A Complete Guide to Online Estate Agents

Did you know that 95% of property searches are now made online? That immediately makes it clear why it's so important to make sure your property is advertised online, but we think there are more reasons than visibility to use an online estate agency like Tepilo.

What are online estate agents?

Online estate agents operate purely online; they tend not to have High Street offices, so they save on the overhead expenses that drive up traditional estate agents’ fees. This is one of the reasons why they are able to offer their services at incredibly cheap rates.

They also offer customisable service packages, so you can decide exactly what services you want (like property valuations) and what you think you can do without (like for sale boards). This keeps costs low and allows you to retain more control over the selling process than if you went the traditional High Street estate agent route.

Online estate agencies can you save you thousands in fees.

Traditional estate agents do everything from valuations and floor plans to photos and viewings. They write the property descriptions for brochures (and their website listings), they handle all of the price negotiations and they may take care of all the conveyancing requirements. For this they charge between 1.2% and 2% of the selling price. At the time of writing, the average house price in London is over £590,000 (according to Rightmove) and the average price in the UK is between £180,000 and £250,000 (according to the Halifax index and the Office for National Statistics respectively). So, if you were to pay 2% on the average property in London, that would represent a whopping £14,160 (including VAT) in fees.

Online estate agents offer different service packages and many of these packages include practically everything that a traditional estate agent offers – but at a lower price (that varies from around £500 to around £1000).

You don’t need to be a mathematical genius to see the types of savings involved.

The service packages differ widely, so you’ll need to research different online estate agents to compare their prices and offerings.

The services you can choose from generally include:

• A home visit • Account management • Listings on various online property search sites in the UK • For sale boards • Professional photography • Professional floor plan • Virtual tours • Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) • Sales negotiations • Viewings • Conveyancing

You can get a basic package and add some optional extras if you like, so you can truly tailor the services to your requirements.

One of the common criticisms levelled at online estate agents is that they are impersonal and don’t have the local knowledge required to ensure you get a good deal on your house. To counter this, many online agencies now employ local estate agents who conduct home visits and have the expertise to provide you with relevant advice and support.

If you’re not entirely happy with the service you receive you can always seek redress with the Property Ombudsman or Ombudsman Services. You can lessen the likelihood of disappointment by making sure the agency you choose belongs to the Property Ombudsman Scheme.

Contact us to find out more about how an online-only approach to the property market can help you - Get Started Now.