For anyone looking to sell a home worth £250,000, the average estate agent fees of around 1.5% plus VAT means the seller will have to fork out £4,500 for their service. Obviously, the more expensive the property, particularly in London, then the higher the estate agent’s fees will be.
While many estate agents work hard for their money, there's a growing belief that people can sell their property more effectively and more cheaply if they do it themselves and with many affordable online estate agents offering selling fees of less than £1000, it's obvious why this new route is proving popular.
One important reason for finding and then using the best online estate agent for your needs is to get onto the major property portals. Seeing as 90% of buyers and tenants start their property search online, advertising on these powerful portals is a great way to boost exposure for your property. Online estate agents can give you access to Rightmove, Zoopla and other large property websites for a low cost, fixed fee - saving you thousands in traditional commission.
Another big attraction for using online estate agents is that they work around the clock and not simply in office hours and this is one reason why Purplebricks is now the fastest growing operator. They say that more than 70% of its business is conducted outside of working hours and a helpline enables customers to not only arrange a viewing but also submit offers, negotiate and agree to a sale.
Launched in 2009 eMoov is one of the best known and most established online estate agents. They won the accolade of the UK’s best online estate agent in 2014, 2015 and again in 2016, as rated by reviews on AllAgents.co.uk, the country’s largest estate agency review website.
Then, in September 2016, they were crowned overall Best UK Estate Agent out of 25,800 competitor branches. Again, by real customers.
They also have a higher TrustPilot rating than many of their competitors, with an average rating of 9.6 out of 10 (October 2016).
To date, eMoov have sold properties across the whole of the UK with a total value of over £1.5bn. eMoov have also saved their customers around £30m in fees compared to high street commissions. They remain one of the two biggest companies in the online agency sector and have a significant press following, being regularly quoted as property experts in the Daily Telegraph, The Times, Financial Times, Evening Standard and on the BBC, LBC, Talk Radio, Share Radio etc.
Finally, competitive fees and a great technology platform allow customers 24/7 access to their listings and transactions.
Settled allows you to be in the driving seat of your home sale for just £499. Set-up by its ex-Google founders, and unlike many other agents they believe the best person to be at the heart of home sale is you, rather than a middleman. Easy to use technology is at the heart of Settled, allowing you to manage your home sale at your convenience.
They also support you over the phone from listing to completion and have achieved a 9.4 Trust Pilot rating.
This modern approach to selling has ensured over 98% of homes sold achieve asking price, average time to offer is 17 days and due to the personal connection between buyers and sellers, you're sale is 50% more likely to go through to completion
SellMyHome was founded in 2013 by Chartered Surveyor Will Clark and their dedication to delivering for their customers has led to them being the number one rated online estate agent. They have a 99% five star rating and long and passionate reviews from their customers.
They do not operate call centres
All clients receive a dedicated account manager
Their buyer management team screen and vet all potential buyers
In 2015 they were nominated for Best Customer Service and for Best Innovation in the Estate Agent of The Year Awards. Their use of Virtual Walkthrough to stage a virtual open house won national press coverage and the vendor a record price for a flat in their block. They also won the Best Online Agent 2016 at the Real Estate & Property Awards.
Griffin Residential was established in 2000 as a High Street agent and went online in 2015. Having looked at different online offerings, they decided to enter the market place with one of the most cost-effective home selling packages.
Griffin Residential provides excellent value access to the major property portals, with a basic DIY listing from just £225. Depending on the client's requirements, various add-ons are available, from a For Sale board, to a full estate agency service (not including viewings). They also offer a variety of payment models and packages, including a no-sale-no-fee option.
When you sign up with Griffin Residential, your property is listed on Rightmove, Zoopla, Prime Location and over 200 other property sites for maximum exposure - reaching millions of buyers in as little as 30 minutes.
Sellers never miss an enquiry using the unique messaging system on their website and all enquiries are backed up by text and email notifications to make sure you never miss an enquiry - no matter where you are!
DoorStepAgents is currently one of the UK’s best value estate agents. With fixed fees from as little as £99 for a DIY package, their offering, unlike other agencies, can be tailored to meet the seller’s requirements. They are already rated in the top 10 Estate Agents on well-known review platform Trustpilot (9.6 Rating in Feb 2017).
At £199, they will offer a full agency service, with their own nationwide team of local property experts.
They keep all properties online until they are sold.
They will offer a dedicated account manager.
They upload within 24 hours and operate 24/7.
With a current portfolio worth over £40m on their books, this fast growing agency has achieved a lot in just 6 months.
With an average offer time of 16 days and an average 98% of asking price achieved, this online agency is proving that they can offer sellers an excellent service.
DoorStep Agents may be the new kid on the block, but having saved vendors more money in fees than any other agency, they should be considered as a serious contender.
Started in 2012, Esale is one of the more established online estate agents.
They claim to offer the best possible service for the lowest possible price at £495 INC VAT.
Ask Esale to sell your property and you get complete peace of mind. If you are not happy with the service, they will give you your money back. No quibble, no fuss, just a full refund*
A unique money back guarantee
Consistently featured as best rated online estate agent in the country
A multi-award winning estate agency service
£495 includes everything from professional photos and floor plans to sales progression through to completion.
You can visit the Esale website to get a personalised property valuation by email.
Or give them a call free on 0800 025 3451 to discuss the sale of your property.
*Terms and conditions apply, see website for full details
House Simple has been voted 'Online estate agent of the year' and offers a fixed fee service of £345 or a no sale, no fee service of £895. The firm says that unlike other online estate agents, clients will only pay when they sell. In addition to the leading property portals, House Simple also advertises on more than 500 property websites around the UK.
Purplebricks advertises extensively on TV and is one of the best known online estate agents with a network of local property experts to help value and market the property effectively. Fees start at £798 or in Greater London it's £1,158. Purplebricks claim they are the world's first 24/7 online estate agent.
A range of selling packages make Sell A House Online a popular choice with a standard fee of £399 with discounted legal fees and a value package of £599 including free legal fees, photos and floorplan - which other online agents may charge for. There's also a no sale, no fee package with the client paying nothing until their home is sold.
Online estate agents Urban have been established for more than eight years and say they are the country's most trusted online agency - they say they have more five-star reviews than any other online estate agent. Prices start at £375, plus VAT, and there's a split fee of £99 plus VAT with an additional fee of £699, plus VAT, on completion of the sale.
The number of online estate agents has grown hugely over the past 5 years and there are now a broad selection of online-only or hybrid estate agents to choose from. Different online agents offer different levels of service and you should think carefully about how much of the work you want to do yourself, and how much you want your agent to take care of for you. Cheap online estate agents tend to offer a more DIY service where the seller or landlord does the vast majority of the work. Higher-end online agents tend to use the "hybrid" model where they combine elements of the traditional High Street agent service with elements of an online-only service. Hybrid agents like Purplebricks are usually more expensive, but they will offer Local Property Experts/Gurus who will come and value the property, take photographs, write a description and help guide the seller through the sales process from start to finish.
There's no doubt that the trend for using online estate agents will continue and the chief executive of the Home Owners' Alliance, Paula Higgins, said: “Online estate agents will become more popular and are becoming mainstream. Using an online estate agent is not a DIY service, since you do not have to take photographs, value your home or even write sales information as this is done for you.”
She says that High Street estate agents should be more transparent about their charges and help instil trust in the process. With rising property prices, traditional estate agents fees will continue to grow too - making the online agent offering even more attractive to cost-conscious homeowners.