What is an online estate agent?

  • 29th Jun 2022
  • 5 minute read
  • Written by Maisie Eames
What is an online estate agent?

Online and hybrid estate agents like us are becoming increasingly popular. But what actually are they?

Online agents operate virtually rather than on the high street. Rather than being based in an office in your local area, we have a small team located at the hub of easyProperty, with other members of staff working remotely, as well as our local agents on the ground who are dotted all around the UK – we work flexibly, to give you flexibility. What’s more, we offer you the exact same service as high street agents, but with lower fees as we don’t have high overheads from physical offices!

High street agents are still proving popular though; in fact, according to the latest TwentyCi & Property & Homemover report, over 90% of home sellers still choose a local agent. We’re going to tell you everything you need to know about online agents, and why you should consider using one to sell your home.

In this article, we will cover:

How do online estate agents work?
How will an online estate agent value my house?
How will an online estate agent market my house?
Will an online estate agent take professional photos of my home?
Do online estate agents do property viewings?
Are online estate agents cheaper?
Why should you consider using an online estate agent?
Do online estate agents adhere to a code of conduct?
How to choose an online estate agent?
How to become an online estate agent?

How do online estate agents work?

Most online estate agents work by offering the services you’d expect from a high street estate agent, virtually. For example, they can offer the option of valuing and marketing your home and arranging property viewings online.

Because they don’t have to physically visit your home when doing these things, they will often rely on research, data, and technology to provide the figures and the service.

How will an online estate agent value my house?

An estate agent doesn’t necessarily have to physically visit your property to value it, online agents use different methods, which often are just as accurate. There are a few things they can do to get a figure.

As we are a hybrid agency, we could well have a dedicated Local Property Expert in your area to visit you and value your home, however, if we don’t, there is a friendly agent at the hub who can handle it. They will look at the location of the property, the layout, find out whether there’s been any modifications, extensions, or updates to the property, look at the general aesthetic and carry out existing market research of properties similar, and around the same area.

When selling your home, it’s important for you to understand and do some research about valuations too, so you are aware of what is accurate or not so much for your property. Read more on how to value a property in our blog.

How will an online estate agent market my house?

Rather than potential buyers seeing your home in a high street agent’s window as they walk by, online and hybrid agents use the power of technology – when marketing your home with easyProperty, you will get a listing on property portals such as Rightmove, Zoopla, Boomin and, of course, our website. This way, keen buyers will be checking said sites regularly and will spot your property on there. We also provide ‘for sale’ boards, so passers-by will also see your home is up for sale that way.

Will an online estate agent take professional photos of my home?

No matter what fee option you choose with us, you will get a professional advert including photos and floorplan.

If you wanted to take it that step further, we offer a boosted marketing package for £275, in which you can also get a video trailer, professional photos, floor plan, Matterport tour, and Rightmove Premium Listing – you’re in control!

Do online estate agents do property viewings?

After all the online marketing and once your house has attracted the interest of potential buyers virtually, it will be time to show off your property in person with viewings. They give potential buyers an opportunity to see what makes your home special up close and of course, help them get a feel for the area too.

When it comes to viewings – we hand the control over to you. You can host the viewings yourself or let us handle them, it really is up to you. You can also watch the viewings come in on your online dashboard.

We also offer additional packages for viewings if you wish to improve your sale even more – why not opt for the virtual viewing package so that viewers can wander around your home 24/7 without your own personal time being interrupted? Or have an expert viewing and let us handle them for you – the choice is yours once again.

Are online estate agents cheaper?

As we mentioned previously, online estate agents typically provide a slightly more flexible service – therefore, they are able to charge lower fees than the standard high street agents. Online estate agents typically charge a flat fee of between £300 and £1,500, regardless of the value of your property.

A major downside of online estate agents’ lower prices is that in most cases you’ll have to pay up front, regardless of whether they end up selling your home or not. Paying a fixed fee also reduces the agent’s incentive to sell your property for the highest possible price.

However, we go that little step further, as we offer 3 payment options for our customers to choose from: upfront, split fee, or no sale, no fee. This gives you the flexibility and choice to pick a payment option that best suits you and your situation at the time:

UpfrontSplitNo sale, no fee
£995£495 upfront, £995 on completion1% of sale price, minimum fee £1500
easyProperty fees

For more information on our fees, or to find out which one is best for you, check out the fees page on our website or speak to one of our experts.

Why should you consider using an online estate agent?

There are many reasons why online agents are becoming increasingly popular and why you should consider them:

If you are more willing to take control of the sale, an online estate agent could be for you. They’re able to offer more flexibility than high street agents. Not only can they operate outside of traditional office hours, they offer virtual viewings and valuations rather than waiting for a time when an agent can come out. They can also allow you to host your own viewings and even accepting and negotiating offers yourself if you’d rather. It’s this level of flexibility that is attracting people to the online world.

Furthermore, the fees are often lower, so if you are not overly bothered about the in-person elements of high street agents, you could end up with more money in your pocket, and as you now know, we even have flexible fee options for you!

Estate agents don’t always have the best reputation, but we’re determined to prove there’s a better way for things to be done. That’s why the modern way of estate agency may appeal to you. We make sure we are always transparent – no hiding behind asterisks, we’re upfront about what things cost: we’ve even written a blog about all the costs involved in selling a home, so check that out if you’re interested. But to top it off, we combine our state-of-the-art tech with a human touch, so online won’t feel like online!

Do online estate agents adhere to a code of conduct?

Yes, online agents are no different to high street ones when it comes to a code of conduct – they are still obliged to do the following: Accurately describe the property, not withhold important information, pass on offers to the seller and not show bias for or against buyers.

Check out the Estate Agents Act 1979 in more detail.

How to choose an online estate agent

Choosing the right estate agent can be a difficult decision, online or not. Start your search by checking reviews – these are great as they are written by real members of the public, with first-hand experience of using a company. We are proud to be rated 4.9 out of 5 on Trustpilot and you can take a look at some of our reviews. Also check online agents’ websites and social media pages, to get more of a feel for the company and even speak to a representative to get more information.

How to become an online estate agent?

Intrigued by the idea of becoming an online estate agent? There’s lots of benefits and it’s very rewarding seeing those you have helped move into their dream properties. If you’re interested in helping people move the easy way, visit our Work With Us page for more information and check out our recent blog ‘How to become an estate agent in the UK’.

Want to give an online agent a go? Why not book your free valuation with us now and see what you think?

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