If you are thinking of moving house, how easy is it to sell your house online? Which online estate agents should you use? Find out how to find the best online estate agents.
How online estate agents work
An online estate agent works in a very similar way to a high street agent. They will usually visit your home to value it and then market it and arrange viewings. They will accept and negotiate offers and liaise with conveyancers, other estate agents and buyers.
You sometimes have to pay fees up front, whether or not the agency is able to sell your property. They are usually at a set rate, rather than a percentage of the selling price, which means, in theory, the more your house costs, the more you will be able to save.
SAVVY TIP: The downside to paying fees upfront is that it could mean that the agency has less incentive to negotiate the best possible price for your home. And if you don’t sell your home, you still have to pay the cost.
What online estate agents may not do
Online estate agents don’t normally do accompanied viewings. That means, unless you’re happy to pay an extra fee, you’ll normally have to do the viewings yourself.
Some of the online estate agents may not have in depth knowledge of your area, so they may not be able to get the best price for your home. With online estate agents, there is a feeling that you have to do a bit more of the legwork, but you may feel more in control of the process.
SAVVY TIP: Online estate agents are governed by the same regulations as high street estate agents. Part of these regulations state that they must be members of one of three government-approved redress schemes: the Property Ombudsman, Ombudsman Services: Property, or Property Redress Scheme. Ombudsman Services: Property is due to stop providing redress from August 6th.
How to find the best online estate agents
Finding the best online estate agent involves checking what they offer, what they charge, what their track record is and what people who’ve used them already are saying about them.
We’ve looked at five online estate agents:
Founded by celebrity home renovator Sarah Beeney in 2009, Tepilo is probably one of the better known online estate agents.
Teplio have three different property packages starting at £645 for 10 months of marketing on main portals such as Rightmove, Zoopla and PrimeLocation. This package doesn’t include photography and floor plans, so the majority of their customers (83%) select the Classic package, which costs £895.
Their property packages can be paid for at the start, or after 10 months/completion of the sale of your property, whichever is soonest.
If you want an agent to accompany any prospective buyers, it costs an additional £360.
Tepilo have a panel of conveyancers (professionals who carry out the legal side of the property sale) who charge a base fee of £599 plus disbursements plus VAT. They will look after and handle all your offers and advise and then accept or decline on your behalf. You can track your property sale online 24/7.
JARGON ALERT! Disbursements or disbursement fees refer to any extra costs that the solicitor or conveyancer has to pay to sell your home. These vary depending on the solicitor and the property.
SAVVY TIP: If you choose to use your own conveyancer, you have to pay a £360 surcharge.
Price: £645 – £1295 plus £360 for accompanied viewings (if required), plus conveyancing by one of Tepilo’s panel, costing £599 plus disbursements plus VAT. If required, an Energy Performance Certificate is an extra £90.
SAVVY TIP: Some buildings are exempt from an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), for example listed buildings. You don’t need a new EPC if you’ve had one in the last ten years and not made significant changes to your home. You may already have a valid EPC, and you can check this on the EPC register.
Percentage of sale priced achieved: 96%
Trust Pilot rating: 9.1 out of 10
Probably the most famous online estate agent (thanks to a major advertising campaign!) is Purplebricks, launched in 2012 by Northern Irish brothers Michael and Kenny Bruce.
Purplebricks have one fixed fee to sell your house of £849 (or £1,199 in London and surrounding areas) and they will market your property on all the major websites including Rightmove and Zoopla for as long as it takes to sell. Everything is included in the price apart from the cost of an Energy Performance Certificate, which you will need if you’re selling a property in England or Wales. You can also use their accompanied viewings service for an additional £300.
You don’t need to pay up front, just when your property sells or after 10 months, whichever is soonest.
Their experts live in and around the area they work, so they have local knowledge, meaning that they should be able to negotiate the best price.
Their online platform is accessible 24/7 where you can change your property advert instantly (upload and edit new photos and change your price or details); see viewings, offers, advice, documents and messages; receive feedback immediately after viewings and advice on how to respond; agree a sale or allow them to negotiate for you and communicate directly with buyers and tenants.
Price: £849 or £1,199 in London. Optional £300 viewing service fee. If required, an energy performance certificate is an extra £84.
Percentage of sale priced achieved: 98%
Trust Pilot rating: 9.5 out of 10
YOPA, or Your Online Property Agent, was founded in 2014.
They have three fee structures, starting at £839 (or £1,399 in some London postcodes), which you can pay now or in 10 months, or up to £1,795 (or £2,995 in some London postcodes), where you don’t pay until it sells.
You pay extra for packages such as accompanied viewings (£300, this is included in the Premium bundle), Energy Performance Certificates (£85) and Premium listings (from £75).
The fees include: a dedicated local Yopa agent to help you market and sell your property; your property advertised for sale on Yopa, Rightmove, Zoopla and PrimeLocation; out of hours customer support through their call centre; sales progression to help guide you from offer through to completion and access to the Yopahub where you can check the status of your property sale 24/7 including accepting viewing requests and receiving offers.
SAVVY TIP: YOPA offers customers a ‘refer a friend’ scheme. If the people you refer go on to sell their home with Yopa, you’ll receive a £100 Amazon gift card, and they’ll get £100 discount on their Yopa fee.
Price: starting at £839 or £1,399 in some London postcodes plus added extras. If required, an Energy Performance Certificate is an extra £85.
Percentage of sale priced achieved: 96%
Trust Pilot rating: 9.4 out of 10
eMoov was founded in 2010 by estate agent Russell Quirk. They offer two packages where you can pay on completion (£1,495) or upfront (£795).
They say that as soon as you contact them you’ll be dealing with a dedicated property expert, right through to completion. The price includes: professional photography, floor plans and listing on sites like Rightmove and Zoopla. They vet all viewers, negotiate the best price for your property and find you an offer you’re happy with. You also have an online account which you can access 24/7 where you can control things like viewings.
Once you’ve accepted an offer, they offer a free concierge service to help with everything from setting up utilities to sorting out council tax in your new home.
Price: From £795. If required, an Energy Performance Certificate is an extra £70.
Percentage of sale priced achieved: 97%
Trust Pilot rating: 9.3 out of 10
House Simple was founded in 2007 by Alexander Gosling and Sophie Cronin.
They have two fixed fees: £695 which is payable in full once the free trial (six months) has completed and £1,495 which is only payable if the property is sold.
Their service includes: valuation guidance; professional photography and floorplans; 24/7 viewings and feedback system; six months marketing on over 500 property websites including RightMove, Zoopla and PrimeLocation and professional negotiation and sales progression.
You can choose to use one of their conveyancing partners for £795 plus VAT (plus disbursements) per transaction regardless of your property price for their service.
Price: £695 – £1,495. If required, an Energy Performance Certificate is an extra £90.
Percentage of sale priced achieved: 96%
Trust Pilot rating: 8.8 out of 10
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