The emergence of more online estate agents has made people think about how they buy and sell a house. Can we stand to save money on the sale of our house by doing it online? Are we missing a trick by not promoting our house through a local estate agents?
In this blog, we look at how traditional estate agents and online estate agents are weighing up in 2016.
The big headline associated with online estate agents is cost. Online agents charge lower fees because they cut out the estate agent. Traditional agents tend to charge 1.5% of the sale price achieved. That means, for example, a £400,000 house you’d expect to pay £6,000. Online estate agents, however, offer packages that start from just £400, and even the most expensive service will only set you back £1,000.
Clearly on cost – online agents win.
Whether you’re looking to buy or sell house, local knowledge is so key. Traditional agents can offer advice to both you or the buyer of your house – something that is really useful if you’re moving to somewhere you don’t know. On the other hand, most online estate agents will work from a central location to keep costs down – this means the only local knowledge about the house you’re looking to buy, is based on what the seller has written, or through ‘basic’ information written on the web.
When it comes to local knowledge – traditional agents win.
Some online estate agents and portals offer a ‘self-assessment’ so users can value their house. The problem with this? You could end up underselling your house and overpaying for the one you want. Cutting out the traditional estate agent in this instance, again, means that local knowledge is not taking into consideration, not to mention that you could end up out of pocket.
There are, however, online agents that have teamed up with traditional agents to offer you the most accurate house prices. Because of this recent development in agents working together, we’ve called this one a tie.
Where the market is
There is no doubt that the internet has revolutionised the housing market – and when people are looking to buy or sell a house, they are beginning their information search online. Because of this change, the online agents are seeing a huge influx in visitors looking for their next dream home.
Although traditional agents have responded by offering their own website and search tool, some people may be sceptical about how impartial the listing is – and will not offer the amount of houses that online agents can.
This means that when it comes to where the market is, online agents win.
Saving money going through an online agents may mean nothing if it drags out the purchase or sale of your house 4-5 weeks more than you anticipated. Due to online agents not having the capacity to control the sale like traditional agents, it means that delays in moving house are very real.
When it comes to the process, traditional agents win.
It’s a tie
It seems that there are lots of pros and cons for both online and traditional agents – it simply comes down to whether you would prefer to save money on traditional agents’ cost, at the expense of time and accuracy.
Whatever you think is the best solution for you, remember that we’re always here to help if you need your possessions storing before your next house move :-).
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