Clicks and Bricks and Mortar - is Selling Your House Online the way to go?

19-10-17
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Clicks and Bricks and Mortar – Is selling your house online the way to go?

The idea of clicks and bricks and mortar – in other words, selling your house online – might be new to you.

But should you consider it?

It is of course acknowledged that moving house is one of the most stressful things to do in life. So does selling it online make it less stressful? – The answer is, it depends.

Although only a small percentage of houses are sold online - as opposed to using a traditional Estate Agent (or Realtor for our American friends) -  it is nonetheless a very fast growing part of the market; and that could be good news for thousands of buyers and sellers as it gains mainstream acceptance and challenges convention.

But still….. should you do it?

What are the pros and cons?

Clearly the biggest visible advantage is cost. Your typical high-street agent charges around 1.5% to 1.75% of the total achieved sale price. Compare this with an online model that costs you typically between £200 - £900 and is a fixed fee. – Albeit, the fee is usually paid up front; although some do offer deferred payment.

So far so good then.

But can you trust them?

Well, anyone can set themselves up as either a high street or online estate agent, but all need to be a member of one of the 3 ‘grievance organisations’ that can help you pursue a claim if things go wrong: They are the Property Ombudsman, the Ombudsman Services Property, and the Property Redress Scheme.

However, they are not ‘the regulator’ and consequently you shouldn’t believe that membership is a kite-mark or approval listing. – Still, it is comforting to know that you should have the same mechanism for complaints and redress with online agents as you do with high street shops and chains.

Another potential advantage of online is that your property could be found by a larger target audience. (As long as it’s marketed properly). – This could speed up the sale, or even attract competitive buyers.

Most online agents will also provide you with an old fashioned ‘For Sale’ sign if you want it.

Most can also arrange viewings on your behalf.

So is there a downside?

Well that depends on how you see it. – The established way of selling a house; using the local estate agent with so-called ‘local market' knowledge has its own issues that have always been there:

Do they market you well enough? Often enough? To a big enough audience?

Which one of the (probably at least 6) high street agents is best for your type of property?

What added value will they really deliver?

The list goes on..

However, as our everyday world becomes increasingly online focused, perhaps you should at least accept that clicks and bricks and mortar might be the norm in a few years time, and that being the case, maybe you should really consider it now.

After all, the millennial generation is probably going to look online first.

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About the author

Will Clark

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Managing Director of revolutionary online estate agency MyHomeGroup Ltd (SellMyHome, RentMyHome & ManageMyHome), Will Clark is a highly regarded property professional with 11 years’ experience in the industry.

After graduating from Edinburgh University, and armed with an MA in Property Valuation and Law from Cass Business School, Clark, started his career with Knight Frank LLP as a Graduate Trainee Surveyor in 2007. Clark qualified as a RICS chartered surveyor in 2009, before taking on a role as Sales Negotiator in Knight Frank’s Marylebone branch. Following this, he spent a year as an investment manager at bespoke search and development company Banda Property, before founding MyHomeGroup Ltd in 2013.

Clark’s wealth of experience in the residential property market, and his invaluable insight into the role of a traditional estate agent, makes him uniquely qualified to steer the sector into its online phase. Having been involved in the transaction of over £40 million of London property before starting SellMyHome.co.uk, Clark has since overseen £650 million of sales since the launch of the site.

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