres and/or online dashboards
  • Tailored marketing vs. a one-size-fits all approach (not ideal for unique homes)
  • Proactive sales and negotiation skills vs. a standard, hands-off approach

What about cost?

Undoubtedly, the biggest attraction of online agents is the lower cost but, as is often the case, this is not quite what it seems.

High street estate agents typically charge commission, whereas online estate agents charge a fixed fee. 

For example, a high street estate agent selling a property for £300,000 at 1% commission will charge £3000, whereas an online estate agent selling the same property will charge a fixed fee of £1000

However, industry figures show that high street estate agents typically achieve 5% higher prices than online estate agents, so consider the following:

An online estate agent sells a property for £300,000 and the fixed fee is £1000.

A high street estate agent sells the same property for £315,000 (achieving a 5% higher selling price) and the commission is £3150.

In the short term the owner may have saved £2150 in fees buthas actually lost £15,000 on the sale price. This equates to an overall loss of £12,850.

It is also important to note that the fixed online estate agency fees must be paid upfront and no refunds are given if the property does not sell.

Don’t just take our word for it

According to a report by independent consumer advice group The Advisory, local high street estate agents generate more views and more offers and secure on average 5% higher sale prices than online estate agents. The same report also found that 73% of properties achieved a higher sale price thanks to the involvement of a high street estate agent. This is partly because high street agents often generate more competitive interest between buyers, resulting in faster selling times and higher prices. Click to read the full report by The Advisory

Cost vs. customer service

While sellers, particularly those on a limited budget, might be tempted to opt for a low-cost online estate agent, this is often a false economy not only due to the potential overall losses outlined above, but also because homeowners selling through an online agent miss out on crucial after-sale support. A property professional at a high street estate agent will liaise with both parties to progress the sale, whereas an online estate agent will take a much more hands-off approach. The result: a slower and more stressful transaction.

Finally, the importance of trust cannot be underestimated. After all, selling property is one of the most important financial transactions in a person’s life, so homeowners must ask themselves, is the promise of lower costs any substitute for peace of mind? The peace of mind that personal customer service, comprehensive after-sale support and face-to-face communication all bring? We think not. 

For expert advice on the current property market and selling your home, visit our local branch in Falkirk or contact NEST Estate Agents on 01324 228299 or

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Sell your home with 7 simple staging rules

7 Simple Rules for Home Staging

Home staging is an important part of the process in selling a property, one that can add hundreds, even thousands of pounds, to the sale price. Staging your home prepares it for photographs and viewings, and can help save time later on when packing and cleaning prior to moving day.

Whilst there are many professional staging companies on the market to choose from, DIY home staging is a straightforward, low-cost option. Follow these 7 simple rules for home staging and discover how easy it is to ready a property for sale. Quick to implement and simple to follow, these tips will bring the best out of any property.

1. Minimise your staging

When it comes to staging, less is more. Keep things simple. Do make the bed and plump-up cushions, but don’t go overboard. Let the interior design and staging complement the accommodation on offer, not detract from it.

2. De-personalise your home

While family photographs might convey a warm and homely feel, they are also a stark reminder that the property still belongs to someone else. Home staging should allow buyers to imagine themselves in the property and how they would utilise the space. For now, put family photographs and drawings away in a safe place. 

3. De-clutter every room

Cluttered surfaces, overcrowded cupboards and stuffed wardrobes are distracting and give the impression of insufficient storage space in the home. It is worthwhile boxing up these items, along with books and DVDs, and storing them out of the way in the attic or garage, ready for moving day. If short on space, consider moving them to a self-storage unit. The same applies to bulky furniture items that make rooms appear smaller than they actually are.

4. Neutralise décor

Sellers do not need to redecorate their entire property prior to putting it on the market. However, a fresh coat of paint can make a big difference in a sale. When refreshing the walls, neutral tones typically work best, as they help enhance the sense of space and light. Neutral tones can also be brightened with colourful furnishings and accessories. Most importantly, a home with neutral décor is easier for the new owner to personalise.

5. Deep clean

A fresh, clean home makes a fantastic first impression and indicates a well-maintained property, which is always an important consideration for buyers. A deep clean (that includes shampooing carpets, cleaning windows and steam-cleaning hard floors) prior to putting the property on the market saves time in the long run and will add to a home’s saleability. Expect buyers to look inside cupboards and built-in appliances, like ovens, dishwashers and fridges, and make sure they are clean, organised and uncluttered. 

6. Define the space

Sellers should let every room speak its function in clear terms. It is important to consider whether every room in the property is being used to its full potential as well.

For example, if the smallest bedroom has become a make-shift study or general storage space, its function becomes less and less evident. De-clutter and define it as a bedroom. Of course, it can still have a study area, just make sure the space is clearly defined.

7. Garden staging

Outdoor spaces often get overlooked when it comes to home staging. Yet a well-presented garden can drive viewings just as much as immaculate home interiors.

When staging the garden, think seasonally. In the spring and summer, arrange patio furniture and create a barbecue area to show how the space can be used for family gatherings and garden parties. On autumn and winter evenings, highlight outdoor spaces using low-cost solar-powered light posts or wall lights.

No matter the time of year, keep lawns and flowerbeds neat and tidy. It is also a good idea to spruce up potted plants and to place them in high-visibility areas. 

For more expert staging tips or advice on selling your home, contact NEST Estate Agents on 01324 228299 or