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Online or Traditional? Who should sell your property?

In recent years online estate agents have become an ever more popular choice for people looking to sell their property. Here we look at the pros and cons of using an online estate agent or sticking with a traditional high street estate agent.

Traditional High St Estate Agent – Pros

• Safe Hands
Choosing a high street estate agent like Prospect Estate Agents who have been trading in your local town for many years will give you confidence that they are experienced and know your local area. The fact that they have been in business for several years should also prove that they are successful at what they do and should hopefully have good reviews from happy customers. They will also have a good idea of property prices and local knowledge of how the market is performing.

• Reliability
Market research has proven that people have confidence in something they can physically see. People like to be able to walk into a shop and talk to someone face to face. Traditional Estate Agents will also carry out certain checks to ascertain the suitability of potential buyers. They will also carry out money laundering checks and fraud checks to protect both parties.

• Personal Touchshutterstock_317837210
Many estate agents allocate a dedicated agent to your sale. This personal touch means that your contact knows everything about your house, your feelings re sale price and will also attend house viewings so you don’t need to.

• Selling Cost
Traditional Estate Agents will only charge you if you actually sell your property. A fee, normally a % of the sale price, is agreed at the start and will only be charged on the sale of your property. Using this commission-based approach they claim to always strive to get the best price for your property.


Traditional High St Estate Agent – Cons

• Selling Cost

So, in the same way cost is a pro it can also be a con. With online estate agents demanding a much lower fee people, commission costs can now make or break a deal.

• Online Research
With more and more people using search engines to find out information and shop online, viewing properties is no different. Websites such as Zoopla ( and eMoov prove this theory with many initial house searches starting online rather than through the traditional estate agent.

• Viewings
High Street agencies have limited resources and will not always accommodate out of hours viewings. This can lead to missed appointments and even some bookings never being made.
Online Estate Agents – Pros

Online Estate Agents – Pros

• Cost
Most online estate agents agree an upfront, fixed-fee which is not linked to the price you sell your house for. It is also likely to be a substantially lower fee than high street shops, potentially saving you thousands of pounds.

• Opening Hoursshutterstock_550887700
Obvious really but online is open 24/7 giving people access anytime and anywhere to your property when they feel like searching. Many online firms now have portals where you have your own dashboard and can manage property viewings etc. whenever you would like to.

• No Ties
With traditional estate agents you are not, unless agreed, allowed to market your property through another estate agents. As there is no contract period with an online company you are free to use as many agents as you so wish although there may be associated fees.

Online Estate Agents – Cons

• Cost
So the downside of a cheaper fee is that you normally have to pay this at the outset or within an agreed timeframe, regardless of if you have sold your property or not. Many sellers are happy to risk this as the cost is so low in comparison to traditional estate agents.

Some companies will offer a personal service as well, but this normally comes with a higher cost. If you go for the cheaper option, you will have to manage viewings and you may also have to supply the details, floorplans and photographs for your property.

• Lack of Personal Contact
If things go wrong, you won’t be able to march into the shop and demand to see the manager and get things sorted. An online company will also not chase things up for you if the process is slow as they are not allowed to.

If you are looking to sell your property make sure you do your research and before signing any contract, read the document thoroughly including the small print so you fully understand everything. Make sure you receive at least 3 other property valuations from both online resources such as the Nationwide House Price Calculator ( and local estate agents.