Home selling through local agent vs. online portal

miniature house and key

Thinking about selling your home? Not so long ago, the default option would be to get in touch with a local estate agent, who would market your property through a combination of newspaper ads and a listing in their high street office window.

Of course, most people now turn to the internet to find their dream home, which has led to a huge rise in the popularity of online property portals like Zoopla and Rightmove, and online-only estate agents including Yopa and Purple Bricks.

So, should you still choose a traditional agent, or would you be better off selling your home through an online portal? Here’s everything you need to know when selling your home to ensure a smooth property sale…

Option 1: Sell Family Home Through Local Estate Agent

Perhaps the most obvious advantage of choosing a local agent is that you can take advantage of their local market knowledge and high level of personal service. A high street estate agent will usually care take of the property sale throughout, from providing an estimated market value through to drawing up the marketing materials, advertising your property online and conducting viewings.

Of course, the big drawback to this personal service is their notoriously high fees. Most agents will charge a percentage of the final sale price, which means paying a three-figure bill once your property has eventually been sold. What’s more, estate agents do not guarantee a sale, so you’ll need to have a degree of patience while waiting for the right buyer and budget for any ongoing mortgage payments that are due while the property is still on the market.

Option 2: Sell Family Home Through Online Portal

Perhaps unsurprisingly, online portals like Rightmove and Zoopla have become the main channel for marketing properties in recent years and are visited by millions of buyers and tenants every single month.

Unfortunately, private sellers are unable to advertise on these sites without using an estate agent, although there are some lesser known property portals like TheHouseShop that do allow private advertisers.

If you want to advertise through property portals but don’t want to deal with a traditional high street estate agent, an increasingly popular option is to turn to an online agent like Yopa or Purple Bricks.

Online estate agents have one big advantage over traditional bricks and mortar establishments – they charge considerably less for their services. With much smaller overheads, their fees are often a fraction of high street agents, and many also offer fixed priced packages, meaning you’ll know exactly what you are paying right from the start.

What about the drawbacks? For one thing, many online agents charge an additional fee for accompanied viewings. In addition, most will require fees to be paid upfront, whereas high street agents typically charge a percentage of the sale price once a buyer has been found. However, it is worth remembering that their fees will usually be significantly more expensive.

Option 3: Cash Buyers for Houses

If you’ve been unable to find a suitable buyer through an agent or need to sell a house fast, another option worth considering is using a house buying service.

These services offer a faster way to sell your property, with no need to worry about marketing the property, conducting viewings, or paying expensive estate agent fees. As cash buyers for houses, you can also relax knowing that there is no chain to potentially delay the sale or cause problems further down the line. In many cases, house buying companies can provide a no-obligation offer in as little as 24 hours and complete the purchase in just a few weeks. Of course, the main drawback is that they will usually offer a lower price for the property. This might mean letting your home go for below market value, but it can sometimes be useful in situations where you need a quick sale.

Which Option Is Right for Me?

The days of traditional bricks and mortar agents dominating the market are long gone, with homeowners now having a wide range of viable options when selling their home. Ultimately, each route offers a specific set of advantages and disadvantages, so you’ll need to weigh up the pros and cons for your individual situation.

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About the Author: James Watt

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