The high street agents Country Properties complained that the website’s claim to provide “a complete estate agency service” was misleading because the site covered the whole of England and Wales and could therefore not offer a complete service. The ASA, though, decided the complaint was unfounded.
“We have said all along that we can offer all of the same services as a high street agent. We just advise against all the extras like newspaper adverts, because they don’t work. All you really need nowadays is to get on the big property portals, which is exactly what we do.” says Adam Day, Director of Hatched.co.uk.
“Those that sell through an old fashioned high street agent are basically paying for agents’ swanky offices and company cars,” he added, “none of which are necessary to find a buyer for someone’s home.”
Is the ruling in the favour of the online agent a key decision for the future of the industry?
The ruling, which could have far reaching consequences for the UK estate agency industry, is seen by many as a turning point for online estate agents.
“It’s simple; we are the future of estate agents in the UK,” argues Adam. “The days of the high street agent are numbered. While we are on an upward curve, old fashioned outdated agents like Country Properties, are on a downward curve.”