Choosing which agent to sell your house online can be something of a lottery. Most people don’t find doing this an easy experience. If you are putting your house on the market, it’s best to seek help from the professionals.
A good estate agent can help you find the right buyer, secure the best price and complete your sale smoothly. But how do you go about selecting the right online estate agent for you? There’s a lot of choice in the market, and some things to watch out for. And most importantly you have to pick the right agent for the job.
First things first – What is the reason for selling your property?
People sell properties for many different reasons. Most often this is simply to move home. However, this is not always the case. And sometimes it pays to pick the right selling strategy when selling your property. If you are in no rush it can still make sense to use a high street agent. These agents will more often than not get you the best price for your property. This is because they are able to sell the virtues of the property location.
However, if you need to sell quickly for a specific reason there are alternative routes. An example would be selling a house that was inherited. This can often work out best by selling to a property buying company as they can buy in as little as 28 days.
All things being equal an online agent is often best when you are in no rush and are happy to do some of the legwork yourself. Here we explain more.
How to choose an agent to sell your house online
The more research you put into choosing an estate agent, the better the whole process will go.
Firstly, do an online valuation of your house. There are a number of websites that can help with this. These include Zoopla’s home valuation tool. Consider other similar properties in your local area. What prices have they fetched lately?
Ask yourself the following:
- Which online agents have been performing best in your area? Look at their websites and write down the company details.
- What kind of properties do these agents typically sell? Do you feel confident they could secure a good price for your house?
- Ask for recommendations from friends, family and workmates.
Make a shortlist
Once you have done your initial research, call your shortlist of three online agents. Ask them questions such as when did they last sell a property in your area? What price did they fetch?
Property expert, TV’s Phil Spencer, says on Zoopla’s property blog: “There’s no point talking to a very high-end estate agent about your humble studio flat.”
Certainly, you should ask several online agents to value your house. But don’t be flattered by the one that gives you the highest value for your property. This may be a tactic to persuade you to give them your business. These are the sorts of tricks agents having been using for years to sell your house online.
Instead, we recommend that you look for the online agent that has had most success in your area.
Why professional estate agent memberships matter
Estate agents must be members of organisations such as the National Association of Estate Agents and display the NAEA ‘property mark’.
Current membership of RICS (The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) is also a positive sign. Membership of such organisations mean the estate agent must operate within codes of conduct which guarantee they will be professional. RICS members often have a more in-depth and rounded knowledge of property.
Here are some further questions you should consider:
- It’s a known fact that web based agents often charge for all of the added extras when you sell your house online. Ask what these are.
- For instance, would they accompany prospective buyers to see your home?Is there a separate charge for this?
- How does their online portal work for sellers? Can they demonstrate it to you?
- How good is their knowledge of the local property market?
- Will they be advertising your home on all of the leading property websites? This includes Rightmove, Zoopla and On the Market ?
- What is your gut feeling about the online agent? Do you want to appoint them?
- Is their local reputation good and do you trust them?
- What are their fees? Ask for these in writing.
Ask for house valuations
Ask the online agents to value your home. Also, ask what their plan would be for selling your house online. How long might your house sale take? It is possible to appoint more than one agent to sell your home.
Based on this, and once you’ve given it some thought, make your choice of an agent. In practice, most people choose to use just one. The benefits are lower fees from the agents.
Once you’ve appointed your agent, treat it as a business partnership. Establishing regular communications and a professional relationship should mean better results.
Online estate agencies have become more popular recently and can provide savings in terms of lower fees. But often they do charge up-front fees to market your property. You may also need to manage parts of the selling process yourself by using them. And according to some people, valuations of property prices can vary widely when using online agencies.
It is true to say that more people today are opting to sell their home via an online agent. However, with this choice comes more work on behalf of the seller. This often includes having to provide your own photography, write advertisements and carry out your own viewings. If you opt to have the online agent do these for you it often works out to be just as expensive as selling via a traditional estate agent.
Before committing to either an online or high street agent do your research and be sure why you have made your choice of who to work with.
And, should you decide to simply sell your house fast contact one of our team here at National Property Buyers. Our team are on hand to help you achieve a quick house sale with the minimum of fuss.
Has this article helped you decide to sell your house online or via a traditional estate agent? Let us know by leaving a short comment below.