What is an online estate agent?   

For the most part, online estate agents operate in the same way that high street agents do - except they do everything solely online. Unlike high street branches, online estate agencies operate from websites and call centres, eradicating added overheads and therefore offering a more affordable service for those that use them.  Of course, there are a couple of things to consider before committing to this sales route. Fees are indeed lower - an appealing prospect - but be sure to bear in mind that there is a little more work involved. It is likely that you must draw together those finer details about your property yourself, as well as taking photographs of your home (or hiring a professional photographer to do so.) 

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How do online estate agents work?  

Online agents each operate a slightly different package, but ultimately, the takeaway is the same. Some online agents benefit from a zero fee process, meanwhile others will charge a minimal cost, but will proceed to take on a more hands-on approach to the sale. 

Ultimately, online agencies will save you money. So, if you’re keen to keep costs to an absolute minimum, proceeding down this could work for you - but as with anything else, research is key and acknowledging the difference between a high street agent and an online one is key. 

What’s the difference between online estate agents and high street agents? 

The primary difference between traditional high street agents and online agents is that online agents charge a fixed fee for their service, whereas high street operators use a percentage system, taking a cut of your home’s eventual sale price. 

The majority of online agents will propose the option of valuing and marketing your home, as well as arranging property viewings. They can also proceed to negotiate offers, accept and reject offers and communicate with your conveyancer, prospective buyers and other estate agents up until the point of completion.  

Of course, it’s important that you’re aware of what is and isn’t included in the package that you opt into. ‘Basic’ packages are appealing as they’re cheap, but ‘extras’ will likely be excluded from the cost you pay, meaning the eventual cost is likely to be much more than the one you are initially quoted. You can, of course, keep costs down by taking on a proportion of the work  

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 What are the best online estate agents to use? 

Wondering what is the best estate agent to sell with? We’ve drawn together 10 of the UK’s most reputable online estate agents, together with their processes, what’s included and the cost for their service. 

Doorsteps.co.uk 

For a flat fee of £99, your home will be listed within 72 hours, and you’ll have unlimited access to the company’s 24/7 customer service. Those wanting to maximise the exposure of their home can pay more to upgrade to a premium package which will see their property featured on both Rightmove and Zoopla. 

Doorsteps.co.uk has a Trustpilot rating of 4.8, making it a popular choice among online estate agents. So, if you’re wondering where to sell property online, this is a great option. 

 emoov.co.uk 

 £249, plus 0.5% of the sale price, emoov.co.uk will provide you with an expert valuation, online dashboard access, professional home photography and advertising on platforms such as Rightmove and Zoopla. 

esaleuk.com 

This online estate agent asks for a one-off payment of £595 with zero to pay upon completion, or £1190 to pay at the point of completion. A money-back guarantee is included and all viewers are verified. Esaleuk.com has a Trustpilot rating of 4.7. 

I Am The Agent 

For the price of £449, home sellers will have access to a dedicated sales assistant, as well as free advertising on Primelocation, Zoopla and Rightmove for 365 days, should they need it. I Am The Agent boasts an impressive Trustpilot rating of 4.7.  

Purple Bricks 

Perhaps one of the best known online estate agents UK, Purple Bricks offers a basic package price of £999 (or £1499 if you’re based in London & it’s surrounding areas.) Included in this package is professional photography and home floor plans, a dedicated property expert and advertising on Zoopla and Rightmove - plus more. A popular alternative to traditional high street agents, Purple Bricks has garnered a lot of success in recent years and now has a Trustpilot rating of 4.6. 

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 Sellmyhome.co.uk 

With a Trustpilot rating of 4.7, for the basic package price of £995, home sellers will benefit from professional photos, a virtual walkthrough and video, a dedicated sales assistant and property advertising on Zoopla, PrimeLocation and Rightmove. 

Strike 

Another of the better known online estate agents, Strike’s online home selling service continues to grow in popularity - and a Trustpilot rating of 4.7, together with a free of charge service is enough to attract a wealth of future home sellers. Those that market their home with Strike will benefit from a property valuation, professional photography and floor plan, advertising on Zoopla and Rightmove, dedicated support upon completion of sale and professional offer negotiation services.  

Strike is able to offer a free, comprehensive service as the company is paid by certain partners providing you choose to use one of their optional services - free mortgage advice and removal services, for example. If you do choose to pursue Strike’s free mortgage advice, be mindful that you likely won’t attain the best deal possible. This is due to the fact that they’ll only recommend providers which pay them a commission. 

The Smart Estate Agency  

A Trustpilot rating of 4.6 and a basic fixed fee of just £75 make The Smart Estate Agency a popular choice with sellers. However, this low cost won’t grant you an awful lot in terms of service. As well as arranging EPCs, you’ll be required to take your own photographs and write descriptions, too. This one is indeed a high value option, but it’s not without its drawbacks. Extras are available at an additional cost. So, if you’d like your home to be featured on the likes of Rightmove and Zoopla, a road sign listing and a professional floor plan, this is possible. 

Yopa 

A commendable option for those looking to go down the online route, Yopa boasts a Trustpilot rating of 4.7, with a basic package costing £999. Included in this, sellers will have access to a dedicated local estate agent, floor plans, photographs, a ‘For Sale’ board outside their home and listings on both Rightmove and Zoopla. There’s also an online control centre that enables sellers to monitor the progression of their sale.  

Visum 

For those especially confident in their home’s likelihood to sell fast, Visum is an appealing option. Unique in the fact that it operates a pay-as-you-go system, a £49/month fee will place your home on Zoopla, OnTheMarket and 20 other home sale websites. Great news for tech savvy sellers - you can also manage your property listing directly from your smartphone.  

Visum has a Trustpilot rating of 4.7. 

99home 

Albeit a lesser known online estate agent, 99home has an impressive Trustpilot rating of 4.9. For £99, this agent offers a basic package including a comprehensive virtual tour, dedicated account manager and advertising across more than 700 property websites. 

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Reasons why you should use an online estate agent 

 

Considerably lower fees  

More often than not, going down the online estate agency route will prove a heck of a lot cheaper than proceeding with a high street agent. Better yet, if they operate a flat fee system rather than a percentage of the sale, the more expensive your home is, the more you will look to save.  

Convenience 

One of the most appealing aspects of online estate agencies is that they’re frequently open after hours - including evenings and weekends, making it much easier to contract them. The fact that they’re online also enables entirely unrestricted web access to monitor the progress of your sale. App access is often included as part of the agency service, too. 

Total flexibility 

There are often various options available to sellers, allowing them to customise their package to best suit their unique requirements. 

Freedom of choice 

Typically speaking, there is no contract period involved, enabling you to consult other estate agents, should you wish to do so. 

Honesty and transparency 

The likes of honest review sites such as Trustpilot allow customers to share their experiences firsthand, enabling sellers to make an informed decision about which agent to proceed with. 

No third parties involved 

Third parties that proceed to take cuts and commissions are both frustrating and costly. The good news is that online estate agents directly connect buyers with sellers and there are no third parties involved. 

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Things to be mindful of when using an online estate agent 

 

Area unfamiliarity and lack of local knowledge 

Detracting from that ‘personal touch’ that we naturally warm to, online agents will seldom know your local area, making it notably difficult for them to compete with knowledgeable agents in your area.   

Valuation 

Often, online estate agents are only able to offer a very generic home valuation. Instead of sending an expert round to perform the valuation, they will make note of your home’s attributes and features before attempting to make a fair valuation. Needless to say, the accuracy of such valuations isn’t always 100%. 

The amount of work involved 

Depending on the agent you go with and the package in which you select, you may find that there is a lot of work left for you to do. The likes of taking your own home photographs, liaising with buyers and even writing descriptions are just a few of the tasks that may be left for you to do. 

Viewings 

More often than not, property viewings are something that you’ll be left to do yourself. Many don’t feel comfortable showing people they don’t know around their homes, so this is often a deal-breaker. 

Vetting 

While some online estate agents will perform checks on buyers relating to their personal circumstances and processability, others will not. Be sure to affirm this with prospective agents before deciding to use their services. 

Upfront costs regardless of outcome 

Proceeding down the online agent route can prove a lot more cost effective. However, as agents tend to charge fixed fees for their service, as opposed to taking a cut of the final sale price, you will be left with no option but to pay for their service even if your home doesn’t sell.Some find that they aren’t happy with the service provided by their online agent, and later decide to proceed with a local high street agent, instead - in which case they will have paid the upfront cost of their original agent, but a percentage of their eventual sale value, too. 

Potentially lower profit 

A challenging couple of years has resulted in a notable decline in interest, for online agents. So, while cutting out those ‘costly’ third parties may often feel like a more appealing approach, sellers are often left feeling as though their home could have sold for more. Occasionally, online agents will operate a price negotiation system - but this is rarely standard procedure, meaning sellers either don’t benefit from this service, or they simply have to pay extra for it. Needless to say, sellers want to attain the highest possible price for their home, and the absence of a negotiation system can hinder this.  

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Why you should consider The Property Buying Company 

At The Property Buying Company, we are proud to buy any home in any condition. We identify opportunities where others perhaps wouldn’t and our average selling time ranges from 2-3 weeks - great news for those hoping to achieve a quick sale! What’s great about us is that we also take care of all those extra fees - including solicitor fees - meaning there are no hidden costs or nasty shocks later on down the line. 

In terms of the sale price, we average at 80% of the market value, which, when you consider the speedy turnaround and the fact there are no additional fees, is pretty great! 

For more information, give us a call on 0800 024 8444 and we will be happy to advise. Alternatively, for more information and advice relating to the property market, head over to our News hub.  

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