Online Estate Agents: How Do They Work?
Traditionally, selling a home is usually done through a high street agent. These days, however, more people are starting to recognise the services of online estate agents as an alternative. Not everyone is familiar with how this works. Sometimes, due to some misconceptions, using online estate agents has met with some hesitancy. Nevertheless, there is a continued rise in the popularity of online estate agents largely due to the advantages they offer.
How does it work?
For the most part, online estate agents offer services similar to traditional real estate agents. The process of selling a home usually begins with a valuation, then it is followed by viewings. Their services also include coordination with a conveyancing service to help you while you are on the move. Most online estate agents will also be with the seller every step of the way and liaise with other agents and potential buyers until the property is sold.
Communicating with an online estate agent
The primary difference between an online estate agent and a traditional high street agent is the form of communication. As the name implies, you deal with online estate agents not in person, but through online channels like email, or phone. If there is a need to visit the property, such as taking photos, someone will get in touch with you in person.
Online agents commonly assign an account manager to each specific case so that you have someone you can directly contact for concerns. Online estate agents also make sure that there are convenient communication channels for clients to reach out to them such as 24/7 helplines or chat support. Some online estate agents such as House Network even provide ‘insurance’ against their service claiming to sell a house for free if they break any of their promises.
What to look for when choosing an online estate agent
Aside from the fact that online estate agents deal with their clients with the help of the internet, there is no other difference that sets them apart from traditional high street agents. They also comply with the same rules and regulations to ensure the legitimacy of their trade.
If you are in the market to sell your home and are considering an online estate agent to help you, you need to verify if they are a member of one of three government-approved redress schemes which are: Ombudsman Services: Property, The Property Ombudsman Limited or Property Redress Scheme.
The scheme which the estate agent is a member of is your protection in case you have any concerns or problems with the service or transaction.
Benefits of using an online estate agent
There is no denying that going with online estate agents has advantages. First, it is more convenient for people who have busy schedules and don’t have the time for face to face appointments. It is also often a lot easier to speak to someone on the phone because online estate agents have dedicated hotlines that are usually available even on weekends. If you also go with an online estate agent, you have more freedom in instructing other estate agents if you want to. There are no restrictions, and oftentimes there is no specific contract period.