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Consumer group says new portal is "rotten deal for home owners"The consumer group HomeOwners' Alliance has made an outspoken attack on the soon-to-launch property portal OnThe Market, set up by Agents' Mutual.

"The creation of Agents Mutual is all about protecting estate agents' market share and nothing about helping homeowners get a better deal claims the group's chief executive, Paula Higgins.

When selling your home from next year you won't be able to have access to all the portals because AM is working it so that agents can only advertise a home with Rightmove OR Zoopla she says.

That restricts the number of potential buyers homeowners can market their house to. This in turn will impact the speed of sale, and getting the right price. Another rotten deal for home owners that lines estate agents' pockets claims Higgins.

The HomeOwners' Alliance has in the past been critical of the transparency of estate and lettings agents' pricing and the details of their contracts with vendors.

The group's attack on the new portal, which launches on January 26, also expresses concern at its ban on online-only estate agents.

We are very against this practice and think it is uncompetitive says Higgins.

The group says it is advising homeowners looking to sell their home from next year to choose their estate agent carefully, urging them to look at the contract for unfair terms, and to ask questions about how and where they will be marketing their home.

Sellers who want to achieve the best possible price in the quickest possible time will want their home to have the widest exposure on-line. Property websites Zoopla and Rightmove are household names and most sellers expect their homes to be advertised on these sites" Higgins claims.

Comments

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    What would happen if On The Market started to advertise on EAT - would the negative press stop Hmmmmmm I wonder......................

    • 17 December 2014 12:41 PM
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    I'm not sure how this 'lines the agents pockets' particularly. The greater the cost to agents with rising subscriptions for RM and ZP the more the consumer ends up paying one way or another. Also high cost doesn't automatically mean poor value and certainly RM performs very well and is generally good value for money, as are many 'high end' estate agents. As much as anything, another option creates choice in the market as opposed to a duopoly setting and running costs. With online access to property for sale as easy as it is currently, I'm not sure buyers will suffer in their search for a new home, nor will they pay more as a result of these changes. There has never been more choice for the seller than there is currently, with a variety of ways to sell your home and ultimately good agents will do well and the poor ones will be found out.

    • 16 December 2014 11:46 AM
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    FACT: An agent can trade successfully with just Rightmove. It's just we need to show vendors we are spreading our net. So as a second choice I will be paying OTM HALF of what I pay Zoopla and if they provide any more leads that Zoopla then I will be happy as Rightmove provide us with 90% of our leads anyway. We have been on all of the other portals and they are a joke. More portals doesn't mean better for the consumer it means higher costs leading to higher fees for OUR CONSUMERS/clients. We all know that SEO is also pretty irrelevant for Estate Agents as long as Rightmove is on TV and appear first on google when people start looking - then they type in area then HEY PRESTO - there we are!!! Make your choice and get on with it - "Homeowners Alliance" perhaps you ought to advertise on Rightmove so people actually know who you are Off to sell and rent some properties now, don't usually have time to comment :)

    • 15 December 2014 16:54 PM
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    PR machines like estateagenttoday.co.uk

    • 15 December 2014 15:43 PM
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    I don't really get your point. If you're saying that people on the street wouldn't be able to name Zoopla and Rightmove, I'd massively disagree. I'd imagine the majority of people would have heard of the two big property portals. They're plastered all over advertising boards, buses, the internet and on TV. Love them or loathe them, there's a reason why they're the big two - they have very effective PR machines in place that has given them great exposure to the public at large. Now, if someone is looking to purchase a property, their first port of call will be a quick search on RM or Zoopla.

    • 15 December 2014 14:56 PM
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    maybe this means that they're also annoyed with the agents still displaying FAP/Globrix/Property Finder logos in their windows and on websites. Always wondered if that constitutes false advertising, you can't advertise that you advertise on all major websites and then list ones that haven't existed for around two years surely...

    you know who you are.

    • 15 December 2014 14:16 PM
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    I'll go into town and do a quick street poll of people to see which property portals they can name. I fully expect to meet a lot of blank faces.

    • 15 December 2014 14:08 PM
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    Well put. Maybe the majority of articles are negative because more people are negative towards AM/OTM than the supporters of AM/OTM would like to think.

    And, like you said, EAT are just relaying what someone else has said. There has been a lot more people coming out to criticise OTM than there has been those supporting it, which is why we are getting these articles.

    • 15 December 2014 14:04 PM
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    @James - why would a buyer go to any other site other than a buyers site
    It's this whole thing of trying to hide things that makes this whole thing so distasteful. It's also the rabid nature in which agents are attacking sites that consumers love. Of course consumer organisations will try to protect consumers from these sharp practices that damage our industry.

    @Mark - As for the journalism, I can only see the relay of facts in this story. Would you rather remain blissfully ignorant and the story not be reported like a certain other website You point out that most stories here are negative. Maybe, just maybe, you need to wonder if this negativity is relaying of a broader sentiment about AM

    • 15 December 2014 13:50 PM
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    I predict, and did so when Agents Mutual was first mooted, that On the Market will replace Z as distant number 2 to Rightmove, but for the forseeable future Rightmove will continue as a virtual monopoly. Zoopla, meanwhile, will crash and burn.

    • 15 December 2014 13:02 PM
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    When it's a consistently one sided version of the news, is it the news

    • 15 December 2014 12:59 PM
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    Another example of an ill-conceived article by someone who does not understand - promoted by a "news" site that is quite clearly not in the On The Market camp

    Zoopla is a buyers site, not a sellers site, and any seller who wants to advertise their house with a portal that has a guess at what the sale price should be, should really have a serious look in the mirror - they will probably see a stupid person looking back

    As for how long a house has been on sale - what does that matter On day one of marketing there is no guarantee that the right person for any given home will be in the market - it might be day 100, and they might be prepared to pay the full asking price if the house is just right

    • 15 December 2014 12:16 PM
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    I am always slightly enfruriated by messages from groups attacking the marketing habits of our Industry. With all the stick we get, the biggest point that is constantly over-looked is that we are a results only (ingnoring agents with upfront marketing fees or online agents where an upfront fee is mandatory) industry. Aside from the vile 'no win, no fee' ambulance chasers we are one of the few agencies that are paid solely on success.
    Try buying a car and telling the showroom- I'll drive it for 3 months and if its right I will pay you then......and then telling that same company where they can or should advertise. Or call up a telemarkteing company and tell them- I will pay you a percentage of the revenue you produce but nothing more......and then dictating how they should run.
    I for one am not onboatrd with OTM. As a London agent (where we earn hgih fees in comparison to the national average) I actually feel that both ZPG and RM deliver real valiue for money in their advertising. However, I do respect what OTM are trying to acheive and, in some ways, I hope I am proved wrong they they will be a weak 3rd place to the big boys.
    With that all said, the reality is that no agent will cling on to OTM if it doesnt deliver results. If we dont sell/let properties, we dont get paid and so cant survive.
    Campaign for worthwhile legislation, look to address the housing shortage issues, propose solutions to help 1st time buyers on to the property ladder but please dont waste your time telling us how and where we should advertise and indeed run our company's.

    • 15 December 2014 11:56 AM
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    I can't wait for OTM to launch on January 26, then hopefully all this playground mud-slinging can end. The proof of the pudding will, as they say, be in the eating. They'll either crash and burn, proving one side right, or be an overwhelming success, proving the other side right. Will be fascinating to watch either way.

    • 15 December 2014 09:56 AM
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    They're just reporting the news, surely What other people have said. You know, this isn't EAT's opinion but the HomeOwners' Alliance. Just because you don't like it, doesn't mean they don't have a point. There are a lot of people who are anti OTM/Agents' Mutual and they should get a voice too, shouldn't they

    • 15 December 2014 09:49 AM
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    I am also a little bit surprised to find anti-agents article. Could explain how OTM will 'protect agents market share', please

    • 15 December 2014 09:21 AM
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    Paula Higgins, maybe you could explain how OTM will 'protect agents market share' Your comments do not make any sense and your point is irrelevant. The only change for the buyers will be that they will need to check more than one website, which most already do. How is that going to be detrimental to the vendor

    That restricts the number of potential buyers homeowners can market their house to. This in turn will impact the speed of sale, and getting the right price. Another rotten deal for home owners that lines estate agents pockets claims Higgins. What a load of nonsensical piffle.

    • 15 December 2014 09:12 AM
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    I am shocked and surprised to find yet another anti-Agents Mutual article on this "property news" website that advertises Rightmove and Zoopla.

    • 15 December 2014 08:59 AM
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    @Chris As "great" as an agency may be, I would generally advise one to pick the boxer without one arm tied behind his back...

    • 15 December 2014 08:32 AM
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    Couldn't agree more that homeowners should choose their estate agency carefully. However, being on any given portal is the least of their problems and if a home-owner manages to find a great agency, then whether they are or aren't on
    OTM is pretty irrelevant.

    • 15 December 2014 05:34 AM
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