A Guide to Online Estate Agents

Top Tips on Using Online Estate Agents

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Using Online Agents

The Pros of an Online Estate Agent

Online estate agents are very much cheaper than conventional high street estate agents. But they vary considerably in terms of the packages and prices they offer.

If you are confident enough to show off your home and like to haggle. You can virtually take charge of the whole selling process.

You have a much greater choice of services than high street agents offer. Often you will have a long list of optional extras to choose from. So start by deciding what is important to you. (See our list below).

A lot of online agents have no contractual agreement. You may be able to advertise with them until your property sells.

The Cons of an Online Estate Agent

How your house is valued could be a problem. Online companies employ two methods, plus your input of course...

Using online data (the selling prices of similar local properties etc.) which is really only a guide.

Employing a “local expert” who visits the property. Which is obviously a lot more accurate, providing he is local and does know what he is talking about.

This is easily overcome by you asking local high street agents to value your home before deciding whether to opt to go on-line. Not as easy as it seems as they will be asking many questions relevant to getting your business!

One other possible downside arguably, is that online estate agents do not have the same commission-based incentive as a high street agent to get you (and them) the highest price possible.

Online Estate Agent Charges

Online estate agents nearly always charge set fees, these vary but start at about £300 + VAT paid up front. Commission selling is unusual

There are short term packages which provide 28 days marketing, starting at approx. £35 + VAT

You can pay after the property has been sold or pay in instalments.

What you can get for your money

Listed here are virtually all the potential services provided by the many online agencies. (They don’t all undertake all of them)... As you might imagine the more you pay the more you get!

Differing Portals.... Make sure they use the “big” ones... Rightmove & Zoopla

“Premium listing” on portals

A For Sale board....which you may have to erect yourself!

Photos ...............possibly aerial shots

Floor plans........ possibly in 3D

A Virtual tour

An Energy Performance Certificate...unless you already have one

Conducted / hosted viewings...Using a local affiliated estate agent....... but how many?

Arranged viewings..... where you show prospective buyers around your property

Negotiation management......checking potential buyers, taking offers, discussing them with you and negotiating the price for you.

Sales progression....... dealing with other agents and solicitors etc.

The use of “Trustpilot” showing customer reviews

An online web chat facility

Your own online account area to keep track of viewings and feedback, change the price, add photos, schedule viewing availability, analyse advertising views etc.

Pay Now or Pay Later...(defer payment, interest free, for up to 12 months)

A call centre....check its opening times, just office hours or 365 days a year

A 30 day money back guarantee (if you pay upfront)

Discounted conveyancing

Letting your property, or even letting a single room

Selling an overseas property

Text alerts

A dedicated account manager (whoopee!)

A Guide To The Process of Buying/Selling a Home/House/Flat