How to Sell Your House Online

Image showing a row of colourful terraced houses

Selling a house online has become a standard option for homeowners in recent years. Not only can it be cost effective, but it can be a hassle-free way to sell property quickly. Traditional high street estate agents have reduced substantially in recent years as homeowners have realized that selling their home online is one of the quickest and cheapest selling methods available.

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Selling property online

Selling your property online seems to be the logical choice in the modern era. Gone are the days of instructing costly high street estate agents and taking months, if not years to sell your property (if they manage to achieve a sale at all).

Approximately 98% of home buyers start their initial search for their new home online, and therefore this has paved the way to the reduction of high street estate agents in the market, and a significant rise in the number of quick house sale companies, online estate agents and auction houses.

If you’re wondering how to sell your house online, then read on, as we will explore property buying companies, online estate agents and auction houses, and how they can help sell your house online quickly and cost efficiently, without the expense of a traditional estate agent.

Online real estate agents

There are now a large number of online estate agents on the market who can help you sell your property online. They’re attractive as they’re usually cheaper than the traditional estate agent fees you typically have to pay, and do similar work, on an online platform which is outgrowing the high street. If you want to sell your home online with an estate agent, check out the pros and cons:

Advantages of online estate agents

  • Online estate agents area much cheaper option compared to the traditional estate agent. Traditional estate agents charge around 1 –5% of the purchase price, but these days selling your house online through an online estate agent can be achieved from as little as £395 + VAT. Using a £200,000 property as an example, a traditional estate agent could charge a sales fee in the region of £2,000 – £3,000 + VAT, compare this to just £395 + VAT, it’s a bit of a no brainer!
  • Online estate agents can generally do all of the services a traditional estate agent can do, so photographs, floor plans, virtual tours can all be achieved when selling property online through an online estate agent.
  • Online estate agents are generally very accessible, either through the website or on the telephone.
  • Some online estate agents have the added benefit of been regulated by the RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors). These estate agents are rare, but have a great understanding of the market and have the property knowledge and experience to assure you of a quick house sale online.

Disadvantages of online estate agents

  • Unfortunately given the substantial saving in costs over a traditional estate agent, if you choose to sell your home online, you’ll have to do quite a bit of work yourself. 95% of online estate agents don’t undertake viewings, so when selling your property online, be prepared to carry out all viewings. In addition to viewings, a lot of online estate agents don’t provide a valuation, sales progression or negotiation service – so it’s not as straight forward as you think.
  • Some online estate agents online won’t advertise your property on the major property portals, to save on costs when selling houses. It is imperative homeowners check where online estate agents advertise before they instruct them for their house sale.
  • Some online estate agents aren’t members of The Property Ombudsman scheme (TPOS)or Ombudsman Services. For this reason, their property service isn’t always great, and you might just be paying them to purely list your property on the market, with no additional services or accountability.

Before selling your house online via an estate estate, ensure that vendors establish in the contract the true cost of doing so. Online estate agents can sometimes hide costs so it’s important to review the contract in great detail before you instruct an online estate agent to sell your house online.

Not only should the fees and fee structure be highlighted clearly in the contract, it should also be made transparent throughout the website.

Online property buyers

Another method is selling through an online property buyer.  These are commonly known as quick house sale companies,  like Good Move. These companies are generally recommended for homeowners who need to achieve a quick house sale, usually within 2-3 weeks.

A quick house sale company will generally buy your property for cash, complete in a timescale to suit you, and they usually cover the cost of fees associated with the transaction. Not all property buying companies are the same however, so make sure you do your research first before choosing one to sell your house online.

Advantages of online property buyers

  • A quick house sale company will buy your property fast and can complete the sale within seven days (the average is generally two – three weeks).
  • When purchasing properties from homeowners, the quick house sale company you choose may pay for part or ALL seller fees. Your legal fees are paid, together with valuations and surveys, and there are no estate agency fees either.
  • A property buyer like Good Move can buy any house in any condition. If you were selling your property online and it was in a terrible condition or was structurally unsound, the chances are you wouldn’t achieve a sale of the property on the open market with online estate agents.
  • Property buying companies generally buy individual properties up to £500,000, although this price can differ between property buyers.
  • Regulated quick house companies are now monitored and moderated by the National Association of Property Buyers and The Property Ombudsman.
  • Quick timescales for property completions cause no issue for property buying companies.

Disadvantages of online property buyers

  • Using a property buyer when selling your house online generally means you will receive less than market value for your property. The price you will receive for your home is often more than what you would receive at auction, but the price is usually 80 – 85% of the market value. You do get all seller’s fees paid for, however.
  • Not all online property buying companies are regulated by the NAPB (National Association of Property Buyers). The National Association of Property Buyers was set up in 2013 and they provide a full list of accredited property buyers who are all regulated by The Property Ombudsman. Good Move is one of those selected property buying companies and we can assure you of a quick house sale with little fuss.
  • Some “property buying companies” don’t have sufficient funds to purchase properties and act as a broker to facilitate a sale on behalf of an investor.
  • A sale is only legal once an exchange has taken place. Up until the exchange, a property buying company can withdraw from the sale at any time (but so can you as well).

Online auctions

Another useful method to selling your property online is to go through an auction house. Whilst these are seen as a last resort, selling your house at auction can be useful, particularly if your property is not selling on the open market or if a property buying company is not interested in buying your home.

An auction is simply a process of buying and selling properties and offering investors the chance to bid on particular property lot, taking bids and then selling the property to the highest bidder. Once the auction hammer is struck, this effectively orchestrates an exchange of your property and the successful purchaser has 28 days to complete from that date.

Over the last five years there have been a number of online property auctions which have been set up, giving homeowners a great opportunity to sell their property at auction solely on the web. Whilst auctions are seen as quite an expensive route to selling property, they can be quite an effective method to selling property fast.

Advantages of online auctions

  • There is a good opportunity to maximise sale price when there are a number of investors looking at your property online.
  • There is a marketing programme which generally runs for a month prior to the auction date, to try and gather interested parties to attend the auction online and to bid on properties.
  • Potential buyers generally compete against other investors
  • The sales period from initial instruction of the auctioneer through to completion of the property is generally 10 weeks. Compare that against a typical estate agency sale and its considerably quicker.
  • Unconditional sale is guaranteed on the auction day if the hammer strikes.

Disadvantages of online auctions

  • Auctions are considered to be an extremely expensive medium to sell property online. Fees are often around 2% of the sale price (average sales fee is generally around £5,000 – £7,000).
  • Auctions are often seen as a last resort when it comes to selling your property. Homeowners don’t generally sell their property for a great price, and typically receive around 70-75% of the market value.
  • Auction sales aren’t particularly quick when you compare them to the speed of property buying companies. When you consider the marketing period prior to the auction and then following conclusion of the auction, selling property online through an auction is typically around 10 weeks.

In Summary

To summarise, there are three main methods to selling your house online, and the right option will all depend on a homeowner’s individual position and the timescales and finance available to fund a sale.

We hope you have enjoyed our blog about a guide to selling property online, if you want to discuss anything further, or would like to sell your house fast, please don’t hesitate to contact one of our surveyors at Good Move.

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We are proud members of...

  • NAPB
  • RICS
  • NAEA
  • The Property Ombudsman
  • Trading Standards

We are proud to be the most regulated property buyer operating in the ‘Quick House Sale’ industry. We are an active member of the NAPB (National Association Of Property Buyers) and are both RICS & NAEA (National Association of Estate Agents) regulated, which means you can have every confidence of selling your home with us quickly & easily.