What Is An Online Estate Agent?
Online estate agencies offer a range of services similar to what you’d expect to receive from a High Street agent. An online estate agent will generally:
• Take photographs of your property
• Prepare a floor plan and a description
• Arrange (but not conduct) viewings of the property
• Vet potential buyers
• Market your property on the internet
• Provide a For Sale board
The main difference between an online and a traditional estate agent is that the online agent won’t have a local office. You won’t be able to call your local branch instead you will deal with a company remotely – generally by telephone and email.
Online estate agents don’t always offer exactly the same services as traditional agents. You will often have to conduct the viewings yourself and depending on which company you use, you may have to negotiate a sale price directly with a buyer.
How Much Does An Online Estate Agent Cost?
One of the main advantages of an online estate agent is that their fees are typically a lot less than a High Street company.
When you sell a house through an estate agent you will typically pay between 1.5 and 2 per cent of the sale price. On a £300,000 property, this equates to a fee of between £4,500 and £6,000.
Not only do High Street agents charge sizeable fees but they have also been criticized for a lack of transparency with their charges.
A recent survey found that a mere 2 per cent of estate agents in England and Wales feature their standard commission rate or contract terms on their websites.
The campaign group conducted a mystery shopper investigation of more than 150 estate agent websites and 45 offices and also found that 82 per cent of the websites made no reference to fees at all.
An online estate agent will generally charge you between £195 and £1,000 depending on the range of services you want and the package you choose. Typical fees are around £300 to £400, with The Guardian reporting that ‘the rise of online estate agents offering to sell your property for as little as £395 has increased competition on the high street’.
You may pay between £200 and £300 for a basic package and then more if you want ‘add-ons’ such as professional support with buyer negotiation, bespoke For Sale boards and social media marketing.