In recent years online Estate Agents have increased in popularity but the market share they had hoped for hadn’t quite materialised. Has Covid-19 affected the way we sell our homes and driven sellers to online agents?

Initially in lockdown 1 online Agents certainly benefitted when high street Agents were forced to close. Buyers are already very used to heading online and to the large portals like Rightmove and Zoopla in order to search for a new property to purchase. Online agents however, have not seen this type of meteoric rise.

A house sale/purchase is one of the biggest financial transactions most people will undertake in their lifetime. With this in mind the security of dealing with a high street agent and knowing you can meet your agent face to face is appealing. For inexperienced or nervous sellers the lure of dealing with a known person and the attractive of in-depth local knowledge can be great.

One of the big factors to consider is price. Estate Agents traditionally charge a percentage of the sale price whilst online agents typically charge a fixed fee. Sellers should always do their research to ensure what the fixed fee does and doesn’t cover and certainly any charges liable should the property fail to sell and be removed from the market.

Looking at the stats for online agents in 2020 shows they certainly did increase their market share but only marginally to around 8%.

Interestingly the property values now being instructed to online agents has increased. Previously they were mostly lower value homes and geographically located in the north.

It could be argued this is in part due to prices increasing as well as the number of properties at those prices becoming available.

The largest difference with a 4.75% increase was in properties valued between £350,000 – £1,000,000.

Inner London showed an increase in new instructions to online agents increase by a substantial 9.11%.

*source: TwentyCi Homemover Report 2020

When it comes to selling your home choosing the right Estate Agent to suit your needs can be the difference between a positive selling experience or a drawn out stressful one. There is no right answer for all, what’s important to you will ultimately help you pick the best suited agent. If you’re not sure what’s important some of the key considerations might be:

Speed

Who sells the quickest? If you’re in a hurry and want to move quickly you want to be sure your chosen Estate Agent has the credentials to help you sell as fast as possible.

Price

Speed may be a contributing factor to the price secured. An agent that sells quickly might do so because they are achieving lower asking prices. If the sales price is of most importance an Agent that over-achieves on asking price might be the best option.

Numbers

An agent that has the most properties in your area might have a large bank of potential purchasers and be very experienced.

Online or traditional high street agent? Make your decision based on what is important to you.

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