Online estate agents are fast becoming a more popular choice when it comes to selling a house. Whether this is because of the lower fees on offer or because they appear to be a more convenient way to sell your house it’s hard to say.
Maybe you don’t know what an online estate agent is, or you’re wondering which are the best online estate agents? Whatever it is, we’re going to answer it for you!
We’re going to talk you through what they are, the pros and cons, how they compare to a high street estate agent, and which are the best online estate agents you should be considering.
Use the menu below to help you get around:
- What are online estate agents?
- Best online estate agents
- High street vs online estate agents
- Pros and cons of online estate agents
What are online estate agents?
Online estate agents do almost the same job as high street estate agents, but they operate completely online and tend to work out a little cheaper. They offer a much more basic service than a local estate agent but ultimately have the same end goal – help you sell your house for as much as possible.
There are two different types of online estate agents – purely online and hybrid estate agents.
An online estate agent is completely remote, requiring the seller to do most of the work themselves, such as taking photos, negotiating offers with buyers and conducting the viewings.
A hybrid estate agent, however, works in a different way, with them having ‘local property experts’ who will do the same as online estate agents, but some will handle viewings and do an in-person valuation.
Online estate agents will operate on all the biggest property portals, but you will need to pay extra for premium listings. Some online estate agents will also offer to accompany viewings, take photos, conduct an EPC, but it will come at an added cost.
Best online estate agents
Trying to pick which online estate agent you should sell with can be confusing, especially when there are so many to choose from. To help you out, we’re going to run through the best online estate agents:
Emoov is one of the best online estate agents, offering a few different packages. With the most basic package costing £199 upfront, Emoov looks like a great cost-effective option compared to a high street estate agent.
Emoov also provides a ‘split-fee’ package, which allows you to pay a set fee upfront and then 0.5% of the final sales price on completion. In fact, Emoov is one of the few online estate agents that offer this package.
The most basic Emoov package covers professional photos, a for sale sign, a floorplan and a personal agent, whilst the more expensive packages offer listings on Rightmove and Zoopla, an EPC and promotion on their social media channels. Emoov also provides the option to sell your house to them directly, providing your house qualifies.
Yopa is another one of the best online estate agents which also offers you a local property expert. The cheapest package comes in at £999 and the most expensive package will cost you £1399.
Yopa’s most basic package will offer you listings on Rightmove, Zoopla and PrimeLocation, an online control centre, help with the negotiation and sales progression and professionally written adverts, a lot more than you can expect from other online estate agents.
Yopa is also one of the few online estate agents to offer you a ‘no sale no fee’ option, which means you don’t have to pay until completion. However, you will be tied into a minimum of 10 months of advertising with them, and you will be forced to pay the fees even if you change your mind about selling within this time.
99 Home is one of the cheapest online estate agents out there, with their most basic package costing only £99 to have your house advertised on Rightmove, Zoopla and Prime Location. Their most basic package, however, does mean that you will be doing all the work.
99 Home do offer a large number of different packages which, although will give a lot of choices, can also make it quite confusing when you’re trying to decide which package will best suit you.
99 Home is also another one of the only online estate agents which offer you a ‘no sale no fee’ option, which comes at a cost of £999 after your sale completes. Although this is quite a bit more than the £99 for the cheapest package, it still works out as quite good value compared to high street estate agent fees.
Strike is next up on our list of the best online estate agents and they offer a completely free service. In this free service, you will get an in-person valuation, photos, floorplans, a ‘for sale’ sign, adverts on Rightmove and Zoopla and support from negotiation right through to completion.
Although the service is free, there are other package options and add-ons, such as a hosted viewings package or an enhanced performance package, which will cost you extra if you wish to use them.
Strike also tie you into a 13 weeks ‘Sole Agency’ contract, but for a ‘free’ service, there don’t appear to be many downsides.
eSale are another one of the best online estate agents which offer you different payment options, with them providing a ‘pay now’ or ‘pay later’ option, with the pay now option costing £595 and the pay later option costing £1190, but with a £95 payment upfront.
eSale also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, something that none of the other online estate agents offers.
Your package will include professional photos and a floorplan with measurements. For features such as hosted viewings, an EPC or virtual tours and videos on Rightmove, you will have to pay extra, but they are reasonably priced.
Doorsteps are another one of the best online estate agents, offering two packages for you to sell. Their cheapest package, also known as a ‘DIY deal’ is paid upfront and will require the seller to provide their own photographs, floorplan and property description, as these are all aspects that aren’t included.
Doorsteps have received a large amount of positive press and caught attention from the public due to having a young, hard-working owner. On their website, you can find a sliding scale, where you’re able to put in the value of your house to see just how much selling through Doorsteps could save you.
Purple bricks are one of the first names on anyone’s lips when thinking about the best online estate agents. They were one of the first to appear on the market and have become well-trusted amongst sellers.
Purple bricks have one standard package, which costs £999 or £1,499 in London, and covers in-person valuation, your advert across Zoopla and Rightmove, hosting viewings, a ‘for sale’ sign, photos and floorplans.
However, Purple bricks tie you into using their conveyancing service, adding to your cost and they don’t give you an option of paying on completion.
Get it sold.co.uk
Get it sold.co.uk is the final one of the best online estate agents we’re going to talk about. They offer a completely free service and state they can sell faster than any other estate agent in the UK, with 85% of their properties achieving a sale in 30 days.
Get it sold.co.uk advertise to their network of buyers, investors and property portals such as Rightmove, Zoopla and On the market. They will also cover the costs of your conveyancing fees.
They’re also one of the few online estate agents who will buy your house directly from you for cash, giving the seller the option of getting a really quick house sale.
High street vs online estate agents
One of the main differences between high street and online estate agents is the fees and when you pay them.
With high street estate agents, they normally take a commission once the sale has completed, which is generally around 1 to 2% of the sale price. Whereas, online estate agents have a fixed fee, which you will pay upfront.
If you sold your house for £200,000, a high street estate agent (who in this example takes a commission of 1.5%) will be paid £3000 in fees, after completion. An online estate agent will take an upfront fee, which can be anywhere from £99 to £999, making them look like a cheaper option.
However, you will have to pay online estate agents even if your house doesn’t sell, though, so it’s a risk you have to be willing to take.
Another key difference between high street and online estate agents is their reach across the country and whether this is on a local or national scale. Generally speaking, your high street estate agent will have the best knowledge of your local area.
High street estate agents will be local to you and so will know everything they need to know about your local area, making their valuation more accurate. As a result of this, you should be getting the best price for your property.
As a result of high street estate agents being local, they tend to be more trusted by customers than online estate agents, and so you may find that your house gets more interest if you sell through a high street estate agent.
Online estate agents tend to cover a more national basis, meaning their local knowledge will be limited. They generally make decisions on the value of your property over the phone, based on online data, which could potentially be outdated.
The service you’re offered also differs between high street and online estate agents. High street estate agents will always offer to accompany viewings, negotiate with and reach out to buyers.
On the other hand, most online estate agents won’t offer this service, or they will charge extra if you want them to do this for you.
An online estate agent will, however, say they can offer 24-hour service, 7 days a week, compared to high street estate agents who are limited to ‘normal’ working hours.
High street estate agents will build relationships with buyers and offer them one-on-one advice compared to an online estate agent who you will be just one of many sellers to and they don’t have enough time to build relationships and spend time on each potential buyer.
Pros and cons of online estate agents
Like most things, online estate agents have their upsides and downsides. On the surface, they may look to be a great low-cost option for selling your house, but it’s important to also know the ‘bad bits’ so you can make a decision best suited to you…
- Lower cost – as we’ve mentioned earlier, most of the time online estate agents will work out a lot cheaper, with their fees being charged at a flat rate and not a percentage of the sold price
- Able to use multiple estate agents – unlike a high street estate agent, there tends to be no ‘contract period’ with online estate agents, meaning you have the ability to use other estate agents if you wish
- Ability to tailor – most online estate agents will have different packages depending on the service and the level of help you require. This gives you the ability to pick and choose what you want as part of the service, giving you a more ‘personalised’ service
- Always available – with online estate agents, they tend to offer the ability to be available 24/7, meaning you don’t have to stick to ‘normal business hours’ and can ask for their help no matter the time of day
- Upfront payment – as a result of paying upfront, you will be paying for the services of your online estate agent whether or not they sell your property
- Lack of local knowledge – as online estate agents have a national reach, their knowledge of your local area will be limited, making their price valuation less accurate
- Lower selling prices – due to the fact you pay your online estate agent upfront, they will be less motivated to get you the highest selling price for your property, so you may end up getting less than you expected
- More effort – selling with an online estate agent requires more effort from you, with you needing to host viewings, negotiate with buyers and chase up your solicitor to help your sale towards completion. This can make selling with an online estate agent a more stressful and time-consuming procedure than with a local estate agent
- Extra fees – if you want your online estate agent to handle something extra, beyond what they state is part of their service already, then you will have to pay extra fees. This could be something like handling viewings and negotiating with buyers, which is something a high street estate agent would handle for you without you needing to pay extra
Well, that’s everything you need to know about online estate agents, including what they are and a list of the best online estate agents. Do you have some insight to give or a question to ask? Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today!
Millie is a perfectionist with a passion for property and writing articles. You’ll find her researching the latest housing trends and the newest up and coming areas worth investing in.