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Selling your house online: the important things to consider

Online estate agent listing. Photograph by Graham Soult

With the Internet continuing to dominate many sales, more and more homeowners are now turning to online estate agencies when selling their property. But what needs taking into consideration when you look to do this?

Many online estate agents, such as House Network, are growing in popularity due to the vast savings that customers can make by selling their home online. Recent studies have indicated that £5,000 is saved (on average) by using these types of agencies instead of high-street ones.

Online providers generally offer flat fees of around £500, which can be a huge saving when many high-street agencies charge up to 3% in fees (equating to £9,000 on a £300,000 property).

What do their fees involve?

While the proposition of saving so much money is a lure in itself, it's important to establish exactly what the online estate agency fees include.

With a variety of different packages being available, you'll need to study each in detail to find out who's offering the best deal. Just like you would if you were selling your home with high-street agents, it's advisable to get several quotes from a number of companies so you can compare them.

Check to see if you receive a description, floorplan and professional photos in your listing and that your property will be listed on the major online portals. Also, enquire as to whether VAT is included in the price and how long the marketing period is for each particular agent.

What do you want from your estate agent?

Before you start your search, consider what you are wanting from your agent so you can find an online company that will offer you exactly what you're looking for.

For example, decide whether you want someone to handle negotiations for you, whether you want someone to take care of the viewings for you, and whether you want a 'For Sale' sign outside your home.

Additionally, take a look into what payment methods these companies employ. Some will provide the option of paying upfront, which could work out cheaper but may be limited to a certain period of time. Others may provide you with a pay-on-completion option, which some customers prefer as they feel the agent is more likely to be incentivised to sell the property.

Whatever your preferences, selling your home is a huge undertaking - so you're going to want to make sure you're using the best online estate agent, and that you're getting the best price for your home.

Photo credit: Graham Soult

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