If you want to sell your house, it’s nearly always best to use the services of an estate agent who can use their contacts and expertise to sell your house as quickly as possible at an optimal price.
Are online estate agents really prepared to put in the work without the incentive of the fee that traditional estate agents command? This article will explore the pros and cons of both so you can work out which type of estate agent is the best for your personal situation.
The benefits of online estate agents
It’s a fact that using an online estate agent will save you money in commission. Traditional estate agent fees range from 1.5 to 4 percent of the total amount of the house sale, and this is before VAT. A typical home selling for £300,000, for example, could generate fees of at least £4,500. A comprehensive online package, in comparison, could cost as little as £400 in the form of an upfront payment.
There are other key advantages of using an online service. Your house will be available to view online 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and can be seen by a far wider section of the global population that a house marketed in the window of a local estate agent – although this difference is mitigated by the fact that both types market properties on Rightmove.
Online call centres also provide higher levels of flexibility. Research shows that the vast majority of house searchers conduct searches on Rightmove and Zoopla before they even think about setting foot in an estate agent.
As long as you are confident that your home will achieve a price that is right for you, and are prepared to take a very active part in the selling process, such as messaging buyers directly and conducting the viewings yourself, it makes sense to cut out the middleman and use an online estate agent.
For more information, Yopa have put together a useful guide to online estate agents here.
The many reasons why traditional estate agents are here to stay
Online estate agencies are not for everyone and there are many reasons why traditional high street estate agents are continuing to thrive, albeit in a more competitive market than before.
Successful bricks and mortar estate agents have a strong knowledge of your local area and are able to use this to achieve quick sales at realistic prices. Online estate agents often rely on automatically generated online data or even your personal opinion of the value of your property, which can result in a disappointing level of interest and properties failing to sell.
Traditional estate agents are in a position to offer expert advice to vendors on what local buyers look for in a property as they know what sells and what doesn’t. And commission means that local estate agents have a strong incentive to work hard to achieve a good price for you.
Safety is another benefit. Theoretically, online estate agents have the details of the people coming to view your home, but using the services of a traditional estate agent offers a much greater level of security. Time is another factor
From a seller’s point of view, it’s reassuring to know that both types of estate agents are obliged to adhere to the same money laundering regulations and comply with the Estate Agents Act, which also states that they must:
- Be open and transparent with clients about fees
- Promptly inform clients about all offers made
Online and traditional estate agents both have advantages and disadvantages. In a nutshell, if you have the time and are extremely knowledgeable about how to market and negotiate the sale of a property, an online estate agent could be the right choice for you.
Conversely, if you are busy and prefer to use the services of a professional who can maximise the value of your property, using the services of a traditional estate agent is highly recommended.