Should I use an online estate agent or high street agent?

Online estate agents are increasingly popular. Lower overheads allow online agents to offer cost-conscious vendors potential savings when it comes to selling their homes, making them an attractive option for many sellers.

For the most part, the services offered by online agents will be similar to those of traditional estate agents. However, we would always recommend consumers do their homework. Online agents are not all the same and their packages can be very different.

The key difference is that, with no expensive branches to maintain or local staff to employ, online estate agents can potentially undercut high-street agents by charging lower fees.

Unlike their high-street counterparts, which typically charge a percentage of your property’s selling price, most online estate agents charge a fixed fee, which can be as low as one or two hundred pounds regardless of the value of your property.

This does not always translate to a better level of service.

Some online agents require full payment upfront, which is non-refundable, even if your property doesn’t sell. Some will allow you to pay when your property sells, while others offer ‘No sale, no fee’ packages, although these may be more expensive than upfront packages. It pays to do your homework, so you don’t get caught out.

While more established online estate agents can offer a 24/7 service, you may find yourself dealing with call-centre staff who have little or no insight into the area where you live. This could affect the valuation of your property and the effectiveness of any online advertising.

Despite the increasing popularity of online estate agents, more than 90% of sellers still choose traditional high-street agents to sell their home. Hybrid estate agents bridge the gap between online and traditional agents, aiming to provide sellers with the best of both worlds.

You should use the agent that you feel best moving forward with and it shouldn’t always be about price. The level of service provided will help to make the transaction less stressful and easier to manage. We always refer people to look at Google Reviews before making any rash decisions. This is a good indicator on whether an agent has provided that service to other customers.

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