Online or High Street?
The main – or rather, only – difference between online and high street estate agents is the price; high street agents charge a lot more for their services than online ones do. This can be traced back to the fact that high street estate agents are more expensive to run, as they need to rent more premises to access customers. For this reason, high street estate agents will charge on average between 1% and 2% of the sale price of your property, whilst online agents offer a flat fee which can be as little as £400.
Also, there’s a range of ways of paying your fee online, so you should be able to find one to suit your financial situation. You can pay a one-off fee or do it in installations, so you needn’t worry about affording it all upfront.
You may find that a high street estate agent includes more in its rate – a For Sale sign, for example – but these can be purchased as optional extras from an online estate agent for a small amount, which can be more cost efficient than paying for a more expensive service overall.
Do the Services Differ?
Essentially? No. Both will do a thorough job of advertising and selling your property – as long as you pick a good estate agent, of course. If you go into a high street outlet, you will obviously be dealing directly with another person straight off, which can be reassuring. However, it’s important to remember that online estate agencies are run by real people too; they’re not automated services.
Another thing to consider is that there are no set office hours online. You don’t have to wait for an outlet to open to get an answer to your query or organise something; simply get on the internet. Also, you may find that where many high street estate agents will ask for a sole agency agreement, online agents are generally more lenient and are happy for you to deal with more than one agency.
Additionally, high street estate agents will dictate a price level at which they will market your property. Online estate agents let you decide your own price, so you can be sure you are getting the best deal you can.
What Else Do I Need To Know?
You don’t have to worry about locality with an online estate agent, but if you choose to go for a high street agent, make sure they are familiar with your area and advertise locally. Check out the places where the agencies advertise – you want as much publicity of your property as possible, so make sure you’re getting value for your money.
Look at exactly what is included in each agency’s fee. Make sure they offer to take photographs of your property and make a floor plan for you. Many agencies will book viewings and negotiate for you, so you don’t have to burden yourself with all the fiddly bits. Can you access property lawyers for conveyancing? Unless you feel confident doing it yourself, you should be sure that a lawyer is at hand.
Most importantly, choose an estate agent that has experience and is trustworthy. Find out what other people think about the agency to get an idea of the service you will be getting.
article by – Rachel Jacquest