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How to choose an online estate agent

  1. 11 July 2018
  2. By Andi Michael

Online estate agents are becoming increasingly popular as we move further into the digital age. Property Road are on the blog to tell us what to look out for.


Gone are the days of needing to visit a local high street estate agent. If you wish, you can sell your property with an online agent to benefit from cheaper fees and longer opening hours.
 
But if you do decide to use an online estate agent, what should you look out for?

We look at some of the key things to consider… 

Find Out What’s Included

Online estate agents do vary in what they include in each package. Some offer very cheap packages but then ask that you do everything yourself, including writing your property description and taking photographs.
 
Others charge a little more but include everything you need to sell your home as easily as possible, much like a traditional high street agent.

Check When You Need To Pay

An increasing number of online estate agents now offer ‘no sale, no fee’ packages. Typically, you’ll pay a little more but get the benefit that it’s risk-free, as you won’t pay unless your property sells.
 
Others only offer a cheaper upfront price that you’ll need to pay before your property goes on the market, although some do offer the opportunity to defer the payment for a number of months.

Look Out For Hidden Fees

There are a handful of online estate agents that could be accused of not making all of their fees quite as clear as they could.
 
In some cases, online agents will charge you an additional fee if you want to use your own conveyancer rather than their recommended one. That fee can be as high as £360, in addition to what you’ve already paid.

Always check the small print and stick to estate agents who are known to avoid this practice.

Make Sure They Offer The Services You Need

One of the key differences between online estate agents and traditional ones is that online agents tend not to conduct viewings with potential buyers on your behalf. Some do, however, offer hosted viewings as an optional extra.
 
Make sure, if you require any extra services that are not included in the package you are buying, that you can add the service on later.

Get Several Valuations

If you were using a traditional high street agent the advice would be the same, get at least three valuations of your property.
 
Like high street agents, online ones tend to offer valuations free of charge with no obligation to use their service.
 
Make use of this and get multiple valuations to ensure you’re not under-valuing your property.

Compare Reviews  

As the online estate agency market is so competitive, it’s usually fairly easy to find customer reviews on the service and agent offers before you decide to go ahead.
 
You can also compare online estate agents on some property websites to help better understand the pros and cons of each agent.

Check Their Opening Hours

One of the big benefits of using an online agent is that they are usually manning the phones for much longer periods than traditional agents. In fact, many are open from early until late 7 days a week.
 
That’s not just good to know they are there if you need them, it also means potential buyers will find it easier to book viewings.
 
Therefore check the opening hours of any agent you are considering to be sure they will be available to take calls when necessary.
 
And that’s it! Using an online estate agent can be a great way to sell your property and save yourself some cash at the same time. Just be sure to follow our tips to get the best value for money you can!
 
 

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