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How to Choose an Online Estate Agent

What’s your first port of call when looking to buy a new house? If you’re like most people, you’ll have said an online property portal such as Rightmove or Zoopla.

And that’s exactly why many homeowners now look towards online estate agents when it comes to selling up. Of course, it also helps that they are usually a fair bit cheaper than traditional high street agents too.

But, what are the key things to consider when choosing an online estate agent?

Price

The most obvious factor when choosing an online estate agent is how much they cost.

Online agents can vary dramatically in pricing. You can pay less than £100, or more than £1,000. It all comes down to what you get for your money and if you want an agent that will do most of the work for you, or you just want to use them to get your property on the market then do everything else yourself.

You’ll also need to think about whether you want to pay more for risk-free selling and only pay on completion of your sale, or you’re happy to take a risk on paying a non-refundable upfront price in exchange for a lower fee.

Reputation

The reputation of online estate agents is mostly positive, but there are a few horror stories to watch out for. These are mostly related to a handful of agents who charge you extra if you opt not to use their conveyancing service.

Make sure to read up on online estate agent reviews in order to check out the reputation of an agent before instructing them.

Like normal estate agents, online ones usually offer free valuations as part of their service so you can use that to get a better sense of how trustworthy the agent really is.

Service

One of the reasons for the wide variation in the prices online estate agents charge is the fact their services can be very different. Some offer a similar service as a traditional estate agent, others are simply a way for you to list your property on Rightmove and then do everything else yourself.

Therefore, it’s important to check the level of service you get for your money carefully. Generally, the more you pay, the more the estate agent will be prepared to do to find you a buyer.

Availability of Extras

Before giving an online estate agent the go-ahead you should check what you get for your money carefully. There are some services that a traditional agent will offer as standard that most online agents don’t include.

We are talking things like conducting viewings for you, getting you an Energy Performance Certificate, and, in some cases, even the ‘For Sale’ board that goes in front of your property costs extra.

So, if you want any of these services, be sure to check how much extra you’ll pay before you commit.

This is, of course, just a very quick guide to the most important things to look out for when choosing an online estate agent. The exact agent you end up going for will depend on a number of factors, not least which one fulfils your individual needs the best.

Just be sure to do your research fully to understand the pros and cons of each agent you are considering. Then, take advantage of the free valuations they offer to help get an even better idea of what they are all about by meeting their agents face to face.

If you do this, you shouldn’t go far wrong in finding the right online estate agent for you.

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