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Get to know your online estate agents
Thinking of selling your home but don’t want to fork out for estate agent fees? While one option is to do it all yourself, another – perhaps less scary – option is to use an online estate agent. These will do many of the same jobs a traditional estate agent would but for a fraction of the price.
But what online estate agents are out there, and how can you choose between them? In this blog, we’ll introduce you to a few and tell you a little about them, so you can make your mind up.
You may have spotted Purplebricks’ advert on the TV and wondered what they’re all about, so let us explain. This online estate agent employs experienced estate agents across the UK, so although you are using an online platform to sell your property, you have the benefit of expert local knowledge.
To get the ball rolling, you can request a free valuation of your property by one of Purplebricks’ local estate agents. They will provide you with advice on how to sell your property and, if you go ahead with the service, you’ll be able to contact them for support.
Should you decide to proceed, there’s a fixed fee of £798 (£1,158 if you live in Greater London). You don’t have to pay it upfront, but can wait until your property has sold. Your local agent will take photos of your home and draw up a floor plan before posting an advert on websites like Zoopla and Rightmove. Buyers can book a viewing themselves, rather than going through an agent.
Purplebricks claims it takes 14 days on average to find a buyer for your home. When you do get an offer, you can get support through this process and the cost is included in the fixed fee.
Because Purplebricks charges a fixed fee rather than a percentage of your sale price, you could save a bundle using this site rather than a traditional estate agent. Find out how much you could save using the calculator on the homepage.
This service was launched by Sarah Beeny, property developer and presenter of Channel 4’s Property Ladder. You can sign up for free to get a valuation, and while Purplebricks will send an agent round to value your home, Tepilo sends it to you by email. Which you prefer is a matter of your personal preference.
If you decide to go ahead, you have a choice of two price packages and a number of extras. You can find out more about these here, but your main options are a basic package that you pay £495 for upfront, or a £795 package that includes more features and lets you pay later.
Buyers can book viewings through Tepilo and, if they get an offer, the applicant is checked out by the site to make sure they are ready to move and have the funds in place to buy your home. There’s also advice available on accepting an offer and what comes next.
Just like with Purplebricks, Tepilo claims it can save buyers a bundle. Use the calculator on its homepage to get an idea of how much.
With emoov, you have the choice of paying upfront or using the service and only paying when your property sells. This might be a good solution if you don’t have the cash you need for the service readily available. You can find out more about the price packages here.
The first step of this process is to call emoov for a chat about your home, and you will then be given a free valuation. An ‘assessor’ from the site will visit to take some photos, work out a floor plan and write up an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) – if you need one.
Once the buyers start getting in touch, the viewings team will qualify them and schedule viewings at a time that works for you. If an offer is made, emoov will negotiate with the buyer for you and keep you posted about any updates. If you accept an offer, you can get help and support from the sales team all the way up to moving day – and they’ll even chase other people in your chain so you don’t have to.
Launched in 2014 by the easyGroup – which also owns easyJet – easyProperty is a no-frills online estate agent. There’s a choice of three price packages – one which lets you pay now and two you can pay later with no upfront fee.
Once you’ve chosen your service package, one of the team will get in touch to start the ball rolling. You’ll get a free assessment of your property’s value and an advert that will be posted on property portals like Rightmove and Zoopla.
Again, you’ll be sent any offers that come in, and the easyProperty team will also supply its own comments about each. However, once you have accepted an offer you will take over the sales progression process.
As with the other sites, easyProperty claims to be able to save you hundreds of pounds compared to the cost of a traditional estate agent. You can work out how much you could save here.
YOPA claims to sell a property within 12 days of it listing it on its site. The price is £780 with VAT and you pay this when your home sells. This service does not include having a local property expert host your viewings, but you can add this on separately.
Before you pay, you can get a free valuation. We would recommend that if you’re thinking of using an online estate agent, you get valuations from all of them (if they’re available for free), as this can help you make your mind up.
Once you’ve paid your fee, YOPA will get to work marketing your home. You will have the chance to review the advert they put together, and you have the option of hosting viewings yourself or asking your local YOPA agent to manage them for you. When you get an offer, your agent will help you negotiate on price and will be available as the sale progresses to completion.
And the rest…
The five above are just a sample of the online estate agents available, and you can see a longer list here. For more advice on using a service like this, you can check out our blog, and you can also get more information from the HomeOwners Alliance.