North London Property Column: Online or Traditional Estate Agents?

Written by: Sophie Taylor

Property advice for North Londoners, provided by industry experts. Does it really make a difference if you use a traditional high street estate agent or go for an online service? We’ve seen the adverts offering to save us money, but at what cost? Are the days of traditional estate agency numbered? To us, it kind of seems that all agents are online, but does having a tangible presence in the area validate the higher costs? What exactly do high street estate agents do that an online agent doesn’t?

North Four, North London magazine, property advice, Davies and Davies estate agents, article

We spoke to Mark Scales of Davies & Davies Estate Agents, an independent property company based in Finsbury Park. 

What exactly do high street agents do that online agents don’t? 

“Estate agents, of the traditional variety, are experts of the neighbourhood that they work within. They understand and have knowledge of not only the local market but also schools, amenities, businesses, transport and the community who live in the area. They also, if they are worth their salt, make a real effort to get to know both the seller and potential buyers, learning from their specific needs and understanding their day-to-day lives, personalities and dreams for the future.

Traditional agents also properly market your home themselves – they don’t just plonk it on Rightmove. They bring a wider pool of people to view your property and then provide an in-depth ‘tour’ of your home for prospective buyers, before moving on to expertly negotiating the best deal for the client.

North Four, North London magazine, property advice, Davies and Davies estate agents, article

A person will either initially like a property or not when they go to a viewing, it really is that simple. However, high street agents will point out the best features of a property, or any changes that could improve it, which will help the buyer to see beyond the interiors or layouts which they may not at first like, and instead see the potential of the property. Our job is to match a buyers specific needs to our portfolio of properties and then get them to visit your home and experience it for themselves.”

So what happens post-viewing, when I’ve made an offer?

“Once your offer has been accepted your agent will then progress the sale, speaking to all parties involved including solicitors, to make sure the sale goes through smoothly. Our job is to keep all parties regularly updated, provide advice, explain any jargon and negotiate on behalf of the client. We have a duty of care towards the client, so we will bend over backwards to ensure they are looked after, which sometimes means acting as mediator or following-up solicitors for answers.

Estate Agents, finsbury park, davies davies, property, north london, london,

We also can provide a local office where both buyer and seller can come in and have a chat, or we can go to their own homes, whichever works for them – sometimes personal interaction is needed at tough times.”

Who can introduce the most amount of buyers, local or online?

“Your traditional agent, of course! We’re based in the actual area applicants are looking in. We have a shop front, a real-life presence. When buyers are looking for property they will visit the area, so they can pop in and speak to us face-to-face. If they live in the area already it’s likely they know us already, they probably walk past our office every day, have dealt with us before or have friends or family who have sold or bought through us. A traditional agent will be immersed in the local community, the good ones roll up their sleeves and get involved with events, organisations and schools. They’re visible locally, with deep-rooted connections and marketing specifically tailored for that neighbourhood. So yeah, we can definitely get more buyers to view your property.”

North Four, North London magazine, property advice, Davies and Davies estate agents, article

What’s more, you get as many cups of tea as you can drink while you soak up all the friendly advice. Certainly beats going cross-eyed at your computer screen trying to get your head round all the property jargon. 

What about fees? High street agents are obviously more expensive than online agents.

“Yep, this is very true and for a reason. Online agents will make claims that they can save you many thousands in fees, but I really believe that by using a high street agent you will earn much more than the saving offered to you because we can achieve a much better sale price. Moreover, you get what you pay for, so if you want good customer service, expertise, a bigger pool of potential buyers, someone to do the legwork for you with viewings, someone to progress the sale on your behalf and negotiate the best price so you don’t have to,  you need a high street agent. Also, your local high street agent will really know your property, the surrounding area and their customers. This knowledge and level of service, really is what you pay for.” 

In Summary (because we’re busy people):

Selling with a high street estate agent: 

Pros – you will receive the highest level of marketing, get more potential buyers through your door, likely to achieve a higher price, sell quicker, have more security and experience less pressure as the agent will progress the sale for you.

Cons – it is possible for an online agency to get you the best price and, of course, they charge a minimal fee.

Looking to buy, rent or sell in North London? Why not visit the helpful bunch at Davies & Davies Estate Agents on Stroud Green Road. Established in 1927, they know the neighbourhood like the back of their hand. Coffee stains and all.

This article has been very kindly sponsored by Davies & Davies Estate Agents (obviously).

Drop them a line: or give them a bell: 020 7272 0986

Photos by Mike Barry featuring Davies & Davies properties.

North Four, North London magazine, green rooms hotel, arts, culture, review, interiors, design, photography, wood green
Eat & Drink Lifestyle

My First Night at Green Rooms Hotel

Staying in a hotel one mile from where you actually live feels strange enough, but doing it on your own is even stranger. These photos are a visual record of me wandering the lonely corridors of a new boutique hotel between the hours of 10-12pm. I would describe the decor as handmade but not cheap, minimal but not clinical. It has the feeling that money has been spent on the things that matter.

North Four, North London magazine, cheese, fromage, cheese festival, n1, islington, market, festival, food, gouda, edam, brie, camembert, wheel of cheese
Eat & Drink

You Feta Brie-lieve it: Cheese Festival Comes to North London

The rumours are true: a cheese festival exists and it’s coming to North London. This Sunday. Be there or be … cheese-less I suppose. But you’ve gouda get there early:  If you’re as keen as brie and one of the first fifty fromage fondlers to show, you’re in the running for a free bottle of Black Cow’s pure milk vodka. Traders will be setting up stalls along Islington’s Chapel Market: from the Raclette Brothers and Mac to the Future to La Fromagerie and The Cheese Truck.

North Four, North London magazine, dream phone, dream talk, sound art, collaboration, musician, artist, london, phone boxes
Culture Lifestyle

Dream Talk: Sound Art for Your Commute

Dream Talk. It’s like Dream Phone, but not at all. Artist Emma Alonze and musician Andy Becker have joined forces to collaborate on a (possibly prophetic) new sound art project. Londoners are invited to take a moment out of their daily commute, routine or journey and immerse themselves in a narrated collection of dreams. Taking three years worth of forty winks, Alonze has gathered and narrated a chosen few to be set to an ambient soundtrack by Becker.


Between the Sheets at the Underbelly Festival

Holy smoke, her nipples are on fire! Somebody pass the woman an extinguisher. Wait, why is she climbing into that giant margarita glass - does she not know it's highly flammable? She's going to need to be doused with a sizable portion of aloe vera gel at this rate, the poor lamb. 

North Four, North London magazine, events, to do, 100, keeping it 100, hackney arts
Culture Events List

Top Four "Keeping it 💯" Workshops

If there's anything the new moon today has told us, it's that it's time to be our true selves. That's what my horoscope told me today anyway. But what does that mean exactly? It means that if you want to eat honey loops for lunch, you 100% can. It means if you feel like learning how to make a bouquet instead of working on your tax forms, you 100% can. It also means if you want to learn how the deep throat (singing technique) you don't have to explain yourself. You're keeping it .

North Four, North London magazine, eroc, skateboarding, skater dog, french bulldog, frenchie, skateboard, halfpipe, interview, internet sensation, instagram star, tony hawk, fanbase

Who is Behind Eroc the Skateboarding Dog?

Our exclusive meeting with Eroc: the Beyonce of the skateboarding dog world. Eroc the french bulldog is making waves. With fans like Tony Hawk, BBC Radio and over 30k followers on Instagram (and counting), Eroc has also become something of an online sensation. His viral status comes and goes, randomly popping up on online social media channels every now and again to generate hundreds of thousands of views and clicks via the likes of Buzzfeed, Time Out and rogue iPhone filmers.

North Four, North London magazine, protest, opinion piece, lifestyle, trump, women's march, brexit, riots, uprising, human rights, march, rally

Protest is Dead! Long Live Protest!

We all have our own ways of dealing with life when things get shitty. Having a big cry and getting it all out can be incredibly therapeutic, and even more so when we find ourselves repeating the same line over and over through the tears. “He’s a dick!” or “I’m not a bad person!” These little lines of reinforcement help us push through the crappy feeling. Sometimes we might even revert to a hearty little stamp on the floor / kick of some unsuspecting object. It feels surprisingly satisfying when the rage sets in and we feel helpless.

North Four, North London magazine, trio da kali, musicians, live music, gig, stoke newington, the old church, tickets, events

Contemporary Malian Sounds in Stokey

This Friday sees the release of Malian master musicians, Trio Da Kali’s new album Ladilikan. Fusing rich, expressive vocals with traditional instruments like the balafon and bass ngoni, this is a beautiful mix of ancient Mande culture and contemporary Malian sounds. Luckily for us North Londoners, we have the opportunity to see the trio play live in the rather fitting ethereal surrounds of Stoke Newington Church next month. 

North Four, North London magazine, sylvanian familes, store, monsell road, finsbury park, toys, toyshop, collectibles, rare, dolls

On your Doorstep: Inside Sylvanian World

Walking along Monsell Road in Finsbury Park, we spy the charming exterior of a shop looking like something out of a children’s book circa 1932. Beneath a green and white striped awning, a whimsical new world of mini animals awaits. Once inside we stumble about the store in hushed awe, reaching over a book of minuscule carpet samples/ family of miniature otters to tap a tiny bell.

North Four, north London magazine, outdoor cinema, pizza, sodo pizzeria, snug, events, refreshments, foodie, picnic

Kids and Big Kids: Pizza, Curry and Open Air Cinema

Whether you’re looking for something to entertain your kids, your friends’ kids or that particularly large man child in your life, you might just have lucked out. Snug are hosting an open air screening of The Incredibles next Saturday evening. There will be tasty sourdough pizzas from Sodo Pizza (Upper Clapton) and ultimate authentic curries from Rice n Spice, Northwold Road.

North Four, North London magazine, vegetarian restaurant, ceremony, veggie, cuisine, risotto, dish
Eat & Drink

Ceremony: A New Take On Veggie Cuisine

Coming soon to a Tufnell Park near you is a whole new vegetable patch of delights / wheat field to run vicariously through. It’s time to get excited for Ceremony: a brand new bar/restaurant serving modern British veggie cuisine. Although the website remains tantalisingly mysterious, you can glean more info from their well stocked insta.

Spring Kind, Pit Party, North Four Magazine, Music, North London, London
Culture Eat & Drink Events List

Top 4 Weird Things to do This September

Sound baths, pit parties, fake cheese and nipples, these are a few of our favourite things, said no one ever. Bored of drinking down the pub every evening? Unlikely, but bare with me. Sometimes you just want to let down your hair, shake it off and do something down right odd of an evening... followed by a pint at the pub.

North Four, North London magazine, texlationship, online dating, illustration, iphones, texting, tinder, julia potocnik

Dating North London: IRL vs Textlationship

It’s been a few months since the last instalment of Online vs Offline. I deleted Bumble, Happn and Tinder, flirted with the idea of, went to a friend’s wedding, heard the vicar call my name instead of the Bride’s and reflected briefly on the crushing inevitability of my own spinsterhood before realising everyone was laughing in the pews and I should probably join them.

north four magazine, north london, stroud green, cheese
Eat & Drink Events

Stroud Green Market Opens This Sunday!

Gluten-free cake consumers, vegan cheese enthusiasts, craft beer connoisseurs, lovers of pies and drinkers of tea; your time is now. Buy food of a quality & variety you can’t easily find in the shops, from organic meat to vegan cheese, fish caught that morning to pickles which have been fermenting for months, at Stroud Green market.

North Four, North London magazine, the finsbury, finsbury park, n4, music venue, gigs, folk

Free Cake and Gin Soaked Folk Pop

Who’s up for free entry, free cake and free folk (except for a jaunty little hat that is passed around for donations)? Get down to The Finsbury this Wednesday eve for a little mid week hootenanny and celebrate some of the best in new live music from the ‘acoustic, singer-songwriter & indie-folk scene’. Host with the most, Zoe Konez (“Ridiculously talented, Konez handles her guitar like she was born with it” - For Folk's Sake) will be deftly introducing each act from gin soaked folk popster herself, Penniless Cove to German indie band, Kalon.


Lamps, Records, Frenchies: The Big London Flea

What if you could mix the joys of your local Sunday car boot and all it’s dog perving potential with your favourite vintage clothes shops and high end antique markets? Within the sparkling depths of Dalson’s former ABC cinema, you’ll find The Big London Flea: London’s largest indoor vintage market.