Choosing the best online estate agent requires research based on your specific requirements. It also requires due diligence since online estate agents provide different services and at different costs, and not all of them are transparent!
This article wont discuss the specific packages provided by online estate agents since they change so frequently. Instead it will identify aspects that you need to look out for when conducting your search to find the best online estate agent to sell your home!
How Much Does An Online Estate Agent Charge?
First thing’s first, let’s look at the cost of selling your home with an online estate agent.
Does your estate agent charge a percentage commission if they sell your home? This price will increase if your home sells for more, and conversely will decrease if your home sells for less. Estate agents say that this model incentivises them to sell your home for more money. I personally don’t agree with this model since I believe that two similar properties should cost the same amount to sell, regardless of how much they are worth.
Does your estate agent charge a fixed fee? Fixed fees are beneficial. They are not a moving goalpost like percentage commission. A fixed fee provides homeowners with clarity and enables them to accurately forecast how much it will cost to sell their home.
Does your estate agent charge you even if your home doesn’t sell? Some online estate agents are sneaky. They will offer to sell your home for a relatively low (less than £1000) fixed fee, but the small print will state that you will be charged after x months whether your home sells or not! Be vigilant. The devil is in the detail.
Does your estate agent offer to sell your home for free? Again, be vigilant. In many cases if an estate agent offers to sell your home for free they will enforce that you use their recommended conveyancing solicitor or similar.
Does The Online Estate Agent Have Local Knowledge?
Estate agents refer to this as being an ‘LPE’ or a ‘Local Property Expert’. Ideally an LPE should know the local area well; its amenities, transport links and have a good inclination of how much homes are selling for in the area.
An LPE isn’t required to sell your home since homeowners are usually familiar the area they live in, and have access to a plethora of statistics to calculate a property valuation from the comfort of their own home. These statistics, combined with the price of currently listed properties will usually yield an accurate property valuation. However it’s still important to understand what services you are paying for.
Does The Online Estate Agent Host Property Viewings?
Many online estate agents require that the homeowner conduct property viewings. Again, this is fine. Perhaps optimal in my opinion. But some online estate agents will provide hosted viewings whereby they will physically guide viewers around your home. But it’s important that you are aware of what services your online estate agent will provide.
Does The Online Estate Agent Provide a Basic Service or a Full Service?
If I was paying the hefty price associated with high street estate agents that charge a percentage commission, I would expect a video promoting my home, social media mentions/promotion and a virtual tour of my home as a minimum. However most high street estate agents don’t provide this. And because online estate agents are usually cheaper than high street estate agents, they don’t usually provide these extra services either.
With MoveSelf you can sell your home with the best online estate agent. Our flexible plans enable home owners to take full control of their most valuable asset.