Hybrid Estate Agents: What are they? And Should You Use One?

Written by Myles Hemingway

Myles is our self-confessed ‘word nerd’ and property geek. You’ll find him mythbusting everything from house repayments to maisonettes, as well as giving you our spin on the latest property news and industry trends.

Are hybrid estate agents worth it? Or are they something that UK sellers should be kept at arm's length?


No.

Hybrid estate agents are not online agents. Nor are they high street agents. Neither are they those agents who step out of a Toyota Prius on their way to a valuation. In fact, they're a whole new breed of estate agent that's now rumoured to be the best way to sell your house on the open market.

Reason we say 'rumoured' is because while online agents have been around for 24 years, hybrids have been around for just 6; it's estimated that 7.5% of all property sales are handled via a hybrid agency. In other words, they don't actually hold a great deal of the market - the high street is still very much in front in that respect.

Not only that, but hybrid agencies also operate differently too. Many industry experts have even regarded them as a more modern and forward-facing take on the traditional agency model. But question is, are hybrid estate agents the future? Or are they a fad that you should avoid? Continue reading and we'll reveal all...

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What is a hybrid estate agent?

Much like the name suggests, a hybrid agent is essentially a mix of both an online and a high street agent. Although, it's far more in-depth than that. You see, 'what is a hybrid estate agent' is actually quite a complex question, as some agents can be significantly more of a hybrid than others. To what extent can vary.

Saying that though, a hybrid agency will be based solely online and be run from a call centre - you won't find them on the high street. Just one of ways they mimic online agents. However, the differences start to show when you assess their perks. Do so and the crossover between them and the high street will soon start to show. Sounds quite baffling we know, so here's a couple of perks of a hybrid estate agent, that you'll likely also find on the high street...

Hybrid estate agents VS high street agents

A hybrid estate agent differs from a high street agent by the fact...

  • They'll offer a offer 'no sale, no fee' package just like your high street agent.

  • They'll host your viewings to take the weight of doing them off your shoulders.

  • Hybrid estate agents will make sure your house is valued by a local expert, unlike online alternatives

  • You'll receive a local agent to handle and deal with your sale too, which could well pay dividend come negotiations.

  • They offer a personal service opposed to directing people to a mass conveyancing chop shop.

  • Hybrid estate agents typically come in at a price that's roughly the same as their online - i.e. a considerable amount cheaper than the high street


That being said, they also share a fair few similarities with online estate agents too...

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Hybrid estate agents VS online estate agents

A hybrid estate agent differs from a online estate agent by the fact...

  • They're run from offices outside the town centre and get the majority of their business through a website. A good portion of their processes are also automated and in many ways acts to screen customers, so that from a business perspective they're talking to motivated sellers.

  • Your agent negotiates the best price for you, although in the case of online, your agent may not be well versed in the open market.

  • They will market your property on your behalf (including property portals/ photography etc.), however this may come at a cost (caveat of the no sale, no fee).


FYI: Don't be fooled! Some high street agents will claim to be a hybrid just because of the fact they have a website. Yet, having a website is simply a business necessity these days, and granted, is a part of an agent's business model. However, where the difference lies is that for a hybrid their website isn't an afterthought or add-on - it's the heart of their business.

Examples of hybrid estate agents - the main three

Although hybrid estate agents deal with less than 10% of UK property sales, it's highly likely that they're on your radar - you just haven't realised it yet. You see, it's not uncommon to see hybrid agents mistaken for their online cousins, in which case you may not even considered checking them out. Not that you can't learn how to spot hybrid agents in 2021, you can. All you have to do is read on...

Strike (formerly Housesimple)


Here's what you need to know about Strike...

  • Choose Strike and you can list your property on Rightmove for FREE!
  • Speaking of free, that's what it costs - nothing. Strike make their money by upselling add ons and referring buyers and sellers to solicitors.
  • They negoitiate the sale on your behalf - essentially the same service as a traditional high street agent.
  • You'll incur an extra cost if you want Strike to conduct your viewings.
  • Whether you can have a valuation in person will depend on whereabouts you live - they're not available in all postcodes.
  • They're one of the newest hybrid estate agents out there.


COST: FREE, but there's a potential cost for 'premium' extras

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Emoov


Here's what you need to know about Emoov...

  • Emoov don't offer in-person valuations, so your val will be conducted over the phone using sales data, opposed to actually seeing your house.
  • For 'no sale, no fee', the price you pay upfront is small, because half is taken when you sign up and the other half isn't due until completion. All of which means that they're eager to help you complete.
  • While the package does come at a cost, you do get a lot of add-ons for the price.
  • The team who deal with your sales are known for their high levels of customer service.
  • Viewings are all on you - Emoov do not offer viewing support, even for an extra fee.


COST: 0.5% (Plus £249 Upfront) + the same due upon completion

Yopa


Here's what you need to know about Yopa...

  • Yopa was one of the first hybrid estate agents, so you could say it has a strong reputation.
  • Their pricing structure is open-ended - you can either pay up-front or upon completion.
  • Saying that, they're the most expensive hybrid agency out of the three.
  • They do offer an add-on for viewing support.
  • Your 'For Sale' board isn't an additional extra.
  • London postcodes can incur quite a hefty fee, and that doesn't change if you opt for the 'no sale, no fee' option.
  • With local agents in the majority of areas, they arguably have the most experienced hybrids out there
  • According to Yopa website, those who sold with this agent accepted an offer for 98% of their initial asking price.
  • Even though it's priced higher, the quality of service more than makes up for it.


COST: £999 - payable upfront/ £1999 = no sale, no fee

Yopa charge £999 - we charge £0 (solicitors fees included)

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Can you list with 2 estate agents? One Hybrid - One Traditional

Yes, despite what you might think, you can list your property with two agents, be they hybrid, online or high street. You could also go with a combination of the three, so for instance teaming a high street agent and an online agent, or a hybrid agency with one purely situated on the high street. However, that's not to say all agents will jump at the chance to do so.

In fact, many may not even support dual agency - something you'll have to keep an eye out for in the terms of their agreement. Plus, there's always the chance that by doing so, the agent takes offence. After all, by using two agents you're not so much choosing them, but more 'half' choosing them. All of which means that if you sell, they'll likely end up with a smaller fee for in essence doing the same work. Hardly a way to bag yourself a dedicated agent (i.e. what you need).

Aside from what the agent thinks, you'll also have to consider what going dual agency tells buyers about you. The further you look at what it is, the more you realise just how much it says...

  • You're desperate - Try sell your property with two agents and you're essentially holding up a big sign that reads 'I'm very motivated and after a fast house sale'. In other words, you broadcasting to buyers the fact that you could well be open to taking a hit on price right from the offset. Not exactly the impression you want to give off, especially if you want to sell your house for a premium price.

  • You're unsure the property will sell - Buyers could very easily see red flags if you choose to list your house with two agents. Why? Because dual agency is often perceived to be a tactic to lean on if houses in your area struggle to sell. So while dual agents could help you sell faster, it doesn't necessarily guarantee that you'll do so for the best possible price. Another potential hurdle to bear in mind.

  • You want to create a stir - It's important to remember that dual agency screams ATTENTION! Therefore by selling your house through more than one agent you're making it known that you're a seller who's all about numbers. By that we mean you're on the market to do one thing - attract buyers in bulk. And granted, this could be the case if dual agency does as you wish, attract a crowd. However, it's worth mentioning that if dual agency doesn't attract the desired attention and has been on the market for a long time, that a buyer's eyebrows could well begin to rise. Why? It may look like there's something seriously wrong with your house.

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Hybrid estate agent pros and cons

Hybrid estate agents are just like any other form of agent - they come with a bunch of pros and cons. All of which you need to be aware of, before making the decision to use them to sell your house. After all, hybrid agents are a bit of both, so fathoming whether or not they're a fit for you and your property would be a wise decision. Continue reading and we'll fill you in on all the pros and cons of hybrid estate agents...

Pros of hybrid estate agents

  • Because of improving internet speeds, hybrid agents (along with online) are by far some of the easiest for sellers to access. When compared to the high street, they're also far easier to sign up to too, and have in many ways, streamlined the process of selling a house. All good news if you want to get your house on the market fast.

  • Unlike the high street, hybrid estate agents also tend to be easier to contact than those you find on the high street. Why? Well, they usually have more staff and are open far beyond 5pm. Useful if you work a 9-5 or just unusual shifts.

  • Use a hybrid estate agent and you'll tend to incur less in the way of costs. Not only are hybrids cheaper than the vast majority of the high street, but they also run rings around many online agents too. Strike for instance will let you sell your house for FREE!

  • Your run-of-the-mill online estate agent won't necessarily provide you with a full service. In some cases, details like marketing and offer negotiation may be left up to you. Whereas with hybrid estate agents, the majority of these 'missing pieces' will be provided. In other words, you can get a complete estate agency service from start to finish.

  • Hybrid agents use local property experts to appraise your property. Not necessarily something you'll find with online estate agents, as most rely purely on sales data from property portals.
  • Hybrid agents sound good? We're better...

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    Cons of hybrid estate agents

  • Physical offices are non existant, meaning that meeting with your agent face-to-face is near on impossible. You could also argue that not having a high street presence is a drawback from a marketing perspective too. Although, there's no getting around the fact that the appeal of the high street is declining. Hence why less buyers today would see this as a potential pitfall opposed to when online agents first came on the scene.

  • Unlike with an online estate agent, the staff you communicate with should be knowledgable about your area. All of which means they're likely to negotiate your price far better, as they know the local market.
  • Are hybrid estate agents worth the hype?

    Yes, and no.

    You see, while hybrid estate agents are by no means the most personable way to sell your house, they do present a good balance. Not only do they pack the expertise and knowledge of the high street, but they also come in at a low cost too, which makes them arguably the best value breed of estate agents out there. And it's not just us that thinks hybrid estate agents are great bank for the buck.

    Various industry experts have even come out saying that they're the substitute for the both online and high street agents. The perfect go-between. However with that being said, we're confident that we can go one better.

    You see, as an industry leading cash buyer of property, we can buy your house for CASH in less than 7-days. So that's no costly marketing or sitting on the open market waiting to find the right buyer. Sell to us and you can skip straight to the offer. Something that we guarantee we'll make on ANY house.

    So, be you situated up north, down south or somewhere in the midlands, if you want to sell fast and have your costs covered, then we could be that alternative to hybrid estate agents that you've been waiting for.

    Don't believe us? Reach out to our team today...

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