2017 has seen the marketing growth of online estate agents - we say growth loosely as did you know that over 90% of properties are still sold by so-called traditional estate agents, like us, the team at Pure North Norfolk?
Some people in the industry call these online agents "call centre agents" which you or may not agree with - they are called this because when you make an enquiry to sell your property, your most valuable asset, you are put through to a national call centre, who probably know very little about either your property or the area it sits in.
There's more though than meets the eye (and you may have seen this on a BBC recent "Watchdog" report). Some online companies expect you to pay in advance with no guarantee of a refund if you change your mind or your property doesn't sell, of if you defer, enter into a credit agreement.
So what do Julia Gooch, our Director, and Jo Brouse, our lettings expert, think of this?
"I watched the programme as an estate agent with great interest as it's something we hear a lot about on valuations, people choosing on price. What needs to be realised though is that our team, Jo, Selene and myself, have worked in property management across Norfolk for decades and because we don't expect you to pay upfront, we are committed to seeing your sale through to completion. It's simple really. If your property in Fakenham, Wells, King's Lynn or Cromer doesn't sell with us, we don't get paid. So we make sure it does sell and for the highest possible price."
Let's break what Julia says down a little further.
Your property in Fakenham is worth £250,000, when market conditions and comparables are accounted for. You pay an online agent £995 to sell and they push you to accept a hypothetical offer of say £240,000, losing you £9000 effectively. Our team secure a much higher offer meaning you save money.
Over to Jo.
"It's the same with lettings. Because we have such great relationships with landlords and a database of tenants, we often find a property is let as soon as it is listed. We had an Instagram enquiry last weekend out of hours about property to let in Cromer and responded to that."
So that's another argument scotched that some online agents lay claim to - longer opening hours.
Our Oak Street office may be closed on Sundays, but our five social media channels are open 24/7 - you can tweet us, send us a message via Instagram or Facebook and be totally assured that we will respond immediately.
So who is the cheapest estate agent to sell your property in north Norfolk or elsewhere?
Simple: the one who gets the highest price and is motivated to see the sale through to completion.
You won't see Julia, Jo, or Selene being quizzed on Rogue Traders - you can trust us.