Online Estate Agents – a viable alternative for selling your house?
Online estate agents or internet estate agents as they are often referred, are web based estate agents. They usually don’t have high street premises and can market your home for sale often at a much more competitive price than traditional estate agents. Most property for sale is advertised on the internet, and most house buyers looking for houses for sale, look ‘on the web’.
As a result, there is a slight shift towards online estate agents who are open 24/7 to access information and view properties as opposed to the traditional high street estate agency operating a 9 to 5 showroom. These internet-based estate agents could become a real viable alternative in the property marketplace.
Before you embark on choosing between a traditional or online estate agent, work out your property’s value, find out how much it’s worth, try our house valuation calculator, it’s free!
The best Online Estate Agents – open all hours, 24/7
The best online estate agents are the ones which deliver on the general promise of cheap estate agency fees coupled with good service.
It’s a fact that house buyers and property sellers, often working and leading busy lives, find it difficult to deal with the house sales process during normal working hours, whereas an online estate agent is always ‘online’ to some extent. The general perception is that the online service is a ‘trimmed down’ version of a conventional estate agents, but the probability is that many online offerings will develop into fully fledged virtual estate agency operations as systems improve, and the service becomes more widely acceptable.
Costs savings, are online agents cheaper and more flexible?
It’s probably true to say that online agents are in the main far cheaper than their counterparts on the high street, (there is no such things as free online estate agents, everyone has to charge for providing a service), they don’t have the same associated overheads, rent and rates and the staffing costs are probably far lower.
Outsource expensive Estate Agency jobs
Also staff can be outsourced cheaper abroad as there is no requirement for a physical presence, only someone at the other end of the phone, or ‘webchat’. As estate agency is big business with the Property Ombudsman estimating fees and commissions in 2012 at £2 Billion pounds, then expect to see more offline estate agents moving more of their operations online to keep their share of this business
Online Agents fees and charges
At present online agents usually charge a flat fee, a one of payment of several hundred pounds to list a property on their website, this can include photos, property marketing for up to a year (including listings on Rightmove and Zoopla), and a telephone help line/answering service for property viewing enquiries. This compares very favourably with high street estate agents who often charge a percentage of the sale price of a home, 1 to 1.5% which can amount to several thousand pounds. One of the oldest type of online agent is ‘home’ which lists property for free and also has a premium offering.
The future of Online Estate Agents, a growing trend?
Traditional estate agents will argue that using a house buying and selling service exclusively online is limited whereas using the service that they offer, many properties are bought and sold through the hard work and dedication of their staff who focus on developing relationships with buyers and sellers, providing expertise and help at every step along the way. Without this, then house sellers may be short changing themselves and achieving a lower sale price for their homes. Sometimes it may be better to also explore cheap estate agents, as many agents also offer a trimmed down budget service. Therefore it may be unfair to compare online agents with their high street counterparts.
Pros and cons of Online Estate Agents and what happens when things go wrong?
- Using an online estate agent is clearly going to save you money – on the fees/ charges, assuming they get the value of your home right, and don’t underprice
- Everything pretty much is conducted online, so you should be able to control the administerative process form your armchair.
- Potentially save several thousand pounds
- A local estate agent will be better placed to price your home to sell. Do it with an online estate agent and get it wrong, then it could cost you far more than any saving.
- You need to do the viewings, is that a bad thing? Depends on whether you actually put buyers off, instead of focusing on your home’s good points!
- Is that buyer real or will you be let down at the last minute? Use a conventional estate agent, and your sale may go through more smoothly.
And of course when things go wrong, as they often do with property sales, then who is there to turn to with an online estate agent? The high street agent has built up relationships with investors, property buyers, mortgage advisors and solicitors over the years, and often a quick phone call is all it takes to save a house sale from falling through, this kind of experience and support could well outweigh any cost saving between offline and online agents. The best online estate agents will be the ones that continue to develop their offering and compete more on a like for like basis with the high street.
Alternatives to Online and High Street Estate Agents
Too often the choice has been threefold when selling a house:
- offline (high st estate agent),
- online and
- sell your house yourself.
Flying Homes a viable alternative to using Estate Agents, off or online!
Wth Flying Homes, selling a home can be a breeze. We buy any house, we even buy houses for cash. Flying Homes are property buyers who have investors aplenty who can help to sell house fast and with the minimum of fuss. How much you will receive and how fast really depends on your property selling timescale. It is possible to get a guaranteed home buyer at a price which you are happy with, but remember the longer you can wait for a sale then the more money you are likely to receive. Flying Homes clients get on average 94% of market value by selling with our help.
Flying Homes can help you to sell your house fast as opposed to using offline or selling your house online. So call us now on 0800 68 99 420 or complete our instant online quote form and one of our staff will be in touch shortly!
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