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Getting the Best Price for Your House - Sell Online or through an Estate Agent?

Getting the Best Price for Your House -   Sell Online or through an Estate Agent?

Those selling their houses have, ultimately, one aim – to make the most out of their property. In recent years the internet has given rise to the notion of the ‘DIY sale’ in which sellers simply place their property up for sale on an established online agents’ website rather than employing an estate agent and going through the traditional sale path.

On the surface there seems to be no end of advantages to be had through this method – no commission to be paid to the estate agents and less hassle. But is the picture so simple – or is online selling simply too good to be true?

Although the online sales process cuts out the need to enlist the services of an estate agent, sellers do have to make payments to list their property on an online agent website. There will be a fee for this listing - and for any further services that you require such as the arrangement of viewings and the taking of pictures.

In fact, many online sellers will offer similar service to traditional estate agents, though sellers can opt simply for paying for the listing and handling the rest of the sale on their own – from valuing the property, providing precise details of the property and handling prospective buyers to dealing with the negotiation process.

This can be hugely time-consuming, despite the saving made on estate agent fees, as well as highly taxing as you will have to be able to handle the uncomfortable and pressured business of negotiating with the buyer normally handled by professionals.

One recent report that focuses on property sales within Cornwall suggests that properties listed online rather than through estate agents saw 82 per cent fail to sell – and of those that made sales through online agencies the seller actually ended up with a final selling price significantly lower than had they used a high street estate agent – despite the savings made by using the online agency only.

This conclusion should not come as much of a surprise. Going it alone and carrying out the sale online can, of course, be a rewarding experience for sellers who know what they will be up against and the processes they must go through – but not engaging the services of an established estate agent means the seller will miss out on a huge amount of resources: marketing expertise, access to the most effective advertising platforms, long-established mailing lists and interested buyer contacts, as well as high street locations on which window displays receive regular passing interest.


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