Online estate agents pitch themselves as a cheaper alternative to their high street counterparts, but are they a viable option for you? Online estate agents, such as Emoov, HouseSimple, Purplebricks and Tepilo, can appear to charge much lower fees for selling your house than high street agents. An online estate agent will value and market your home for you, and arrange property viewings. Most will also accept and negotiate offers on your behalf, and liaise with your solicitor, other estate agents and buyers until the sale is complete.
But there are a few significant differences.
Benefits of using your Local Estate Agency
- Fees Headline online agency fees tend to be lower than those charged by High Street agents but you often have to pay them up front, whether or not the company manages to sell your property. Check what services are in that upfront price. Sale Board, full listings, viewings, help and so on can all rack up big extras payable in advance.
- Viewing Fergusson Law will conduct viewings for you but with an online agent, the default option is that you do them yourself.
- Communication Someone will visit to take photographs and create floor plans but all other contact will usually be via email or phone. Taking charge of communications with buyers and solicitors without the help of an agent will be time-consuming and stressful. Brenda of Fergusson Law will be your personal account manager.
- Valuations Most online estate agents will visit your home to value it, just like us, but you won't necessarily get an online agent with specific knowledge of the local market.
- Marketing Fergusson Law markets your home until it sells or your contract comes to an end. In practice, the same is true of online estate agents, but always check their time limits.
- VettingBuyers Good high street agents will know whether potential buyers are quality applicants. Online estate agents may take details of names, finances and whether potential buyers are already part of a chain but are rarely equipped to follow these up, without an extra fee of course.
Brenda of Fergusson Law offers you fixed prices with all the services you expect of an estate agent.