Wed 28 Jun 2017 View all news articles

What do you know about online estate agents?

Did you know that most online agents charge an up-front fee for their service?
This is just one of the many considerations when choosing between a traditional and online estate agent.

No matter what product or service you need, you can usually find it by going online.

When it comes to property, this is also the case. Anyone who doesn’t have their property listed with an online property portal (e.g. Rightmove) when trying to sell will likely miss out on a large chunk of potential buyers. Alongside traditional estate agents, there are now growing numbers of ‘online’ estate agents trying to move the industry away from the high street.

Though they will vary from agent to agent, online estate agents offer an ‘up-front’ pricing model and leave you to organise the viewing process yourself. You may find the online model fits around your lifestyle and timeline to sell, but please consider some of the following differences between the two estate agency models. 

Will you get what you pay for?
Did you know that most online estate agents charge an up-front fee for their services? This would mean having to pay whether they sell your property or not. Over the course of time, circumstances can change and you may wish to withdraw your property from the market. Should you make this decision, most traditional agents will offer a ‘no sale no fee’ service – you won’t have to pay a penny! 

On that note, an agent who doesn’t get paid until a buyer is found may well be motivated to find a buyer quicker than an agent who has already been paid. Of course, all agents will have reputations to maintain, but traditional agents should be more pro-active in sourcing the right buyers from the start of the process.

‘Local presence’
When it comes to selling what is, in most cases, your most valuable asset, having an expert who knows the local area inside out to value and market your property should be a priority. While some online agents advertise they have ‘local property experts’, they will often be regional rather than having extensive knowledge of your exact area. The Wirral property market is very insular; our research tells us that 80% of buyers registered with us in 2017 are from the Wirral. This makes it all the more crucial to appoint a local agent who already has existing relationships with the local community and understand their property requirements.

Of course, only pro-active and experienced agents will contact the right people. We have actually found that 61% of buyers registered with us this year came to us directly rather than through a portal. These are local people who wouldn’t have been picked up by online agents.

Do you have time for viewings?
In the majority of cases, you will have to conduct all the property viewings yourself if you use an online estate agent. Some agents do offer this service, but additional fees may apply. This arrangement may actually suit your lifestyle, but most people are busy and lack flexibility to arrange and accommodate viewings in their daily schedule. While Saturday is the most popular viewing day, 63% of our viewings so far this year have taken place between Monday and Friday.

Did you know there is a right way to conduct a property viewing? First impressions are key when it comes to viewing a property, which is why having an agent show potential buyers around your property can make the difference.

As leading Wirral estate agents and lettings agents we have plenty to talk about and like to give our opinions on a few things too! Read about what we have to say, our latest news and industry news.