Online Estate Agents: The Definitive Guide
What is an online estate agent?
An online estate agent is an alternative to the traditional, high-street estate agents. As the name suggests, these estate agents operate purely online – they’ll get your home put onto the most popular property portals, like Zoopla and Rightmove, and will often charge you a fraction of the price a traditional agent would.
How do online estate agents work in the UK?
Most online estate agents don’t have physical offices you can go and visit – and the ones that do are known as ‘hybrid’ estate agents – so they operate a bit differently to traditional agents.
Online estate agents will advertise your home on major online portals, but they usually offer a cheaper, more stripped back service compared to a regular high-street estate agent. The seller will often have to do a lot of the work themselves – online estate agents will usually focus more on marketing your home than viewings, sale progression and offers.
A traditional estate agent will usually take a more full-on approach and take care of viewings, progression, offers and valuations – and while some online estate agents will deliver these services, they’re seen as optional extras and will often involve additional charges.
Best online estate agents
There are several online UK estate agents you can choose from, should you decide to use this route to sell your home.
Purple Bricks is a super popular online estate agent, who offers basic included services, like photography and floor plans, while allowing the seller stay in control for the most part. However, added extras like advert upgrades can help your listings go the extra mile.
Housesimple is one of the bestonline estate agents, as it is more comprehensive, offering a new and more radical approach to selling the home – most notably their basic services, like valuations, photography, sale board and a designated property expert are absolutely free.
Yopa offers a midweight service, giving a good mixture of hands-on and hands-off services to help sellers along, but without taking the reigns completely. Your floor plans, photography and listings will be taken care of – but monitoring how well your adverts are doing and any enquiries is up to you.
SellMyHome is a customisable service, which is why many sellers rate it is one of the best online estate agents. Many of their features are chargeable extras, which makes it easier for sellers to only pay for the specific services they’re looking for, such as ECP certificates and the help of a local property expert.
OnlineEstateAgents offers a budget-friendly service for sellers who are conscious of their wallets. Starting at just £99 and offering professional photography, floor plans and listings on all the big property portals, OnlineEstateAgents is great for those in the know.
Tepilo is another popular online estate agent which offers a stripped back service where the seller is free to take the reins. It’ll get you started with some handy basics, like a for sale board and a valuation, but you’re free to take charge of your own sale.
Settled is unique in its split billing, where you make part of your payment at the beginning of your sale, and the rest on completion – which is handy for those on a budget. They also offer great selling services to get you out on the market.
Griffin Residential is one of the most comprehensive online estate agents, seemingly competing with their high-street counterparts, offering everything from your own property expert and negotiations to sale progression.
easyProperty is another online estate agent offering a well-rounded set of services to help those who don’t want to be too responsible for aspects of their house sale – but a lot of their services, such as ECP certificates and accompanied viewings, are optional extras.
The fees for selling your home with Doorsteps start at a mere £99 and include services such as valuation and sale progression, making them one of the best online estate agents. But with optional extras like a For Sale board and floor plans, they’re easily adaptable to your specific needs and budget.
What’s the difference between property portals and online estate agents?
An online estate agent is actually involved with the sale of a home and is promoting it in order to secure offers. Property portals are simply a means of advertising properties – they are the medium which online estate agents use for marketing.
Are online estate agents any good?
Online estate agents can be a fantastic option, or a terrible one – overall, it depends on the service you’re looking for. If you’d prefer to completely sit back and have a minimal part in the sale of your home, and can afford a more expensive service, consider a traditional agent.
The pros and cons of online estate will vary depending on what you are looking for when selling your house. If you’d like to be more involved in the sale of your home, or are looking for an affordable route to getting your property on the market, online estate agents are a great choice. Many are now also offering lots of services that traditional agents do in order to compete, so be sure to shop around to find the right deal for you.
Which online estate agent is best?
It’s impossible to say which online estate agent is best, as they all provide different services – it all depends on what you’re looking for. However, you can find the 10 most popular online estate agents above.
Which online estate agent should I use?
The online estate agent you should go for really depends on your circumstances – you need to think about what kind of service you’re looking for. If you’re looking for something where you’ll have more opportunity to be involved, go for a basic agent or package. If you want a comprehensive service, go for that.
It’s also important to look at your budget, the agent’s success rates, and even if they’ve managed to sell homes in your area before. To make a start on your search, we’ve put together a handy comparison table of the most popular online estate agents above.
How do online estate agents make money?
Online estate agents make profit in a few different ways. Firstly, they charge low, upfront fixed-fees, and they can get away with this as they don’t operate on a commission basis like many high-street agents do. They won’t lose money if you list your home and don’t find a buyer because of this, so they’re able to charge less with a smaller risk.
They also benefit from being much more national; traditional walk-in estate agents often only cover their local areas. Even if a traditional estate agent has multiple branches, they’re only serving those within their area. Online estate agents aren’t bound to the locations of their offices – they can cover anywhere in the nation, which means more customers.
How do online estate agents arrange viewings?
Depending on the online estate agent you go with, and the package you choose from them, viewings will be arranged in different ways. More often than not, they will direct any interest to yourself and arrange the viewing, and you’ll conduct it yourself at the property.
However, some online estate agents offer packages with added extras where they will arrange your viewings, and they will enlist an ‘expert’ in your area to show your home to the potential buyers, so you don’t have to.
How much are online estate agent fees?
Online estate agents usually charge between £99-£1,000. It all depends on the service and agent you go for. However, the charge is almost always considerably less than a traditional estate agent fee, and is always a fixed-fee, rather than dependant on what your home sells for. This is a great advantage for those who need to save in advance or are selling a higher value property.
Of course, as with traditional estate agents, selling your home via these options will take a considerable amount of time, and even comprehensive services will require your involvement in a number of complicated services. If you’re looking to sell your home fast, then consider a cash house buyer like ourselves. To find out more and get a free cash offer, get in touch with a member of the Good Move team.