Demystifying Online Estate Agents

One of the reasons why people are not embracing online estate agents as much as they are embracing traditional estate agents is because they do not understand how estate agents operate. It is important to understand that estate agents perform the same functions as high street estate agents except that their roles are limited. Here are some of the questions about online estate agents:

How do you tell that an online estate agent is trustworthy? Before signing up to work with a particular online estate agent, you need to ensure that they are registered with at least one of the three regulation scheme namely the Property Ombudsman, the Ombudsman services and …

This is a great way to ensure that you are protected. You can also go a step further and research on the agency to have an idea of what their relationship with their past clients has been like. Additionally, look up for reviews from previous clients and generally establish what their reputation in the industry is like.

Who will be in charge of property viewings? With the traditional estate agents, it is clear that one of the duties of the agent is to conduct property viewings. However, for the online estate agents this role varies. While some agents will agree to carry out the viewings on your behalf, others will only offer the marketing service.

How will buyers find my property? Besides using their websites, online agencies will use sites such as Zoopla and Rightmove to advertise your home thus exposing your property to thousands of potential buyers. Some online estate agents may also use the local media as well as a physical For Sale signs to advertise.

How about property valuation? In most instances, online estate agents will send an agent to carry out a valuation of your property. They will use basic features of the home and published house data to draw comparisons during the process. Even then, they may not have adequate information on the local area and this can affect the price among other things.

How do online estate agencies carry out price negotiations? In most cases, online agencies will relay information to you without involving themselves in the actual price negotiations with the prospective buyers. Consequently, they will leave the task of negotiations to you unless the agreement takes into account this service, usually at an additional charge.

With all these questions answered, you may then want to ask yourself if you will still go ahead and sell your house online. Well, the internet has become a great part of day-to-day life with just about everyone having access to it. Consequently, the potential online audience for your home listing is massive. Although there is nothing wrong with selling your home online, there are a couple of questions you need to ask before taking this option.

  • Do I have good understanding of how property sales work? This is important because you will be directly involved in the sale process.
  • Are you prepared to take charge of the bulk of work associated with selling your house on your own?
  • Do you have adequate time to dedicate to this process?
  • Do you have sufficient local knowledge to attain the best price possible?
  • Is minimizing costs a priority for you?
  • Do you have sufficient funds to cover an upfront fee?

If your answers to these questions are in the affirmative then you can go ahead and sell your property through the online estate agent. If not, then you can stick to the traditional estate agent as this will save you the trouble of being unable to sell your property for an extended period.