Online Estate Agents - Anyone have any recommendations?

(5 Posts)
Queasyrider Wed 09-Oct-13 09:46:49

DF is looking to downsize. He has a limited budget to spend on a bungalow for his retirement and is looking to sell his 3 bed semi in the South East.
He has had 3 high street agents round to give a valuation but is balking at their ridiculously high commission fees. I've heard that some online estate agents can provide almost the same level of service as their high street counterparts but that their fees are low and fixed.
Anyone have any experience of any and could recommend a good one? DF is recently widowed and I really want him to have minimal stress in moving house if at all possible. A good estate agent would help! Thanks

Housenetwork, weve just used them, we paid £550, for the whole lot. Obviously you need to do the viewings, but they have been absolutely fantastic, we sold our house within 48 hours.

I`m trying to think of a negative about them, but I cant at the moment smile

We had two high street EA to come in and do a valuation before hand, then they came in done another valuation, took photos, floor plans etc. The only thing we didnt take them up on was the EEC as we found another company to do it cheaper. Weve used their solicitor as well and absolutely cannot fault them.

Good Luck!

Crutchlow35 Wed 09-Oct-13 12:23:55

I think use them if you are in a good selling area where it is likely to sell.

If it is a difficult market where on the ground knowledge of a good agent is required then they are a must. No point in selling in the South East if you are dealing with a call centre (which these online agencies effectively are) with people answering the phone in the North West. These people have no idea about your house, the area, schools, transport etc.

As I say, if you are in a city with good turn over of property and likely to sell quickly then yes use them.

I am an EA in a hard to sell area and I really feel for people who use online agencies. Sometimes it needs an agent in the town to sell as lots of properties can be overlooked but in actual fact when you speak to a buyer about it (and the agent knows the house from the inside) it can end up being the property for them.

Used housenetwork, loved them too. Do a mumsnet search on 'house network' and you will find hundreds of positive posts about them (it's how I decided to use them). The only dissenting voices are the traditional estate agents...

I usually say that the only time I wouldn't recommend them would be if you were selling a house to a demographic who doesn't use the internet (i.e. selling a pensioner bungalow). Otherwise it's a no-brainer.

However, you say in your original post "I really want him to have minimal stress in moving house if at all possible. A good estate agent would help!".

If stress-free is more important than money-saving, then I think this would be the one other occasion where I wouldn't necessarily recommend them.

You do have to do all of the work yourself (the valuation, re-write the copy, select the photos, do the viewings etc), which is fine if you are market-savvy, as you can do all these better than any estate agent anyway. Housenetwork frequently attracts sellers who are like this, which is why so many, like OneStep above sell really quickly (we sold within 2 weeks).

But if you want it to be as stress-free as possible, your DF would be better off going to a traditional agent, who does all the leg-work for you (for a [hefty] fee).

Queasyrider Fri 11-Oct-13 13:47:36

Thanks everyone for your feedback. Some good things to think about. Now I'm not so sure an online agent would be the best option for DF.

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