The term ‘online agents’ is constantly used in the media and we’re asked daily about the difference between online estate agents and high street agents. So, in this blog we’re looking to explain the differences between the two.
Historically, selling your house was a process begun by contacting a local estate agent (now referred to as a traditional estate agent in some quarters) to ask them to value your property with a view to selling your house.
Both online agents and local agents will offer you a property valuation, list your property on property portals, including listing on Rightmove and listing on Zoopla, floorplans and photographs and access to potential buyers.
Equally, they will both offer a form of sales progression (helping you from instruction to completion), advice on local property prices, property particulars (details of your property) and accompanied viewings.
You’ll see there are a number of similarities above – the majority of services offered are the same but it’s how they’re offered that differs.
Traditional Estate Agents
- Offer a full service from the first phone call through to handing over the keys to your property to your buyers.
- Promote your property on property websites Rightmove and Zoopla, as well as in local newspapers, their shop window and to potential buyers they may have on their books
- Manage viewings and negotiations with vendors
- Provide you with a local property expert, who can help you move house and can advise on the local market
- Provide information on the properties they have marketed in the area and the price achieved
- Offer advice on any home improvements that could help to deliver a higher sale price, helping to reduce the overall cost of selling
- Charge you a percentage commission or fixed fee on a pay on completion basis
Online Estate Agents (such as House Simple or Sarah Beeny’s Tepilo)
- Provide their own local property experts, who may have a larger patch and no local office, but are available to contact by phone or email
- Promote your property on property websites Rightmove and Zoopla and generally on their own website, but not in the local press
- Allow you to manage your own property viewings, giving buyers access to your property 24/7 if that suits you
- Allow you to receive offers 24/7 and negotiate with buyers outside of business hours
- Charge you a fixed fee up-front, payable whether your property sells or not, but often at a far lower rate than a traditional agent. Some online agents also allow you to defer payments
- Offer sales progression through to completion (often at an extra cost)
- Offer assisted viewings (at an extra cost)
Both camps of estate agents can help you to sell and move house, offer sales progression, advice guides and top tips to sell your property. Both offer accompanied viewings and photography, a ‘for sale’ board and listings on property portals.
The distinction comes in the way you pay for these services – traditional estate agents will generally offer all of the above in one fixed fee or percentage commission of the final sale price. This is a pay on completion model and is generally no sale no fee, so there is no charge if your property falls through.
Online agents can offer all of the same services, including listing on Rightmove, but generally offer a stripped down service with viewings and certain other elements charged as extras. Perfect for you if you can manage your own viewings and are happy to deal with buyers and are happy to remain strongly involved throughout the process, but if you aren’t it may not suit you. Equally, if your property does not sell you need to comfortable with the idea that you may still have to pay a fee so you may think you are saving money but this may not be the case.
As with all industries, there are good and bad examples of both types of agent – websites such as Trust Pilot offer reviews of agents, so you can judge for yourself from other vendors’ views of the agent. Equally, you can ask an agent to tell you the price achieved on other local sales, the number of properties they deal with and what differentiates them from their competitors.
No-one can complain about the lack of choice in the market to help you sell your home and potentially reduce the cost of selling, but it’s important to make sure you choose an agent you believe best placed for selling your home for the highest price, whilst charging a fair fee for the service.
At netanagent.com, we can offer you a way to compare estate agents fees and services, whilst offering advice as to which type of agent may be best suited to your needs. List your property for free today, we’ll show you the market and give you a call to offer some advice as to what to do next – it’s free and simple, so compare estate agents now.