How much do online agents really cost?

When you are looking to choose an agent to sell your home, a key factor in the decision making process is undoubtedly price. Online agents have sprung up over recent years making radio, TV and internet based offers that seem too good to be true. So, how much do online agents really cost?

On the face of it, online agents will offer a set fee to sell your home which looks like a good deal. Breaking it down though, that deal rarely is as good as you think. Quite often you have to pay the fee up front which not all buyers are in a position to do and many feel uncomfortable paying for a service before it has been received.

Pricing your property at the right point to sell is based on an estate agent’s knowledge of the local market. An online agent will, of course, send out someone to value your property but they may not have the extensive local market knowledge needed to accurately pinpoint the correct price. This could cost you money if they price your property too low or you will struggle to get people through the door if they price it too high.

When it comes to conducting viewings, your estate agent will usually accompany each one in order to add the professional touch. If you opt for an online agent, these viewings will be more than likely be conducted by you. Now, of course you know your house well enough to sell it, but with a professional estate agents eye, they will be able to point out all the plus points to actively sell your property. Most sellers are a little apologetic about a cracked tile or there not being enough space for storage. Also, there is an additional cost – your valuable time.

Communication is another key factor. Moving home can be a stressful process and communication, or lack of it, has been deemed as one of the worst aspects. Opting for an online agent you are more than likely going to be assigned an account manager but you are not likely to meet them in person. This is why, here at Tortoise, we have Relationship Managers to act as your point of contact from listing through to sale and beyond. They provide added peace of mind. The cost here in terms of time spent trying to get information can be huge.

Marketing is our next aspect. All agents will sign you up for a set term and should market your property for that term. Always check how long that term is and in the small print check exactly what you are going to receive in the form of marketing as it can vary wildly. Here at Tortoise you get a 12 week marketing plan and you can agree with your Relationship Manager exactly what you would like included in that. When you consider marketing consists of floorplans, a brochure, professional photography, a web description, listing on property portals etc, this can run into hundreds of extra pounds making that initial small fee advertised by an online agent grow.

So, just because an online agent appears to be offering a great deal, it is wise to look at the bigger picture of costs and what you will be getting for your money. Contact one of our friendly team on 01733 592020 if you would like to hear about our how our sales formula works and how successful it is in practice.  

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