It is a well known fact today that the online world is replacing the physical one at a very rapid pace, in almost every known aspect. It started with communication and now entire communities, businesses and even worlds have been established online. The coming of the internet age ushered us into a new age of convenience and ease, in a lot of diverse areas.
The business aspect has enjoyed similar change, and for the better. This change has brought about a degree of accessibility and a plethora of facilities that were, up till now, only hoped for.
The Online Estate and Property Business, UK
The same can be said for the online estate and property business, especially in the UK. England in particular, has seen immense growth in the online property trading business. The property prices in the UK have seen some recent instability and that has caused a flurry of sale and purchase as hundreds of properties are changing hands quickly. What is fascinating to observe is that a great many of these trades are being concluded with the help of online estate agencies.
Whether you want to sell your properties fast or simply know how to sell properties online, the internet estate agent and the online property business as a whole can provide all the answers to just about any question you might have, regarding property dealings.
The Transition of the Property Business from High Street to Online only Estate Agencies
The gradual migration of the business to the online realm has relieved homeowners of some significant headaches. What used to take weeks or in some cases, even months, can and is regularly being done now in a matter of days, at most. The entire process of buying, selling, renting and/or trading a property has been taken up to a whole new level of ease.
The movement first began nearly 15 years ago with classified websites that buyers, sellers and those looking to either rent or let out a property, could advertise on and answer. Slowly but surely those classified sites transitioned into specific listing sites for each aspect of the business. This meant that if you were wondering how to sell your properties fast, you would not have to look very far. Or if you were looking to buy a property, there would already be dozens of choices available in your area. These property portals started to change the way the general public saw the business.
Several online estate agencies then came into being. They started offering all the facilities that conventional, high street agents were providing, albeit at a much lower pricing scale; as we will discuss later.
Online Only Estate Agents
At the root of the advancement in the UK property and estate business, are the online only estate agents and agencies. They disrupted the property market in a way that was both surprising to many and greatly beneficial to all, except traditional estate agents. This new and improved breed of estate agent began to simplify and modify the very process of property exchange, from the start to finish, as well as provide several facilities that resulted in the sudden growth in popularity.
There were other reasons for the rise of online estate agents and the acceptance by the general public. This can be attributed to the main factors that differentiate between an online only estate agent and a conventional one who operates out of a physical office. Although a lot of the services on offer are the same between the two, the manner in which a lot of the functions are performed is different.
Difference between an Online Estate Agent and a Conventional Property Deale
Following are some of the core differences between an estate agent who has a presence that is purely online and one who operates out a high street office.
1) Appointments and consultations: This is the very first step that most buyers and sellers have to take in order to hire an estate agent’s services. And there is a significant difference in how the two types of agents go about this process.
The traditional estate agent has to be called and an appointment for consultation or assessment has to be made. Whereas the online only estate agent has a website that provides, in the majority of cases, a questionnaire and/or a form that the interested party can fill. This form takes care of almost all the details that would otherwise be conveyed in person.
Although this eliminates the need for a visit to a physical office and lengthy negotiations, it does delegate a lot of the initial work to the buyer or seller. However, this automation of the consultation process makes for significant time savings, which the interested party could then use to further the entire procedure.
2) Property Valuations: Getting an approximate value of your property is one of the foremost points in the process that have been eased out by online only estate agents.
Conventional estate agents rely on manually updating their own knowledge of the property prices in their area. However, an agent who still operates offline can sometimes be found lacking in accuracy when it comes to property prices that may be out of their area of coverage.
An online agent is not likely to suffer from this inaccuracy. Online estate agents have automated systems in place where the client supplies details on the property; the size, number of rooms, property type, location etc. The approximate price of the property is then calculated using pre-existing and regularly updated price that is prevalent in the area in which the property is located.
There is generally less margin for human error and greater accuracy in the case of online evaluation forms due to the location based valuation feature that they possess.
3) Viewings and Surveys of the Property: This is another point in the procedure that separates the conventional estate from the online dealer. While conventional estate agents bring their clients and the buyer or seller together at the property in question for viewing purposes, the online estate agent merely features the property on either their website, the local and inter-regional listings and on other platforms that cater to the property business. It is more often than not, the client’s own responsibility to arrange viewings.
At first glance, this may seem like a lack of responsibility on the part of the online only estate agent. However, it can prove to be an advantage for the client due to the absence of substantial hourly charges, which often amount in hundreds and sometimes thousands of pounds; that are routinely charged by traditional estate agents.
4) Marketing Services: Marketing and promotion are another major point of difference between the two. A conventional estate agent will include a marketing package in their initial agreement. The property is marketed by them until the sale gets finalised, or the contract runs its course.
An online only estate agent operates differently, in the way that they offer a time period that is set, for the marketing of the property and the offer.
Most of the marketing in the latter case is done on online listing sites and forums, as well as the estate agent’s own website, whereas non-online estate agents largely market the property in various physical mediums such as newspapers, directories, shop windows and such. Although some of their marketing is done online as well, it is not to the same extent as what purely online estate agents do which seldom ever leaves the internet.
Advantages of using an Online Only Estate Agent instead of a Traditional Property dealer
As we have seen in the differences between the two types of estate agents, there are certain advantages that come with employing the services of an online estate agent.
Below are some of the most noteworthy advantages that are contributing to their increasing popularity
- Valuable time saved: You are sure to save a substantial amount of time with an online estate agent. This is extremely beneficial if you are in urgent need of funds and wish to sell your properties fast. This remains the case throughout the process as the majority of the services provided by online estate agents feature some form of automation, which negates the need for tedious paperwork and research.
- Greater accuracy in property estimates: As mentioned previously, you are highly likely to receive greatly more accurate estimate on the value of your property when using a valuation tool provided by an online only estate agent.
- Better exposure for your property: The property in question will be viewed by more people on the internet as compared to various physical mediums like newspapers. The greater traffic, the higher volume of interested buyers and the continuous exposure throughout the marketing period make online only estate agents a better choice.
- Surprisingly high cost savings: Perhaps the most noteworthy advantage of using an online estate agent versus a traditional property dealer is the amount of money you save on estate agent fees. The traditional estate agent fees for selling are charged on a percentage basis, with a 1-3 percent of the total sale price being the usual demand for commissions. Online only estate agents and agencies charge a set initial fee that is considerably less than what the former demands. As mentioned earlier, this point will be elaborated further, later in the blog.
Importance of Cutting Costs in the UK
Saving money on anything is beneficial to almost everybody. And when you save anywhere from a thousand to several thousand to even tens of thousands, you will be adding in the benefits for yourself, financially.
The generally high prices of property in the UK have, despite the recent Brexit fiasco, retained their significance. Even though they are lower than they commonly were in the past, property prices are still largely steep.
Then there is the relatively doubtful state of the general economy. With such uncertainty rife in the entire social as well as economic landscape, the importance of saving money today is now more noteworthy than ever before.
This applies particularly if you are looking to sell your property. We can consider the fact that a need for funds could be the reason why you would think of selling your house. And depending on the severity of your need and the situation; every bit of money saved could count in the long run. Fortunately, there are ways to save a hefty amount of cash when selling your house. And it is as simple as choosing an online only estate agent over a traditional one and selling your properties online.
This simple decision may result in savings, which are almost always surprisingly heavy, that could be used to wonderful effect in the future.
Online Estate Agent Fees
As we discussed earlier, online estate agencies offer virtually the same outcome albeit with much greater efficiency and a mere fraction of the usual expense that traditional estate agents charge. The percentage that traditional estate agents demand in commission, from the total sale price of the property, very often goes up to several thousand pounds.
The relatively low costs of online estate agents are mostly due to the comparative ease with which they function and the very little effort that needs to be put into the procedure itself. And although it may seem to the first time seller as an apparent dodging of personal effort in favour of automation, it should not be forgotten that this very automation has consistently resulted in rapid sales.
Other than quick and efficient sales, the automation allows for a surprisingly low cost of operation. This is another factor that allows online estate agents to charge their customers a mere fraction of what conventional agents demand.
A Common Comparison Scenario
Imagine you have a property that you are willing to sell or must sell due to a need for monetary funds. Chances are that you will not be aware of how much does it cost sell a house. This ‘cost’ refers to the estate agents fees for selling. The very next step would be to find an agent that will aid you in the sale of the property. That agent will charge you a certain amount and then proceed with the valuation, marketing and general activities associated with estate agents. How much do estate agents charge you here depends on the agency you hire or in case of a traditional agent, how much value your property possesses. By this we can assume that in a manner, the cost for selling house directly depends upon whether the seller chooses a traditional estate agent or one who purely operates online.
If we were to apply a standard cost to profit ratio on to this scenario, it would prove that with an online estate agent, the ratio leans massively towards the profit side, with an almost negligible cost as compared to the latter. However, with a traditional estate agent, the cost ratio would be comparatively higher.
Unfortunately, a great number of people within the population of the UK are still unaware of the truth behind this scenario. However, as times change and the advantages of the online estate agent as a concept advances to the forefront, we can expect even faster growth in popularity for online estate agencies.
Online Estate Agents’ versus Conventional Estate Agents’ fee structure
The fee structure of conventional estate agents is what makes for such high a cost of selling a house. And this cost, according to even the most conservative of estimates, is enough to pay for a small renovation of a room, a holiday abroad or even a lengthy medical procedure. This is a startling fact, especially once you consider all the possible applications for the amount that can potentially be saved by using an online estate agent.
A traditional estate agent, as told earlier, will usually charge a seller a percentage of the sale price if the house. This means that if a house sells for £200,000-300,000, the traditional estate agent will be making £2000-3000 in profits, at a 1 percent commission rate. And this 1 percent charge is rare in itself, considering the rise in professional service costs everywhere. This means that the seller will be paying the traditional estate agent a rather hefty sum for the simple task of aiding in the sale of their house.
These statistics and the disadvantages of using traditional estate agents for selling your property are further fortified by the fact that the average cost of a house in 2016 is close to £300,000. And for high street agents, these average costs contributed to a combined commission of over £4 billion in 2014 alone. Not only are these charges detrimental towards the consumer, they are downright preposterous as well as fairly outdated.
The fee structure of the traditional estate agent appears even more unreasonable once you include the fact that it takes virtually similar effort to sell a property that has a value in the thousands, to what it takes to sell one that is worth millions. And yet is the latter case, a traditional estate agent will stand to make anywhere from £10,000-20,000.
In contrast, an online estate agent will rarely charge a fee over a thousand pounds. And in almost every single case, the property will be sold much quicker and with significantly greater ease.
This means that if you wish to trade your property with an online estate agent, your cost for selling house will leave you with enough spare funds to afford an improvement to the next property you purchase.
There is an argument that can be made in favour of the traditional estate agent. Suppose you wish to sell your property and you approach an online estate agency for help in selling. In most cases you will be asked to pay their charges, in full and up front. Now, in case you do not succeed in selling your property, you will not be refunded the amount that you paid the online estate agency. The traditional estate agent will usually charge the seller at the completion of the sale and very rarely do they demand an up-front payment.
However, once you factor in the rate of successful sales that online estate agencies have enjoyed in the past and continue to enjoy today, the aforementioned fact becomes next to irrelevant in the face of the massive amount of savings.
Additionally, online estate agencies will charge their clients the flat fee irrespective of the value of the property. This is of great benefit to the seller with a comparatively higher valued property. Such a seller will have a clear advantage over a seller who adopted the service of a traditional estate agent, in the shape of tremendous savings.
Online Estate Agents’ Success despite Lower Fees
One might wonder then, as to how do online estate agents continue to operate despite charging as reasonably as they do. This can be answered by observing the volume of sellers that a single online estate agent can aid, at the same time.
The online realm is one that not only promotes multitasking, but considers it to be an integral part of it. Automation of various services has enabled online estate agents and agencies to serve a multitude of clients at once. Therefore, multitasking while dealing with a multitude of clients, has become an area of expertise for online estate agents.
It is important to note here that even though an online estate agency may be serving anywhere from 10 to 50 clients or even more, at once, the automated systems in place make short work of such a complicated task. This means that despite the sheer volume of clients, there is almost no compromise on quality of service and accuracy of valuations.
In the few years since it came onto the mainstream in the property business within the UK, the concept of the online estate agent has seen a rapid growth due to these very facts. When you consider the uncertain situation and unstable pricing scenario in the aftermath of the Brexit vote, an obvious need for an efficient, automated system that is unhindered by potential of human error arises. And this need is addressed and fulfilled par excellence by the online estate agencies.
One very important reason for online estate agents’ success is the easy accessibility by almost everyone, irrespective of the value of their property. It has been observed in the UK and especially London, that high street agents will refrain from aiding clients with properties of comparatively lower value. This is mostly due to the potentially smaller commission that they will receive as a result of the sale of the property. The online estate agent presents another advantage in this area. Estate agencies that work online can be trusted to take on any client, no matter how small the value of their property. The fee that online property dealers charge is so small in comparison to the actual profit that almost everybody can hire them with guaranteed results.
How to Sell your Properties Fast while Saving on How Much does it Cost Sell a House
Through the facts and figures that we established earlier, it is certain that a seller is looking at a significant cutting of the cost of selling a house by going for an online estate agent instead of a traditional, high street dealer. However, even though the former may seem like an obvious choice, it is necessary to examine their service outline carefully before finalising them.
For the most part, an online estate agent can better aid you in today’s market. And they accomplish this by their automated procedure which almost guarantees a qualified sale within a short time, if not instantly.
The steps to selling a property with an online estate agent are similarly simple. All that is needed is a comparison of the available options among online property dealers. We will discuss this comparison later in the blog.
There are several areas within the process of selling your house that make an online property agency a better choice, as determined multiple times. Following is a list of the areas of the process that prove the fact that you will save thousands by going with an online estate agency.
The Initial Valuation: This is one point in the process that is always free of any charge whatsoever. There are multiple sites that can give an accurate online property valuation for just about any type of property within the UK. Similarly, there are several reputable online estate agencies such as iMoveEstates that offer a free valuation of your property.
This is performed by factoring in multiple details about your property such as its location, how much area it covers and whether there have been any value adding modifications done to it etc.
As opposed to a traditional estate agent who is likely to charge you even for the consultation session, an online estate agency doesn’t charge you a single penny until you decide to hire their services. This is due to the fact that an online estate agency has no fleet of company vehicles or a number of offices to maintain. This lets them charge a fee as low as what they usually do.
Viewings of Seller’s Properties: These are almost always done by the sellers themselves. Which, as mentioned earlier, may seem like the online property dealer tends to shy away from much effort. However, what is very rarely realised is the advantage that this represents, in terms of buyer satisfaction.
When you hire a traditional estate agent, they arrange a visit with the prospective buyer and conduct the subsequent viewing of your property themselves. This provides them another excuse to charge you higher.
Unlike traditional estate agencies, the property viewings that stem from working with an online estate agent are conducted solely by the seller. As there is nobody who knows your home as much as you yourself do, you are better suited to conducting such viewings. And online estate agents take advantage of this fact which reduces the need for the effort on their part, effectively allowing them to further reduce service charges.
Property Marketing: There are virtually unlimited marketing options available to online estate agencies, as opposed to traditional property dealers who advertise in newspapers, television and other mediums that charge advertising premiums.
As with any service, it is necessary to compare estate agents before adopting either’s service. How much do estate agents charge and how much did a house sell for on their watch are deciding factors that the seller can use to identify the most able estate agent
Other than that, each online estate agency’s track record can be easily viewed on the internet. From there, potential sellers can decide which online estate agency they would prefer.
By far the most efficient and quickly growing agency in the UK currently is iMoveEstates. Not only do they offer top of the line service from the start of the evaluation process to the conclusion of the sale, they charge the best possible price, especially considering the excellent service that they provide.
In conclusion, the potential seller should note that despite all the promise that the online property market has, it is beneficial to conduct thorough research and choose whichever estate agent is best suited to their specifications.