Best Online Estate Agents: Which Should I Choose?

Written by Millie Archer

I love all things property and have a real eye for detail. I’m always reading up on property news, whether it be renting a first property or buying a mansion.

Talking you through the best online estate agents, the pros and cons of going online to sell and the best way to choose which estate agent to go with...


Since the impact of the covid pandemic, hybrid and online estate agents have seen a 10% surge in instructions, with their overall market share rising from 2.7% to 9.9% over the past year (The Negotiator).

According to research by TwentyCI, hybrid and online estate agents have also managed to penetrate the London market, an area they have struggled to get into before.

As a result of this, online estate agents have started to catch people’s eyes, with many curious if this is the way to go when you want to sell.

If you’re wanting to know whether an online estate agent could be the way to sell your house, we’ve got a list of all the best online estate agents here for you.

We’ve also got advice on how to choose between the different online estate agents and the pros and cons of using one.

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What are online estate agents?

Online estate agents are exactly what they ‘say on the tin’. They help you to sell your property, but instead of being in person like a traditional high street estate agent, online estate agents operate completely online.

Due to the nature of online estate agents, they offer a much more basic service compared to a traditional estate agent but as a result of this will charge a lower fee.

There are two different types of online estate agents: purely online and hybrid estate agents.

As online estate agents are completely remote, they do require the seller to do most of the work themselves, including taking photos, conducting viewings negotiating offers and handling enquiries.

A hybrid estate agent works slightly differently, in that they have ‘local property experts’ who will handle most of the things that an online estate agent would expect the seller to handle, with some even handling viewings.

Some online estate agents will offer you the option of valuing and marketing your property and arranging viewings, but it may come at an added cost. Other services they may be able to provide include negotiating and accepting offers and speaking with your solicitor/buyer/other estate agents on your behalf until the sale is complete.

Best online estate agents

If selling through an online estate agent is something you’re considering, we’ve got the best online estate agents listed here, to help you make a decision on which is right for you:

Emoov

Emoov is one of the best online estate agents, but it is considered to be a hybrid estate agent. Emoov have three different packages, offering you differing services, at different costs. The most basic package is £199 plus 0.5% of the sale price, going up to £399 and 0.5% of the sale price.

The most basic package covers professional photos, a floorplan, a for sale board and a personal agent. The more expensive packages include having your property listed on Rightmove and Zoopla, an EPC and social media promotion.

If your house qualifies, Emoov also offer the option of selling your house to them directly.

Yopa

Another one of the best online estate agents is Yopa. Yopa is also considered to be a hybrid agent, as you will be given a local property expert to be by your side. The basic package is priced at £999, and the premium package is priced at £1399.

Yopa are one of the few best online estate agents which offer a ‘no sale no fee’ option, but you are tied into a minimum of 10 months with them, and you will be forced to pay the fees if you changed your mind about selling with them during this time.

99 Home

99 Home has one of the cheapest basic packages out of the best online estate agents, with the cost being £99. With their most basic package, 99 Home will advertise your property for you on Rightmove, Zoopla and Prime Location and you will do the rest.

This means you will have to pay extra for professional photos and a ‘for sale’ sign and if you want help with the sales progression, negotiations and floor planning, then you will need to pay for an upgraded package.

Also, even with the most expensive package, you will only get 10 accompanied viewings. You will also have to pay extra for any virtual tours, an EPC and a premium display on Rightmove and/or Zoopla.

99 Home also offer a no sale no fee option, with the cost of this being £999 once the sale completes.

Strike

Strike is another one of the best online estate agents who offer a completely free service. The service covers an in-person valuation, photos, floorplans, ‘for sale’ sign, support through negotiation to completion and adverts on Rightmove and Zoopla.

You will have to host viewings yourself, unless you wish to pay the extra fees to have hosted viewings.

Strike don’t cover all areas of England, with the locations listed on their website limited to Newcastle, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester and Sheffield.

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eSale

eSale is the final one of the best online estate agents we’re going to speak about. They offer pay now or pay later options, with the pay now option costing £595 and the pay later costing £1190, but you will need to pay £95 upfront. eSale also offer a 30-day money back guarantee.

The package will include professional photos, floor plan and measurements. If you want extras such as accompanied viewings, an EPC, virtual tours and videos on Rightmove, you will need to pay extra fees.

Some of the other best online estate agents which we haven’t detailed are Purplebricks, Doorsteps and Sold.co.uk. Purplebricks is considered to be a hybrid estate agent, whilst the other two are classic online estate agents.

How do I choose an estate agent?

When choosing between the best online estate agents, you will need to take certain factors into consideration. We have some of the main things to consider listed here for you.

Other things to consider, which we don’t mention, are price the online estate agents have suggested to market your house at and a more general consideration of what services they offer for the price they charge.

Compare online estate agents’ fees

A lot of people are drawn to the idea of using an online estate agent because they’re cheaper in comparison to a high street estate agent. The fees charged will differ across the online estate agents, so this is something you could use to differentiate between which one you should choose.

Online estate agents work out cheaper as they charge a fixed fee compared to a traditional estate agent who take a commission, which is a percentage of the sale price.

Some of the best online estate agents will also offer additional services, such as negotiating with buyers, but this will come at an added cost, which will also vary amongst online estate agents.

Compare when you will need to pay commission

As we just mentioned, online estate agents don’t tend to take ‘commission’ in the way that you expect from a traditional estate agent.

Most of the best online estate agents will be expecting the fixed fee to be paid upfront, regardless of whether your property sells. Some may have the option of a ‘no sale no fee’ clause, but it’s rare and will probably be more expensive than just paying the initial fixed fee.

Compare online estate agents’ contracts

You will need to make sure you pay attention to the estate agent’s contract, as there will be aspects which you will need to be weary of. Often estate agent contracts can have hidden charges or strict guidelines.

The rules and additional charges detailed in the contract will help you to choose and differentiate between which of the best online estate agents you want to choose.

Compare how viewings are conducted

Most of the best online estate agents we’ve listed will expect you to show viewers around the property yourself. The hybrid estate agents will likely offer a service to conduct viewings for you but will come at an added cost.

If you want your house viewings to be conducted by an agent, you will need to see which of the best online estate agents offer this service for you, before choosing which to go with.

Pros and cons of using an online estate agent

Before deciding which of the best online estate agents you want to use, it may first be a good idea to think over the good and bad ‘bits’, so you can be 100% selling your house this way is best for you.

Wanting to know the pros and cons? Look no further – we’ve got them listed here for you:

Pros:

  • Cheaper - As a result of the fixed fee, online estate agents are cheaper than your traditional high street estate agent
  • Multiple agents - As there’s no certain contract period, there’s nothing to say you can’t instruct other estate agents at the same time
  • Easy to track - Due to the estate agent being online, you can often track viewings and look at feedback online, making it easier to know where you’re at in the selling process

Cons:

  • More effort - As online estate agents offer a reduced service, selling requires a lot of effort from you, the seller. You will be required to do most of the work that you would expect from a traditional estate agent
  • No 'no sale no fee' option - Unlike a traditional estate agent, you will normally have to pay for the online estate agent upfront, before they’ve done anything to warrant a payment
  • No local knowledge - Due to the nature of the estate agents being online, they won’t have any real knowledge of the surrounding areas, meaning they also may not be telling you to market your property at an accurate price
  • Low incentive - Following on from the price point your house sells at, online estate agents have a low incentive to get the highest price possible for your property as they’re not getting any commission from it and have already received their payment without doing any work
  • Making time - As you will have to conduct viewings, you will have to make time to do this on evenings and weekends. You will also have to be comfortable with showing your house to strangers
  • Uniqur properties - If you have a property which is considered a bit unique, or ‘one of a kind’, it will likely struggle to sell through an online estate agent and may require someone with more local knowledge and sales experience

Online estate agent cons putting you off?

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Can I sell my house without using an estate agent?

The simple answer is yes, you can. There are no rules about having to sell your house with an estate agent, if you would rather sell another way.

You have a few options when deciding you want to sell without an estate agent, and these are:

Sell your house privately – Selling your house privately means you are completely responsible for the sale of your property. You will have to handle all the tasks you would expect your estate agent to handle, including advertising, negotiations, viewings and more.

Selling a house privately will mean you save on estate agent fees, and you will have full focus on your house sale, compared to an estate agent who have their focus on multiple properties at once.

However, although the idea of avoiding estate agent fees sounds appealing, it’s underestimated the amount of time and effort which goes into selling a house and so you will have to make sure you make time for viewings and negotiations, alongside trying to work as well as living your life.

You also won’t have the contacts which your estate agent has, so it may be hard to find yourself a buyer. Although you won’t have to pay estate agent fees, you will have to pay to have your property advertised on property portals, for an EPC and to get professional photographs and a floorplan done.

If you’re after a stress and fee free property sale, selling your house privately probably isn’t the correct option for you.

Sell through auction – Selling your house through auction allows you to sell your house without an estate agent. At auction, as soon as a deal is reached, the buyer must put down a deposit and contracts are exchanged. The buyer then has 28 days to complete.

Selling through auction means you will have a few open days to allow potential buyers to look round, meaning there’s minimal property viewings, compared to the online estate agent route.

However, although you won’t need to pay online estate agent fees, you will still have other fees to pay, for example marketing fees, auctioneer’s fees, room hire, etc. There’s also no guarantee you will get a good price for your property, as people at auction tend to want a ‘bargain’.

Sell to a 'sell house fast' company – Selling your property to a quick house sale company will allow you to avoid the online estate agent fees. In fact, some quick house sale companies will cover your legal fees too, meaning you don’t have a penny to pay whilst selling your property.

You will get slightly below the market value for your property, but there will be no chain and the cash offer will be a guaranteed sale, meaning you don’t need to worry about a buyer backing out.

Quick house sale companies can also work a timescale to suit you, whether that be 7 days, a few weeks or a couple of months.

Finding a good quick house sale company is important, as you want to make sure the person buying your house is a respectable buyer. You will want to look for a company who has years of experience and lots of good reviews, which may be easier to find than you think…

Why?

Well because we're right here!

Here at The Property Buying Company, we’re a cash buyer of houses with over 50 years combined experience and multiple good reviews on Trustpilot. We cover all the fees associated with selling your house, even the legal ones!

We’re not an online estate agent – we buy your house from you directly, for cash, in a timescale to suit you. We also buy any property in any location, so no property is too unique for us! We also only require one quick viewing, much less than selling through an online estate agent.

Want to avoid an online estate agent but want a hassle-free way to sell? Fill in our online form or give us a call to receive a no-obligation cash offer which we could have in your bank in as little as 7 days…

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