Looking at their glossy websites, it is easy to see how you can be persuaded. Most of the online agents provide all of the services provided by a traditional agent, but for a fraction of the cost. You can have your property listed on Rightmove and Zoopla, and have an inventory and tenancy agreement drawn up for as little as £199 + VAT. The only thing that online agents can’t do, is carry out the viewings.
So what are the main differences?
Knowledge & Experience
Good reputable agents will be completely up to speed with changes in legislation and best practice and will be a great source of professional advice.
High-street agents operate locally whereas online agents operate nationally. A good traditional letting agency is worth its weight in gold and often local knowledge is crucial when dealing with that first enquiry.
Shop-front / Face-to-face service
High-street agents can offer a face-to-face service and for Landlords and Tenants alike it can be an advantage to be able to pop into an office and speak to someone face-to-face.
Most high-street agents have very large overheads compared to online agents, so they have to charge more for their services.
Enquiries / Viewings
Tenant selection is the key to a successful tenancy. High-street agents will deal with all the enquiries, arrange the viewings, and show the prospective tenants around the property.
Online agents are a good option for experienced landlords who are familiar with the letting process but just need to advertise their properties on the main property portals. If you haven’t rented a property before, you would be wise to use a trusted local agent who can guide you through the process from start to finish.
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