Key Takeaways

  • Online estate agents offer significant cost savings compared to traditional high street agents who charge a percentage-based commission. With fixed up-front fees, you'll know exactly how much you'll pay for their services, potentially saving thousands of pounds.
  • Online estate agents provide transparent fee structures and services, often displaying prices openly on their websites. They also offer online dashboards that allow sellers to manage every aspect of the sales process at their convenience, giving homeowners greater control.
  • Online estate agents typically offer a range of packages and pricing options, allowing sellers to choose the level of support they need at a price they can afford. Additional services like hosted viewings, sales progression, and negotiation support can be added as needed.
  • Using an online estate agent can give your property greater exposure to potential buyers since they usually advertise on major property portals like Rightmove and Zoopla. Some online agents even allow you to appoint multiple agents without incurring additional fees, providing additional exposure.

Selling your home can be a daunting task, and choosing the right estate agent is a critical decision. With the rise of online estate agents, home sellers now have more options to choose from. But how do you decide which option is best for you?

We explore the pros and cons of using online estate agents, the differences between them, and how to choose an estate agent.

What are Online Estate Agents?

Online estate agents are a modern alternative to traditional high street agents, operating primarily through the internet to help homeowners sell their properties. They offer a range of services, including property valuation, marketing, and negotiating offers on your behalf. By leveraging technology and lower overheads, online estate agents can offer competitive fees, potentially saving home sellers thousands of pounds. By taking a slightly hands-off approach to selling, if you're the sort of person who likes to get stuck in, then using an online agent could be for you.

Online estate agents rocked the estate agency market by charging a fixed up-front fee for their services, instead of the traditional percentage of the sale value. This approach saves sellers thousands while still allowing them to enjoy the benefits of using an agent, such as being listed on RightMove, Zoopla, and Prime Location.

According to recent sunny avenue data, 72% of homemovers would consider using an online estate agent to benefit from the cost savings. 

Compare Online Estate Agents:

When it comes to finding the perfect online estate agent, it's important to evaluate various factors such as fees, services, and success rates. Take a look at the offerings of Strike & Griffin for 2023:



Strike

Strike. An exceptional online estate agent that provides an array of valuable services to help you market your home effectively. Benefit from complimentary features like professional floor plans, stunning photography, and listings on renowned platforms such as Zoopla and Rightmove.

Strike do not charge high % commissions like a traditional agent, but flat fees based on the package chosen.

Costs & Features:
  • Free Virtual Valuation
  • Free Property Listing on Strike Website
  • Optional Extras include: Listings on RightMove, Zoopla & PrimeLocation.
  • Strike offer photography, Virtual House tours, Floor plans, a premium Rightmove listing for £899, if you want to add hosted viewings, its £1599. 
Service levels:
  • Trustpilot rating: 4.4/5
  • Sale Price Achieved: 96%
Strike Related Insights:
Sunny Avenue Verdict: 

Strike is the perfect option if you're looking for the cost savings of using an online agent, but also require guidance through the process. Enjoy the benefits of premium listings and a free valuation.

Visit Strike to book your Free Valuation.

VISIT STRIKE



Griffin Property Co.

As the UK’s only family-run online estate agency, Griffin prides itself in being able to offer one of the most cost-effective home-selling packages in the country, with customers able to sell their property for as little as £245, or let their property from as little as £24.50 – saving them thousands in estate agent fees. 

Costs & Features:Compare Online Estate Agents - Griffin
  • Vendors are given complete control over their sale
  • Listing on the Griffin Property Website, providing your own photos.
  • Optional Extras include: Listings on RightMove & Zoopla.
  • If you're looking for a cheap DIY package, Griffin offers a standard package at £245.
  • Enhanced package From £445 includes sales progression, completion management, professional photography, floorplan, and a virtual tour. 
Service levels:
  • Trustpilot rating: 4.8/5
  • Sale Price Achieved: 98%
Sunny Avenue Verdict:

Griffin offers a complete DIY approach to selling property, with the ability to even provide your own photos. If you're on a budget, willing to get your hands dirty, and know your property should sell without too much trouble, then Griffin would be a very cost-effective move.

VISIT GRIFFIN



Advantages of Using Online Estate Agents

There are several benefits to using online estate agents over their high-street counterparts. Let's explore some of the most significant advantages.

Cost Savings

One of the primary reasons people choose online estate agents is the potential for significant cost savings. Traditional high street agents typically charge a percentage-based commission, which can amount to thousands of pounds, depending on the property's value.

Online estate agents, on the other hand, usually charge a fixed up-front fee, ranging from £0 to £1,200. This means that, regardless of your property's value, you'll know exactly how much you'll pay for their services.

Learn about Estate Agent Fees in our guide.

Transparency and Control

Online estate agents are known for their transparent fee structures, often displaying their prices openly on their websites, inclusive of VAT. This transparency extends to their services, with many providing online dashboards that allow sellers to manage every aspect of the sales process at their convenience.

This level of control can be appealing to homeowners who want to take a more hands-on approach to selling their home.

Flexible Packages and Pricing

Online estate agents typically offer a range of packages and pricing options, allowing sellers to choose the level of support they need at a price they can afford. These packages can include additional services, such as hosted viewings, sales progression, and negotiation support.

Greater Exposure

Using an online estate agent can give your property greater exposure to potential buyers, as they typically advertise on major property portals like Rightmove and Zoopla. In some cases, online agents may also allow you to appoint multiple agents without incurring additional fees, which is not commonly offered by high street agents.

How Do Online Estate Agents Operate?

Before selecting how to proceed, it's important to understand how online estate agents operate and how this may differ from high-street agents.

Upfront Fees

Online estate agents often require upfront payment, which may be non-refundable even if your property doesn't sell. Some agents offer "no sale, no fee" packages, but these can be more expensive than their upfront counterparts.

Conducting Viewings

With online estate agents, you can choose to host your viewings and handle the process of getting a house valued yourself, this option gives you further opportunity to save money when listing your home. However, this can be time-consuming, so there are also enhanced packages where you can include hosted viewings. 

Hybrid estate agents, such as Purplebricks and Yopa, combine aspects of both online and high street agents, aiming to provide sellers with the best of both worlds. They offer a full estate agent service, including face-to-face contact and access to local experts, while still maintaining competitive fixed fees.

When considering a hybrid agent, some questions to ask include:

  • Are the local experts qualified estate agents working in your area?
  • How large is their local coverage area? (A smaller area may ensure better local knowledge)
  • Are there any additional costs for services such as hosted viewings?

Choosing an Online Estate Agent

To choose the best online estate agent for your needs, consider the following tips:

  • Compare fees, services, and success rates of various online estate agents using comparison tools and websites.
  • Read customer reviews and TrustPilot ratings to gain insight into others' experiences with the agents.
  • Consider the level of local knowledge and expertise offered by the agent, especially if your property is in a unique or niche market.
  • Assess your comfort level with conducting viewings and managing the sales process yourself.
  • Ensure the agent is registered with The Property Ombudsman or a similar governing body for added peace of mind.

Online estate agents can offer significant cost savings and greater control over the sales process for home sellers. However, they may also come with some disadvantages, such as upfront fees and a lack of local knowledge. By carefully weighing the pros and cons, considering your unique needs and preferences, and knowing how to choose an estate agent,  you can make an informed decision about whether an online estate agent is the right choice for you.

And remember, the market is continually evolving. Whichever route you choose, ensure you select an agent with a strong track record and a commitment to excellence in customer service.

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