Are sellers shifting away from estate agents?

Until recent years there was one way to sell your home, and it was through an estate agent. Traditional bricks and mortar estate agents dominated the market, and the biggest became household names which ruled the roost.

But now times are changing and there are new players in the game.

While traditional estate agents still have tremendous influence and hold the majority of the market share, this dominance is being picked away at by the rise of online agents and proptech businesses.

The sky-high commission fees of estate agents have motivated many price-conscious sellers to pursue alternative services, that offer fixed rates or low commission fees. The majority of these are online agents, who by mostly operating from an online platform instead of a physical space, are able to charge vastly fewer fees for their service, unlike estate agents.

Many sellers are also further frustrated by estate agents when they experience a poor service for their money. For some, there is the feeling that they could have done it better themselves, and saved thousands throughout the process.

Online and hybrid agents have flocked to this idea and have developed a whole new element to the property market – providing individuals with the means to sell their own house via online platforms, with low fees, and without the need to ever use an agent.

The most well-known and most prominent of these is Purple Bricks, who hold the largest market share out of the online and hyrbid agents, and there are several other players catching onto this movement such as Yopa and Emoov –  all jostling for a slice of the pie.


But has this growth of online and hybrid agents translated into a significant reshaping of the property market? Are estate agents falling behind?

Property Industry Eye indicates that online agents have achieved a 61% growth in the past year, but still only amount for 6% of the total market. However, this has been a nibble at high street agents – whose market share has shrunk by almost 2.5% to 93.94%.

Transactions data from Q1 & Q2 of this year further displays that online agents are experiencing an increase in their number of transactions, while high street agents’ numbers are dipping. This trend implies that there is still further room in the market up for competition, at the expense of traditional estate agents…

Credit – Statista

This data offers an interesting insight into how the property market is displaying some slight shifts, albeit small. There is furthermore the prediction by some that by 2020 the market share for online agents will have increased to around 15-20%. We can already see that investment in proptech businesses is booming, and sellers’ confidence in the online model is growing. For the moment, estate agents still seem to have a tight grasp, but the signs are the for significant change in the future…

Invisible Homes

Interested to find out where Invisible Homes fits in for someone looking to sell their home, and in relation to estate agents and other online players? We’re also seeking to subtly disrupt the property market, by becoming the central online platform for all off-market property sales.

Find out more about our services, or register as a seller directly.