Unlike high street agents whose fees is commission based, online estate agents usually charge a fixed rate. As such, their fees may be cheaper. The disadvantage of the estate agent’s lower prices is that you will have to pay upfront irrespective of whether they will sell your home or not.
However, some of the online estate agents will let you pay some or all of the fee upon completion of a sale thereby reducing the risk of wasting money significantly. Some companies also offer pay as you go packages.
Although you can save a significant amount of money by selling your house quickly through an online estate agent, you must be aware of the advantages and disadvantages of using them as opposed to a high-street estate agent before making a decision.
Advantages of using online estate agents
- Convenience – Getting in touch with online estate agents is usually easier because their call centres are open during weekends and in the evenings. Thus, they are able to respond to any queries you may have even outside the working hours.
- Fees – In most instances, the fees charged by online estate agents is a lot cheaper than that charged by high street estate agents. As such, the more expensive you house is, the more you are able to save.
- Freedom to engage more than one agent – With online estate agents, there is not contract period. Therefore, you can instruct other estate agents to also engage in the sale of your property without worrying about violating contract terms.
- Flexibility – Online estate agents can tailor your needs to fit in specific requirements. Moreover, this type of agency allows you to track both viewings and feedback online (Some high street agents offer this option too).
Disadvantages of Using Online Estate Agents
- Legwork – Although some online estate agents will negotiate for you offers and act as a go between to progress to the completion of a sale, others will not.
- Lack of knowledge – Online estate agents with regional representatives are likely to struggle to compete with high street agents that are well knowledgably about the neighborhood and the property market.
- Communication – Taking up communication between solicitors and buyers without the help of an agent can be stressful and time consuming.
- Viewings – With online estate agents, you will conduct viewings yourself hence you need to be comfortable showing strangers around your homes and avail yourself at specified hours during weekdays and weekends.
- Paying up front – If you opt for this package, you will not pay the estate agent for the results. Rather, you will pay even if they do not sell the house in the end.
- Selling price – Since the majority of online estate agents charge a flat fee as opposed to a commission, they have less incentive to get the best possible price for your property. Even then, these companies strive to achieve 99% of the asking price to safe guard their reputation.
There are advantages and disadvantages of opting to sell property through online estate agents. Therefore, you need to look at these carefully before making a decision.