Internet vs High-Street - Where to Find your Next Home

The number of estate agent-related queries on Google is believed to have grown by 35 per cent this year and more people are using the internet to search for properties to rent or buy than ever before.

The number of estate agent-related queries on Google is believed to have grown by 35 per cent this year and more people are using the internet to search for properties to rent or buy than ever before. Twenty years ago if you wanted to buy a house, you would visit the local estate agents. Now it seems most of us look online. Rightmove, the UK’s largest property portal boasts that over 90% of all homes for sale in the UK are listed on its site, and the major portals such as Propertyfinder, Primelocation, Globrix and Fish4homes have seen a huge rise in property numbers, particularly since some major site updates in 2006/7.

I’ve recently launched Tepilo.com (this site), which differs from the major portals in that users can upload their own properties for free, without the need for getting an estate agent involved and saving you thousands in the process. Portals such as Rightmove and Globrix will only accept properties from agents, so there are limited places you can advertise your own property effectively. Tepilo also facilitates a negotiation process, viewing requests and offers through the site itself, and you can pick up useful advice throughout the process. Properties are displayed in a magazine style format, with plenty of images and handy information about the local area, such as transport links and nearby schools. Owners also describe the properties in their own words, which we think often provides the information you just can’t get through an agent’s description.

There is a general perception held by the public that selling your home is daunting and incredibly complicated. Of course this isn’t the case at all. By providing a simple to use platform, coupled with solid advice and a step by step guide, I thought we could help people through the process and dispel the myth that selling a home can be a minefield.

Estate agents still have their place

Selling online won’t be for everyone, you do need to put in some work, and some of you will be happy to pay for the ease of having someone manage your sale. So I think it’s unlikely that we will see the end of high street agents just yet. There are a number of very good agents out there, who admittedly can do what’s expected from them, but from my side this seems to be greatly outnumbered by the horror stories you hear.