Anyone and everyone can sell their home online easily and quickly.
Here's everything you need to know to get to grips with selling online.
|Services:||Online estate agent & private sales||High Street estate agent|
|Presence:||Online-only, but they are more contactable out of hours than High Street estate agents||High Street office and online|
|Fees:||low cost, fixed fee - up-front payment or payment upon completion||% of sale price paid upon completion - typically 0.75% - 3%+VAT commission|
|Level of Service:||
DIY service where the seller creates their property ad, handles inquiries, conducts viewings & negotiates with buyers
Comprehensive all-in-one service where the agent handles every aspect of the process
|Local knowledge:||6/10 - only "hyrbid" online agents offer local property experts||9/10 - experienced local agent to guide you through the process|
|Marketing:||8/10 - marketed on all major portals, social media and via digital marketing campaigns||7/10 - marketed on some major portals, shop window and local papers|
|Cost:||9/10 - low cost, fixed fee service with multiple payment options||4/10 - 1.5 - 3% commission paid upon completion with little flexibility|
Sellers who care about saving money, selling quickly and who have the time and effort to do some of the work themselves
Sellers whose priority is using a comprehensive service that takes all the work off their hands, no matter the cost
|Not right for:||Sellers who want to speak to a local expert regularly, or do not have time to conduct viewings and communicate with buyers||Money-conscious sellers who want to be involved in the process and have control over their sale|
Modern technology has made it easier than ever before to by-pass the traditional estate agent and sell property online. In fact, almost all bricks and mortar agents now use internet property portals, or their own websites, to advertise their clients homes for sale and to rent, as buyers and renters conduct a large portion of their property search online.
There are a number of different options when it comes to selling a house online, but essentially these can be broken down into two broad categories: For-Sale-By-Owner and Online Estate Agents. A private sale or For-Sale-By-Owner service, like TheHouseShop.com offers, will give you total control of your sale, from creating your property advert, with images, descriptions and floor plans, to guiding potential buyers round your home and negotiating offers. An online estate agent will do a bit more of the work for you and will create your property listing, and often handle offer negotiation for an added fee.
Anyone and everyone can sell their home online and here at The House Shop we will show you all of the options.
There are many benefits to selling your house online as opposed to using the services of a traditional high street estate agent. Perhaps the most significant is the amount of money you could save; depending on the service you choose you could save thousands of pounds.Traditional high street estate agents typically charge a fee between 0.75% and 3% of your final sale price; to put that into perspective, selling a house for £300,000 would mean handing over around £4,500. The Home Owners’ Alliance has found that with online companies, ‘basic packages normally start at around £400, but even for the more expensive services you will struggle to pay much more than £1,000.’
TheHouseShop.com have enabled people to sell their homes online for free with their unique services however, if you choose to do this yourself and not go through an online estate agent or high street estate agent, then you are missing out on getting your home advertised on the UK's main property portals Rightmove, Zoopla and Primelocation. Most buyers using search engines to find their next property will limit their research to the first few pages of results – and sites such as Zoopla and RightMove – so if your listing isn’t posted there, they won’t find it; an online estate agent can make sure they do.
There is a lot to be gained from using an online estate agent not only can you can save money, compared to the high fees charged by high street estate agents, you can also benefit from their expertise listed in the extra services they provide below. If your house is either standard in appearance or location, or a particularly desirable property, then chances are you are more than capable of finding a buyer yourself. Ask yourself the question: how much expertise does the sale of my property really need, and how much am I willing to pay for that extra knowledge?
With so much information available it will be easy to start finding an online estate agent and with websites such as Which and allagents.co.uk offering advice on using an online estate agents, you will be able to make an informed choice as to which agency is the best option for you. Before you make your decision, it is advisable to make sure to read previous customers testimonials and the company's reviews, as these will give you an idea as to how successful they are.
You will also need to think about your selling price because, if you value your home too low then you'll be out of pocket, but if you value your home too high then savvy buyers will notice and you could struggle to make a sale or face reducing your price later on.
Online Estate Agents
In recent years there has been an increase of people selling their houses with an online estate agent, to the point that they are disrupting the property industry, and taking on the role of traditional high street estate agents by offering lower prices. This has resulted in traditional estate agents share prices dropping as seen in 2016 with the fallout of the EU referendum and they are struggling to recover.
Could online estate agents change how houses are sold in the future?
Considering sectors such as the travel industry have moved significantly from high street travel agents to online companies in recent years, there is little to stand in the way of the property market from evolving in the same way. As The Advisory points out, a survey by The Negotiator suggests that in 5 years' time, 81-100% of buyers will begin their property search online. The implications of this for sellers are obviously huge; not only do online companies propose a convenient and economical solution, but they are likely to be the future when it comes to finding a buyer for your property.
Why should I use an online estate agent?
Although there isn't a simple answer to this question, the main reasons why you would consider using an online estate agent is if you have the time available to manage the sale of your home and confidence in your ability to handle viewings yourself then using an online estate agent could save you some money.
Online estate agents like Emoov, HouseSimple, Settled, Purplebricks and Tepilo are a lot cheaper to use than a high street estate agent and allow you to manage a lot of the sale yourself, giving you greater control over the whole process. These websites offer a combination of services allowing the seller a flexible approach to sell their homes and are there to help should you need extra support.
How do online estate agents work?
A well managed online estate agent will operate out of a centralised location and employ estate agents to work for them in prime locations across the UK. The property manager dedicated to you will be based at the central office and they will be your main point of contact and deal with all the areas of your sale, from arranging viewings right the way through to completion.
Online estate agents operate from a centralised office and provide support outside of the traditional office hours that high street agents adhere to.
Online estate agents offer affordable access to the UK's largest online property portals, RightMove, Zoopla and Primelocation. These major websites receive up to 1.5 million visits per day, so the importance of having your home listed on them is paramount. When using an online estate agent you must make sure that they will market your home on the main portals, but you may have to pay extra for this service, so make sure that you read your package carefully and that the agent will offer this.
As mentioned above, many online estate agents will require you to pay an upfront fee and these are not associated with the property price. However, like choosing any service, it is important to make sure that you don't just go for the cheapest option as you could end up losing money.
Estate Agency Property Portals
A property portal is a website or online platform that collects property listings form multiple sources and displays them all in once place for people to view them. Property portals have become much more popular method of searching for property over the last 5 to 10 years and buyers and tenants are using them on a daily basis. Property portals are easy to use and save the searcher time, instead of searching through each estate agent's website individually, they are instead able to go to one place to start thier house hunt.
Why can't I advertise my property on Rightmove and Zoopla?
The property portal is essentially an advertising platform which means that the portal itself does not normally own or represent the properties listed on its website. Therefore, you must be a property business in order to list properties on them as they don't work with private individuals. However, as an individual you can gain access to the main property portals by advertising your property with a recognised estate agent, letting agent or online estate agent that offers advertising your listing on these websites.
Who can advertise on Rightmove and Zoopla?
Rightmove and Zoopla are large platforms that only advertise properties listed by estate agents, letting agents and new homes developers. They all recognise the importance of listing their available properties on these sites, because they will get a lot of exposure from people looking for property, due to the fact they attract a large number of visitors in the UK.
How many estate agents advertise with Rightmove and Zoopla?
With the popularity of Rightmove and Zoopla attracting so many visitors searching for property, it's understandable that many estate agents and letting agents are spending more and more on online marketing for their properties. Research carried out in 2016 by Direct Line Home Insurance showed that 47% of the British population said they had used a property search website in the last year.
Are Rightmove and Zoopla the same company?
Most people would have heard of Rightmove and Zoopla and will know that they are property portals however, many people get confused as to which property portal they need to list their property on. In order to shed some light on this, we have included some research from 2016 by Direct Line Home Insurance:
2.6 million people browse Zoopla or Rightmove once per day at least, and Rightmove is by far the most popular property portal in the UK, compared to Zoopla which holds a firm second place, after gaining a lot of ground in recent years.
Where can I find estate agents not on Rightmove and Zoopla?
Although Righmove and Zoopla have the largest number of property listings available online and are the most popular property websites used in the UK, there are some disadvantages to using them. Often the listings are left up on these websites after they have been let or sold, due to the fact that vendors can make quick sales and landlords can fill their properties quickly, this can be frustrating for searchers looking for their next home. It is not uncommon for 'fishing' listings that are left up by estate agents, as a means of hooking in new clients, so with this in mind, TheHouseShop.com decided to investigate the other avenues of finding estate agents and other methods to selling or letting property. The online alternatives to Rightmove and Zoopla are, Onthemarket.com, the online estate agents like the ones listed below, watersideproperties.com, unmodlondon.co.uk and canalcuttings.co.uk.
What services do online estate agents provide?
The services that online estate agents offer are similar to those offered by a high street estate agent, the online estate agents will do a property valuation, handle the marketing and arrange property viewings, some will negotiate offers for you and liaise with the conveyancers, other estate agents involved and the buyers until your sale completes. However there are some differences between the services offered by a high street estate agent.
Viewings - when going through a high street agent they will conduct the viewings allowing you to get on with your day to day. Online agents can undertake the viewings for you but the usual understanding is that you will manage this process yourself.
Professional Photographs and Floorplans - an online estate agent will also send a professional to your property to take the photographs and to create the floor plan, but the crucial difference will be that the communication will be via email or phone. There are some companies who might assign you a personal account manager but in most cases you won't ever meet them in person.
Valuations - similar to a high street agent, the majority of online estate agents will come to your home to value it but you must be careful as they mightn't have knowledge of the property market in your area. It is advisable that you get a second opinion from a local high street agent to compare the figures given by each company and to be able to set the price accordingly with the online estate agent.
Marketing - the marketing procedures are usually the same with both high street and online estate agents however, it is worth double checking the package you have chosen to be sure of the length of time they will market your property. This could be until it sells or the contract ends, which could be from 12 to 6 months.
Vetting Buyers - It is worth asking the online estate agent you choose how their vetting process works exactly, in order to avoid any nasty surprises. This is the most risky area of going with an online estate agent, as most will just take down potential buyer’s details, their finance information and whether they are already involved in a sale. In this case high street estate agents are able to identify exactly how suitable a potential buyer is and are very astute at sussing out high quality leads.
Other Services - performance reports, handling offers and negotiations process, agree to the sale on your behalf, contact and correspond with the conveyancers, and take care of the final sale.
Which is the best online estate agent to use?
Here at TheHouseShop.com, we have made it easier for you to select which online estate agent to use, with our dedicated webpage it is easier than ever to sell your home online through an agent. Read our top 10 best online estate agents so you can compare companies to find the best deal.
Take a look at our top 5 best online estate agents below!
How much do online estate agents charge?
Using an online estate agent will be a lot cheaper than opting for a high street estate agent because most of them will have a flat fee, this can range from £300 to £1,500 and the price of your property isn't taken into account. This is good news for sellers, as they will be able to save money due to the fact that online agents don't charge a commission. However, most online agents will ask you to pay the fees upfront, even if they are unable to sell your property.
Will an online estate agent know my local area?
Most online estate agents will arrange for a valuation of your property as part of their service package, like a high street estate agent. Be careful as you might not get an agent with specialist knowledge of your local area, although increasingly more and more online estate agents are actively hiring 'local experts' to provide this expertise. You don't have to rely on the valuation the online estate agent will give you, so it is always worth getting a valuation from a local high street estate agent for a second opinion too. This is particularly useful advice for homeowners with a unique or specialist property they are looking to sell.
The online estate agent YOPA have tackled this problem by assigning a dedicated YOPA agent working in your area to come and value your property for free with no obligation and it will only take a few minutes. To book your professional valuation by an expert agent working in your local area click here.
One advantage of online property companies is the fact that they often offer greater clarity when it comes to where your money goes, with many setting prices at a fixed rate so you know exactly how much you’ll need to spend before you start. You may need to pay for extra features, such as professional photographs of your house, signage and Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs), however these are often still significantly cheaper than taking the traditional route. Also, unlike high street agents you may need to conduct viewings of your house yourself, but this could work to your advantage; you are arguably the best placed person to show off your property in a personal and knowledgeable way.