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The best Online Estate Agent?

by James Cole

Earlier in the year we published How to choose an Estate Agent advising home sellers what to look for in an Estate Agent, and it turned out to be a very popular article.   A large part of this decision inevitably comes down to the personality and perceived ability of the Estate Agent – as we all know people generally buy from people they like – or so they say.

However, what about the new breed of Online Estate Agents?  You don’t really get to meet them before you take your choice, and what exactly is an Online Estate Agent anyway?  What makes them any different from any other Estate Agent?

Comparison of Online Estate Agents

We decided to do a bit of research, and so today published our Online Estate Agent Comparison from which we’ve taken the above league table of Online Estate Agents’ Websites based on a ‘WebsiteGrader’ score (this is explained in the full report).

This league table indicates the quality of the online estate agents’ websites based on a raft of factors explained in our report (Online Estate Agent Comparison 2010).

But what are the important factors for home sellers thinking about marketing their home online withan Online Estate Agent instead of a High Street Agent?

Our suggestions are:

- How established (proven) is the company behind the website?

- Are they a member of the industry Ombudsman scheme?

- Value for money – not just price, but what is included?

- How good is their website, how many clients do they have already?

- What level of service can you expect?

But the last question, and arguably most important, is the hardest to judge without meeting someone face to face and  is one of the most difficult hurdles for online estate agents to overcome, in convincing customer that they are trustworthy, helpful and efficient – that there are real people – professionals behind the website.

Download the full report here

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12 Responses to “The best Online Estate Agent?”

  1. Yes, it is very difficult to decide which real estate agent to deal with as we must consider the listed one or someone of our family friends deal with him before to trust hiring him.

  2. It is also important to ask where will an Online Estate Agent market your property? Apart from the obvious benefits of having them assist you throughout the sale / letting process, you want as much exposure as possible for your property advert. It is always worth checking if your advert will appear on all the major property portals such as Right Move, Zoopla and Prime Location.

  3. Scottish Home Reports says:

    Great article and worth while excercise.

  4. Online estate agents offer virtually the same service as traditional high street estate agents. As standard with most you get a home visit where they will take photographs and a floor plan. They will also field all queries from potential buyers. The main difference is that their prices are significantly less because of the far lower overheads.

  5. eMove Online Estate Agents says:

    Well reasearched article. Online Estate Agency is certainly the future of estate agents

  6. Turtle homes says:

    Thanks for the research, a good article. It would be interesting to see how the table currently looks with updated data. Turtlehomes.co.uk online estate agents for example have increased their WG to 97 since the report was published.

  7. Move4us says:

    I agree this is a well researched article. Looking at the latest web rankings it’s obviously had a positive affect on the various online estate agency providers that it mentions (including ourselves). At the end of the day the most important thing is quality of service and actually selling the properties on our books.

  8. chris says:

    Interesting short piece of research, funn also how 121 has done so much better now. Also interesting how these estate agents offer their product and how its not just about cost.

  9. We have an online estate agent website for sale:

    http://www.theonlinestateagent.co.uk

    Perfect for Estate Agents, Property Developers or for use as a ‘For Sale by Owner’ website.

    Get in touch via the website oif you would like to know more…

  10. Jen says:

    I’ve used eMoov before. Thumbs up! =) good article.

  11. Trevor says:

    I predict that there will be about 10% of agents left in the high street, high portal costs will drive them to run from home, there is no need for high street presence.

  12. Roger says:

    I read this article (and many others on this subject!) a few months ago and decided to go with Hatched.co.uk

    The reason I chose them was because the charged a fee at the end. I didn’t like the fact that all of the online agents seemed to charge up front only. I couldn’t help but think that all they were interested in was getting your house on the market, rather than actually selling, which is, after all, what I was hoping to achieve…

    Anyway, that was my reason for choosing Hatched, and basically, im glad i did!

    I sold it within a few weeks for the price that high street agents quoted and I saved about £4000 on a £220k house. The sale took a bit of time to go through, but I’m pretty sure this was just down to the chain/solicitors, rather than Hatched

    Overall it was a good experience and I would use them again

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