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Advice for advertising your current home online

Jun 14, 2018
Advice for advertising your current home online

Selling your property online has become increasingly popular in recent years. There are several online estate agents you can use with the most popular being Tepilo, Emoov, HouseSimple and Purplebricks.

What are the benefits of selling online?

Using an online estate agent could potentially save you thousands of pounds if you sell your home this way. You won’t need to pay a commission, like you would with a high street estate agent. Instead, you’re usually charged a fixed fee. Selling online might save you time too. According to the property market watchdog HomeOwners Alliance, properties marketed via online estate agents took on average 43 days to sell, compared to 60 days for properties marketed by high street agents. The average percentage of asking price achieved is 95.85 per cent for online agents, compared with 95.69 per cent for high street estate agents.

Are you up for the challenge?

Opting for an online estate agent usually means that you’ll have to conduct your viewings yourself. This might be a small price to pay for the potential savings but you’ll have to make sure you have the time to do them. Prospective buyers can ask you questions so to prepare, why not check out our guide to questions to ask on a house viewing? If you’d like your agent to do the viewings on your behalf, you’ll need to opt for a hybrid estate agent such as Purple Bricks. They charge a one-off viewings fee of £300 for a local property agent to do all of your viewings.

Check what’s included as standard

Most online estate agents offer at least two different packages and some charge extra for certain services. For instance, some automatically include a valuation, For Sale board, floorplan and professional photographs, whereas others charge extra for these services. They’ll list your home on the big property websites - Rightmove, Zoopla and Prime Location. Interested parties will then be able to book a viewing online or by contacting your agent’s viewing team. You’ll then be sent a text or email to confirm the date and time.
One of the benefits of using an online estate agent is that you’ll be given an online account that you can access at any time of the day or night. You’ll be able to see any viewings that are scheduled, read any feedback that’s been given and see any offers that have been made. One of the biggest misconceptions with an online estate agent is that you have to handle the offers and negotiating yourself. This isn’t the case. Prospective buyers will make offers in the traditional way, through your agent and then you’ll be contacted to discuss how you’d like to proceed. Your agent will still want to get the best price possible for you even though they won’t receive commission. They’ll support you through every step of the process.

How much can I expect to pay?

The packages on offer do vary depending on the online estate agent you pick. Most will offer a ‘saver rate’ if you pay upfront or you can have the option to pay more to ‘pay only on completion.’ With an upfront saver rate, you can expect to pay between £600 and £800, while for pay on completion the costs will be closer to £1500. The rates will also depend on the level of service you’re provided, with some agents requiring in the region of £1500 for the full package. Others work on flat fees depending on location, with the costs in London usually higher than the rest of the UK.

What happens if my home doesn’t sell?

As is the case with any estate agent, if your home doesn’t sell you’ll have two main options:
  •  Swapping to another estate agent – whether online or bricks and mortar
  •  Taking your home off the market
Before signing up to an online estate agent, you should always check the conditions of the agreement. For example, if you wish to take your home off the market completely you shouldn’t be liable to any fees although this will depend on their standard terms and conditions.
If you decide to change to another agent, you’ll need to check that the terms of your agreement allow this. If so you may be required to pay fees that relate to any expenses the agent has incurred themselves such as advertising costs. Again, always make sure you check the small print before signing up to anything.