Skip to main content

Emoov.co.uk to enter US property market Could you sell your home without a real estate agent?


BY











The U.S.'s complex, fragmented and regulated real estate market is currently putting a cork on a potentially disruptive wave of online-only agents that are shaking the sector overseas. Like the U.S., the U.K. real estate market has traditionally been dominated by bricks and mortar agents.

The U.S.'s complex, fragmented and regulated real estate market is currently putting a cork on a potentially disruptive wave of online-only agents that are shaking the sector overseas.
Like the U.S., the U.K. real estate market has traditionally been dominated by bricks and mortar agents. However, a new wave of online-only real estate agents could grab a bigger share of the U.K. market, potentially allowing Britons to sell their homes without the help of an estate agent. 
So, should the U.S. be wanting a piece of the action and should Americans be selling their own houses?
Not in the opinion of the National Association of Realtors, which represents real estate agents in North America.
"(Real estate agents here in the U.S.) have a unique understanding of what buyers' value in their local markets," Adam DeSanctis, a spokesperson for the organization told CNBC.
"Their real insights and local market knowledge and ability to help consumers navigate each step of the transaction would be extremely difficult to imitate in an online-only model."
He added that buying a home was one of biggest – if not the biggest – financial decisions an American would make in their life. "It shouldn't be taken lightly and is far more complex than clicking 'buy' on a website, like you'd do when purchasing an airline ticket."

Cutting costs

But real estate agent concerns and vested interests have not stopped a slew of online-only companies taking off in the U.K., like eMoov, HouseSimple, Purplebricks and Tepilo. Typically these firms charge lower fees for selling your home, as their more centralized and streamlined systems - not to mention a lack of retail outlets - enables them to cut costs.
In the U.K., a traditional real estate agent may charge £4,500 ($6,928) plus tax to sell a property, whereas an online-only real estate agent might charge an upfront fee of around £300 plus tax.
Each online agent differs in how much they actually get involved with the selling of your property and may charge extra to send somebody to show potential buyers around your home.
DeSanctis argued that the local knowledge and hands-on approach of traditional real estate agents made them a more appealing option for U.S. citizens. However, online-only real estate agents in the U.K. say that their businesses do include local experts and that the changes in the market are no different to what happened when grocery sales moved online.

Online to become 50% of the UK market?

Statistics on the nascent but growing U.K. industry are scarce, but are not completely non-existent. 
Rebecca Peach, the CEO and founder of U.K online real estate agent I Am the Agent, told CNBC that online agencies were growing 3.75 times quicker than traditional real estate agents, in terms of the amount of housing stock coming onto the market. This was based on data she had compiled from various sources, including property search websites and governmental data.
Peach also predicted that online agencies would grab a 50 percent share of total inventories by 2020. This would be a rise from online agencies' current 5 percent slice of a market worth £6.9 billion in the U.K.
This view is shared by the people behind rival agency eMoov, who point towards similar growth in the online insurance, gaming, video streaming and travel sectors.
"I love the naivety of the people in the (U.S.) sector, it's like a red rag to a bull." Russell Quirk, CEO of eMoov, told CNBC.

Coming to a state near you

Quirk said eMoov had plans to move into the large and relatively untouched U.S. market in the next two-to-three years. With several key members of the leadership team either born or educated in the U.S., Quirk said his company was "well positioned" for any move into the country.

Meanwhile emoov, has increased it's crowd funding on crowdcube to over £2.5m, ($3.8m).

Further Reading

How LG Smart Homes and nest.com are making the best use of IoT

ABB unveils intelligent voice-activated smart home system

emoov is really moving !

easyproperty.com CEO Rob Ellice says 42 % of UK will soon be using Online Estate Agents

Former Cricket Team Aces Join the Online EstateAgent business model thehomecloud.co.uk

property ecommerce is booming !

Building Markets for the Good of People > BoE Open Forum

SOUFUN gets $400M private equity funding from IDG Carlyle and management members

How low can you go ? speech by Andy Haldane BoE Chief Economist

Three Truths about Finance - Governor of BoE - Mark Carney

Would a robot replace an estate agent in the future ?

Annual house price growth picks up in September whilst regional divergence grows

Taylor Wimpey CEO Peter Redfern will lead Labour Housing Redfern Review

House building activity in the UK this year is set to top levels seen in 2014, according to new figures released today by NHBC

Land Registry House Price Index > August data shows an annual price increase of 4.2 per cent with East England most significant movements


UK Housing Price Index JULY 2015

Breaking the tragedy of the horizon – climate change and financial stability - speech by Mark Carney

England Mortgage Lenders and Administrators statistics Bank of England Sept 2015

Help to Buy Equity Loan scheme > Help to Buy NewBuy statistics Data to 30 June 2015 England

What Jeremy Corbyn's leadership victory may mean for housing policy in the UK

Help to Buy, has helped nearly 120,000 people achieve their aspiration of buying a new home since it was created, latest figures reveal

Marie's Question >Jeremy Corbyn The New Labour Leader takes his seat in the Houses of Parliament

Weak UK construction data adds to signs of cooling growth

When building more homes isn't enough in the UK

Common Floor India's Largest Property Search Portal , that keeps growing and leading in innovation

Princes William and Harry visit DIY SOS street in Manchester UK

What Jeremy Corbyn's leadership victory may mean for housing policy in the UK similarities to US senator Bernie Saunders

property ecommerce is booming

The number of real estate agency uk jobs slowing at a dramatic rate 5000 decline factors

Help to Buy >Equity Loan scheme >

Help to Buy NewBuy statistics Data to 30 June 2015 England


Mortgage Lenders and Administrators statistics Bank of England Sept

2015
House price inflation gathers pace as market conditions tighten further August 2015 update

Zillow results

The On Demand Economy Uber Taxis & Air BnB

Hospitality On the Go; Airbnb Messaging Comes to Apple Watch

zoopla.co.uk and rightmove.co.uk primelocation.com subscriptions can be justified

The Perfect Property Storm?