One of the ways of cutting down on estate agent fees when selling your house is by selling through online estate agent. However, you must be willing to do most the work such as marketing and conducting viewings among other things.
How then should you go about selecting your online estate agent? John Travers, owner of dublin handyman service struggled to sell his house on the open market, and has gave us some of his best tips for selling quickly.
Choose your package
Choosing your package – Unlike the high street agents, working with online estate agents comes with a greater range of choice in terms of the service you will receive from the estate agents. That is, you will be offered an initial fee alongside a long list of optional extras that you will be required to choose from.
Therefore, you need to determine from the onset what is important to you. If, for example, you are not able to conduct viewings the estate agent may want to bring in property experts they are recruiting to offer this service.
However, you must be willing to pay an extra fee for this service. Similarly, if you have financial problems and are unable to pay the agent fees at once, you can take advantage of packages that allow you to split the cost at the end of the sale.
Online estate agents may also help you to not only manage bookings for viewings but also offer virtual tours as part of the add ons on their packages.
Expect the essentials
You need to distinguish between the services that are obvious and watch out for those agents that are completely hands off. You also must decide if you will want to do everything from the floorplans to photos on your own. The basic package that includes the essentials usually includes listing on Zoopla and Rightmove, photos and floor plans.
Watch out for jargon
If you do not understand the jargon in the contract then it means you do not understand what you are paying for. The only prudent thing to do is to ask what it means. The majority of the online estate agents have an active online web chat facility in addition to being open for long hours. Therefore, you can give them a call to seek clarification.
A good example is sales progression and account management. While the first is used to refer to mean the estate agent will take up a more active role when it comes to chasing solicitors, getting in touch with other estate agents within your chain etc, the second one refers to dealing with your listing as well as organizing viewings. Therefore, if you do not want the intermediary function then do not pay for it.
Consider the length of the contract
In most cases, you are not in a contractual agreement with the agent but you can advertise through them for as long as you desire or until you are able to sell the property while other agents will only market the property for a limited period and charge an extra fee for an extension. Thus, you need to check the contracts to be sure of the marketing period before appointing the agent. If you are planning on taking a long vacation on your trolling battery powered yacht in the summer for example, and need an agent to cover this period make sure you express this.
Negotiate and save
It is always assumed that because online agents are cheaper than their high street counterparts, you cannot negotiate. The truth is you can negotiate with the agent about the Environmental Performance Certificate (EPCs) without having to worry about them losing your business. Remember, asking could save you money.
Overall, you need to approach the online estate agents from an informed point of view and be proactive in asking questions. This will ensure that you get the best service for a reasonable fee.