Online Estate Agents
As our daily life becomes ever more online so do services that we need and use. Online estate agents have become quite common.
Using an online agent to sell your home can save you hundreds or thousands of pounds. But selling your home is a risky business and involves the probably the biggest financial transaction you will ever make.
Whether you are looking at PurpleBricks, eMoov, Tepilo, HouseSimple or YOPA, you’ll need to know what to watch for.
Online estate agents are often cheaper than conventional high street estate agents. They vary in terms of what packages and prices they offer.
Fees for online estate agents vary, but can start as low as a £300. This might be a flat rate fee paid upfront. Other pricing plans vary, and most offer payment on completion, but that can cost more. If you want an agent to conduct viewings, this can cost extra.
High street agents typically charge around 1.5% of the sale price, or a pre-agreed fixed fee. For example, even on a 1.5% commission you will pay £4,500 if you sell your home for £300,000. This is a huge amount compared to online agents where packages range from about £300 to £1000.
Online estate agents will advertise online on websites like Zoopla, Rightmove, Primelocation. Some will also use national newspapers.
If you do choose online estate agent, always get a few local estate agents to value your home first. This will give you an idea of a reasonable asking price.
Things To Consider
If you go ahead and decide to go with an online estate agent:
- You might have to pay up-front. If the agent fails to sell your property you won’t get the money back. Agents may offer a “deferred payment option”
Beware: you will have to pay this around the 10 or 12 month mark whether you have sold or not.Pay later deals often mean you sign up to a credit or loan agreement so the agent can ensure they get their money back. Always look into this before entering into agreements
- Check fees are not conditional on you using the agent’s in-house services such as their recommended mortgage broker or conveyancer. This can happen before you know it. But they can not insist on it. Go away and compare conveyancing solicitors yourself. Our database of UK conveyancing solicitors is the place to start.
- Check the package includes everything you would expect. They all offer different deals. Ask to see the contract if there is one. Check the tie-in period and other contract terms.
- Find out how they assess potential buyers. How do they suss out time wasters or what position of their own sale a potential buyer is at.