Why Use an Online Estate Agent?

With so many options available to those wishing to sell their property, it can be difficult to know which route to take. It is estimated that currently only around 2% of people looking to sell their homes use an online estate agent. This article asks whether it is in fact advantageous to sell your property using an online estate agent.

Firstly, the cost of selling a home online is substantially less than that of using a traditional estate agent. Whilst high-street estate agents will typically charge between 1 and 1.5% commission on the sale of a property, those who choose to advertise online will pay a fixed, up-front free of a few hundred pounds. The price difference between these two options increases in line with the property’s value. Likewise, you will not have to pay for the cost of a valuation fee or administration fees, should you choose to use an online estate agent.

Whilst using an estate agent entails being tied into a contract, using an online estate agent is commitment free. A regular estate agent enters into a contract with a buyer– usually either a ‘sole agent’ or ‘sole seller’ contract. This means that, during the contract period, if you choose to use a second estate agent to sell your house, you would still have to pay a fee to your first estate agent. On the other hand, you do not enter into a contract with an online estate agent. This means you are free to register your property on as many websites as you please.

Additionally, you are free to manage the selling of your house on your terms, showing people round when suits you. Potential problems may arise if a sale goes wrong, but although there is no human estate agent to buffer problems, the online estate agent can still act as 'go-between'.

Registering your property on an online estate agent instantly exposes your property to a much larger market than that of a local estate agent. Potential buyers from all over the world will be able to view your house at the click of a button. It is now estimated that 90% of buyers use the internet to find a property. As such, advertising your property on an online estate agent’s website makes it more sellable. Decent online estate agents will showcase your property across an extensive range of networks. Additionally, marketing your property online is a quicker process than advertising it through a high-street estate agent. Typically it will take around 24 hours for a property to go live online, as opposed to the fortnight required with traditional estate agents.

Overall, using an online estate agent is cheaper than using a high street estate agent, gives you freedom to choose how to sell your home and allows you a much wider exposure to the property market. As such, we will surely soon see a dramatic increase in the number of people choosing to sell their homes online.