Pros and Cons Of Online Property Marketing
Vendors might potentially save thousands by using online estate agents – but what is the cost if the property fails to sell?
The property market is abuzz following lockdown, as low interest rates, pent-up demand and the introduction of a stamp duty holiday have seen buyers and sellers alike flocking to the market. For vendors who are interested in putting their house on the market, there are lots of calculations to be made before considering a sale. The cost of tax, removals, solicitors, searches and the valuation of a new property can all eat into the profits from your sale. However, perhaps the biggest expense is the cash you’ll pay to an estate agent for marketing your property. Is it worth paying less money for the services of an online estate agent instead?
How Much Do Online Estate Agents Charge?
There are multiple online estate agents in the industry and the fee structure is varied depending on who you choose. Instead of charging a percentage of the sale price of your home, they tend to charge a flat fee. A traditional firm of Stock estate agents explains that online agents costs are payable either upfront or in instalments depending on who you go with. However, the common variable is that the money will be payable and not refundable even if your home fails to sell. For example, with a firm like Purplebricks, arguably the most famous online agent in the market, the Telegraph reported in March, that they made £18 million in unsold properties last year. The firm charges vendors £999 upfront to market their home.
How Do Viewings Work?
Again, this depends on which online estate agents you go with. Some have local experts who may offer to conduct viewings for you for an additional fee. Others may require you to handle the viewings yourself, meaning that you’ll need to be available at peak appointment times such as early evening and weekends. If this doesn’t suit your lifestyle, then it might be worth opting for a traditional high street agent instead. However, you should also be aware that buyers tend to feel more relaxed when the owners are not around. They can speak more honestly about the interior of your home and what changes they might like to make.
Of course, if your property does sell with an online agent, then you’ll feel pleased at the prospect of having saved thousands in estate agent fees. If you’re willing to be on the market for a while, then this could be a great solution for you. However, with the stamp duty holiday ending on 31st March, 2021, if you’re unable to complete your sale beforehand, then you could also have lost up to £15,000 in potential tax savings.
It’s always worth weighing up the pros and cons of how you want to market your home before you put it up for sale. However, many vendors don’t have money to waste on an unsold property. So, if you’re looking to sell up in the near future, then it’s probably worth speaking to an experienced high street agent with expert hyper local knowledge of your specific area.