Here in Britain, we love complaining about estate agents almost as much as we enjoy complaining about the weather. However, when it comes to selling our homes and moving on to somewhere new, many of us still pay incredibly high fees for their services. However, recent surveys seem to show us that this trend is changing, and people are moving towards using online estate agents or ‘property portals’ instead. But why? This blog post aims to find out.
Estate Agents and High Fees
On average, a high street estate agent charges around 1.5% to 2% of the sale price of a home in fees. Although this sounds minimal in percentage terms, it still stacks up quickly and you can pay over £10,000 in fees if you’re selling a £500,000 property; which is generally the case in London and the surrounding area.
This is an incredibly large sum, and even higher when the housing market is as hot as it is at present. Now, the average time it takes to sell a house is beginning to fall and, as a direct result, it means that estate agents are still receiving a very high fee for what appears to be very little work.
This, it appears, is the primary reason for people switching online to use internet estate agents.
What’s the Advantage of Online?
Online estate agents such as House Network have popped up as a result, with people less weary about the online world. Of course, House Network are only one example, and there are actually thousands.
These agencies thrive by reducing the fees they offer, passing these on savings to the customer instead. This means that, theoretically at least, if you sell your house online, you should pay less in management fees and get more of the cash direct.
As well as this, online ‘property portals’ claim that they can offer a better service for their customers, focusing on the sale rather than the fees and bonuses associated with it. As you’d imagine, this varies on an agency to agency basis, so be careful with which one you choose.
Understandably, many still seem reserved in choosing an online agent, feeling as though they’re not getting the exposure that they do on the high street. But, for many, the savings are simply too good to turn down.
To conclude, although many Brits have been complaining about estate agents for decades, it seems as though some are now starting to take action, opting for online estate agents instead in order to reduce their costs. Whether the rise of online estate agents is sustainable or not is uncertain at the minute, but it appears as though their prominence could force traditional high street agents to change. Watch this space.