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Why to Avoid

Why to Avoid "On the Market" Estate Agents20th January 2015

Why the new “On the Market” website will make it harder to sell your home.

 
On the 26th January 2015 a brand new property portal called On the Market is due to be launched.  Whilst the concept is good, this article discusses why home sellers should avoid employing estate agents that have signed up to this website if they want to maximise the marketing of their property.
 

On The Market

 
The new property portal is being launched with the backing of a consortium of big-name high estate agents such as Savills, Douglas and Gordon, Knight Frank, Chesterton Humberts, Glentree Estates and Strutt and Parker.  Over the last few month they have been busy signing up smaller independent estate agents and claim to have the backing of 4000 branches (out of a total 15000 in the UK).  
 
The website has been set up with the specific aim to break up what they describe as the “duopoly” of Rightmove and Zoopla.  The main selling point for member agents is that they will receive one share each in the newly formed company called Agents Mutual.  By doing so they believe that they will be the masters of their own destiny, rather than being subjected by the high and ever increasing fees that Rightmove and Zoopla charge them.  In theory this sounds like a great idea!
 

The Caveat!

 
This all sounds great in principle, however, to become a member of On the Market you have to abide by their strict Terms and Conditions.  
 
Firstly agents that sign up will be forced into choosing between either Rightmove or Zoopla, one of those sites will have to be dropped.
 
Agents are also asked to refrain from uploading new properties on Rightmove or Zoopla until at least 48 hours after it has appeared on On the Market.
 
Bad news also for online estate agents, as only estate agents with a high street office are able to join, which also knocks out “hybrid” estate agents.  This is currently being challenged with a complaint to the UK’s competition authority and may well be upheld as the OFT are fully behind the emergence of online estate agents such as turtlehomes.co.uk.
 

Why choosing an Agent that is a member of Agent Mutual could make it harder to sell your home?

 
Recent surveys show that almost 95% of people looking to buy a home start their search on the internet, and most of those by visiting the Rightmove and Zoopla.  Therefore by choosing an agent that is not on both of these websites you are severely reducing the marketing reach of your property and thereby hampering your chances of a sale.  It has taken over 10 years and many millions of pounds worth of investment from Rightmove and Zoopla to achieve the amount of traffic that they receive.  It is doubtful that On the Market will be able to generate anyway near the same number of visits for a considerable amount of time.
 
When you instruct an estate agent to sell your property it is fair to say that you will be hoping to receive viewings as soon as possible.  Estate agents are being asked to hold back your listing on Rightmove or Zoopla for 48 hours to enable On the Market to have an exclusive marketing period for each property.  The reason for this is to damage the two property portals.  However, the real loser is you the seller.
 

Our Advice

 
If you are looking for an agent that will reach the maximum number of potential buyers then avoid members of Agents Mutual and the On the Market website as you will be put at a significant competitive disadvantage.
 
If you have already signed up to an estate agency that will be replacing either Zoopla or Rightmove with On the Market, then you should investigate the possibility of changing agents as soon as possible.
 
This article has been written by Richard Tuck, director of both Online Estate Agents turtlehomes.co.uk and Michael Tuck Estate Agents in Gloucester, Worcester and Swindon