It is common for conventional estate agents to levy a fee based upon the price you end up selling your house for. This is usually expressed as a percentage of the overall sales price. Sometimes, it is possible to negotiate a lower percentage rate with a high street estate agent, especially if you afford them exclusivity on the deal, that is, only allow them to market your property on your behalf. More often than not, however, estate agents stick to their usual rates. On the other hand, online estate agents operate on a very different model.
Unlike the proportional model for charging fees that most bricks and mortar estate agents use, online estate agents charge flat fees. This means you know exactly how much you will have to pay out. Of course, if you achieve a higher price for your home than you had expected, your fees will consequently be greater with a normal estate agent. In the online world, you pay an agreed fee for the level of service offered regardless of what you end up selling for. This means that online estate agents are particularly attractive for people who own more expensive properties, of course. However, there is a downside – if you don’t end up selling your home, then you may have to pay anyway. Indeed, most online estate agents expect upfront payments rather than allowing you to pay post-sale.
How Much Do Different Online Agents Charge?
One of the best known online estate agent brands, Purplebricks, has a very simple pricing structure to get to grips with. They charge £899 as a flat fee for most homes in the UK. What’s more, the online estate agent allows you to pay on a deferred basis so long as you also sign up to their conveyancing service, that is. If you live in London, or the surrounding suburbs, then the flat fee rises to £1,399 but you get all of the same services. Although you get a local account manager and the estate agents will organise viewings for you, you have to pay more if you want someone to accompany would-be buyers around your home on your behalf. The charge is £399 in London and £300 elsewhere if this is something you will need.
Unlike Purplebricks, Doorsteps affords a three-tier option for their clients. The packages are charged at £99 for the entry-level service, £199 for the middle one but if you want the premier service you will have to fork out £599. All of these services include a valuation, listings on the common house hunting websites, such as Zoopla and PrimeLocation, as well as the provision of a dedicated account manager. Like Purplebricks, Doorsteps will arrange viewings for you but if you want to have them hosted on your behalf, then you will have to stump up a further £400. Virtual tours are also possible with Doorsteps for which you need to pay an additional £162. All of the packages require your payment to be made upfront.
Yopa is one of the other well-known online estate agents in the UK today. With Yopa, you also have three levels of service that you can opt for. The entry-level, or Yopa Bundle, is priced at £839 and you can either pay upfront or defer your payment for up to ten months if preferred. The Core Bundle is priced at £1,495 but you don’t need to pay in advance for this service, only when you complete. Lastly, Yopa’s Premium Bundle is charged at £1,795 but, again, you only pay when your house sale has gone through. Bear in mind that certain postcodes in the capital receive a separate pricing structure at Yopa to account for the greater average asking prices in these locations. If you live in one of them, then you can expect to pay £1,399, £2,695 and £2,995 for the three respective bundles. Accompanied viewings are not included and you will need to pay an extra £300 for this service.
Unlike any of the aforementioned online estate agents, HouseSimple has a single price that you pay no matter where you live or what level of service you want. The fee is £995 and you pay it on completion. For this, you can expect listings on Rightmove, Primelocation and so on as well as professional sales photography and for your viewings to be arranged for you. You can also expect a valuation and a floor plan to be drawn up, too. The way accompanied viewings works is different, however. You need to pay a flat fee for key-holding which costs £50. After this, up to ten viewings – over the course of a six-month period – will be handled for you in-person. Bear in mind that you need to pay a £35 fee for each of these visits as and when they occur.