Regardless of the value of your property, online estate agents charge a fixed fee as opposed to a commission. As such, they are cheaper to work with. This will often include the VAT but you will do well to double check.
The downside of the lower prices is that payment is upfront regardless of whether they will sell the home or not. However, there are companies that let you pay a certain percentage of the fee and clear the balance after the sale.
Thus, while estate agents can be a great option to save money when selling your property, it is important to keep in mind the advantages and disadvantages of working with one against a high street estate agent. This will help you make an informed decision on who you should use to sell your house.
Advantages of using Online Estate Agents
- It is convenient – It is easier to get in touch with online estate agents that are willing to act on your behalf as their call centres are open every day including weekends and evenings hence, they can handle your queries at any time.
- They do not charge high fees – Online estate agents are much cheaper compared to high street agents. If your property is more expensive then you can save significantly since they charge a flat rate.
- You have the freedom to work with multiple agents – Since online estate agents do not have a contract term, you are free to instruct other estate agents, online or otherwise if need be.
- Offers flexibility – Online estate agents can tailor packages to suit your requirements. In addition, you are also able to track the viewings as well as feedback on an online platform.
Disadvantages of Online estate agents
Using online estate agents comes with a number of disadvantages that include the following:
- Lack of knowledge and stiff competition – Online agents with regional reps may struggle to compete against the high street agent that known the neighbourhood as well as the property market well enough.
- Too much legwork – Although some of the online estate agents will negotiate for your and take up the role of a middleman in the sale process, others will not. Consequently, handling the communication between solicitors and buyers in the absence of the estate agent’s help can be draining, stressful and time consuming.
- You are in charge of viewings – When you opt for online estate agents, you must be prepared to do the viewings yourself. Thus, you must be prepared to show strangers around and avail yourself in the evenings as well as weekends.
- Selling price – Since the majority of the agents charge a flat fee as opposed to a commission, they do not have an incentive to get the best price for you. Consequently, they have a reputation to maintain and will strive to achieve 99% of the asking price.
- Upfront payment is– If you opt to use an online estate agent, you will not pay after the transaction rather you will have to pay before the end of the sale.
Online estate agents offer services similar to high street estate agents. Even then, it is upon you to research widely and determine if it is the best option for you.