All online estate agents share the principle of offering affordable fixed fees. It’s a system which – if recent stories are to be believed – is proving to be irresistible to increasing numbers of homeowners who no longer feel comfortable with the high commission rates of traditional estate agents. They also promise an increased marketing potential through advertising your property on all of the major property portals, including Rightmove and Zoopla. Their results are impressive with some agencies exclaiming that their properties are selling at least six weeks faster than through conventional methods. However, as with most things in life, you get what you pay for, and in the world of online estate agency there are a few different levels of service.

Pay As You Go
Some vendors opt for the most basic fee then decide to pay for extra services when they need them. You can expect to pay similar additional fees for photography, floor plans, video tours and premium listings on the major property sites for between £100 and £150 for each service. It pays to think carefully about the services you might need as choosing them separately can actually become more expensive than starting with a higher rated package. For example, an all-in-one fixed fee in the region of approximately £800 from online agencies such as Purplebricks, Yopa or Emoov will usually secure you all the features mentioned above. In addition, one of their local experts will visit you to value your property and be on hand to give advice throughout the sales process.

Do It Yourself
Choosing a fee of less than £500 at Housesimple will get you little more than an online valuation and basic listing on their website. Television’s property expert Sarah Beeny’s Tepilo offers much the same for £695, although there is some help available if you find you are having difficulties uploading your details. Other than that, you are left to organise everything yourself from dealing with enquiries to concluding the sale.

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If you’ve experienced the ups and downs of selling your home before you might feel you possess the time and necessary organisational skills to tackle the tasks ahead. However, you’ll likely need plenty of stamina for the mountains of paperwork involved from liaising with two solicitors at the same time. Home-selling novices may well find the situation overwhelming!

For those online estate agents charging less expensive fees, you will likely be expected to arrange and conduct viewings yourself. Showing strangers round your home while trying to point out its merits can often be unnerving for anyone but particularly for first time vendors. Most online estate agents including Yopa and Emoov offer an accompanied viewing for an additional fee of between £300 and £360 each time. Evaluating the cost effectiveness of this service is entirely dependent on how many viewings you might need to sell your home.

Hybrid Estate Agents
Hybrids are estate agents who combine their online facilities with the full services of a traditional agency. The savings they make through not maintaining high street offices have resulted in low fixed fees. Representatives with a sound local knowledge can offer guidance during every step of the procedure, take care of conveyancing and negotiate the best price for your home.

A hybrid estate agent offers the vendor a reassuring mix of affordability, convenience and experience. While all online estate agents strive to provide low fixed fees, those that also include terrestrial services provide the best of both worlds.