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Online estate agents vs traditional high street branches

Green houses on rising stacks of coins to represent eco finance and savings.

In the past people looked to the high street when choosing an estate agent to sell their home.

While there may have been many different companies to choose from, they all did much the same thing – displaying pictures of homes in their shop windows in the hope of catching the eyes of potential buyers.

Today, the traditional estate agent faces fierce competition from online estate agents like HouseMoov.com. Without the costly overheads of running several branch offices, online estate agents are able to offer their customers significant savings with highly competitive fees for selling their home.

And with most people turning to the internet when searching for a new home, online estate agents are highly successful at finding buyers for their properties.

Despite offering much lower fees, online estate agents are able to offer the same services as their competitors. HouseMoov still sends a qualified assessor out to customers to take photographs and measurements of their home and its staff prepares detailed listings for each property in the same way estate agents always have done when selling homes.

And online estate agents like HouseMoov do all the other things you would expect from a business selling your home from arranging viewings and gathering feedback to trying to secure the best offer and working to solve problems right up to the day of completion.

While there may not be a branch office to go and visit, the team at HouseMoov are available to offer advice and support by phone or email seven days a week. In contrast, traditional estate agents are often only available to speak to during office hours and branches are usually completely closed on Sundays.

Homes get listed on major property portals

One major advantage of using HouseMoov over a traditional estate agent is your home will appear on all three of the main online property portals – Rightmove, Zoopla and Prime Location. Many of the well-known estate agent chains have taken the decision to only list their properties on one of these websites, which reduces the number of people who will see a particular property.

A 2013 survey by Property Price Advice found 94.8% of people use property portals like Zoopla and Rightmove to look for their next home. This suggests that there are very few househunters who search for a property without using the internet at all.

However, while traditional estate agents may take potential buyers around homes, most online agencies expect sellers to do any viewings themselves. This means customers get to ask questions directly to the people who know the property best – the owners – and they avoid falling foul of estate agent jargon, which can put some people off.

And those with the most expensive homes stand to benefit the most from using an online estate agent to sell their property. Many traditional estate agents charge a percentage of the sale price in commission, which can leave people selling large homes paying out thousands of pounds in fees.

However, online estate agents charge a flat fee for their packages so sellers pay the same no matter how much money they receive for their property. And homeowners know exactly how much the service will cost them and can budget accordingly.

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