While the savings can be substantial when selling your home using an online estate agent, there are pros and cons and you may believe that there are no online estate agents who do viewings.
This could be an important issue for many people and here, we’ll explain that there are very good online estate agents who offer viewings in a moment. But first, let’s look at how the agents compare…
Top 4 online estate agents who do viewings for you:
|Estate Agent||Cheapest Package + Hosted Viewings||Hosted Viewings||Our Rating||Review||Official Site|
|£1,299||Unlimited||Read Review||Visit Website|
|£1,399||Unlimited||Read Review||Visit Website|
|£830||Unlimited||Read Review||Visit Website|
|£360||Max 10 Viewings||Read Review||Visit Website|
But, is it essential to use an online estate agent who offers accompanied viewings? Let’s take a closer look…
Online estate agents vs High Street agents
This brings us to the ‘online estate agents vs High Street agents’ debate and most sellers will save hundreds of pounds, and some will save thousands of pounds when they opt not to use a traditional High Street estate agent.
With these High Street agents having fees of between 1.5% and 4% of the property’s sales value, and that’s before VAT, means that someone selling a property worth £300,000 will be facing an estate agent’s bill of £4,500 plus VAT.
On the face of it, an online estate agent offering a package worth £400 means that particular seller will be saving at least £4,100.
You could use the potential savings to invest in a package offering accompanied viewings from an online agent – and appreciate that even the largest UK estate agents will not guarantee a sale.
Reasons for using an online estate agent
Other reasons for using an online estate agent include the fact they will promote your property in much the same way a traditional agent will do – except they will not have a High Street office for people to ‘window shop’. Mind you, growing numbers of agents are also a moving out of the High Street.
Bear in mind too that most potential buyers will be using the internet when searching for a new home and using the same portals such as Zoopla and Rightmove when they look for homes for sale.
In our experience, most people look for properties online nowadays. And the chances are, this trend will continue. Young people of today do everything on the internet, so looking for a home won’t be any different.
When you sign up with an online estate agent, you will be taking more control and be more active in the house selling process.
Depending on the package you sign up to, you may find that a lot of online estate agents will not offer viewings. And, if they do, then they will charge substantially more.
Perhaps a good house-selling tactic might be to sign up with online estate agents offering ‘no sale, no fee’ – so you will see how effective they can be.
We have done this for one of the houses we sold a few years ago. The main reason was that we weren’t sure how quickly the house would sell. It had an unconventional layout that wouldn’t work for many people.
When we bought the house it had been on and off the market for a few years, so we were aware that selling it might not be straight forward. By opting for ‘no sale, no fee’, we could be sure not to be out of pocket if our home doesn’t sell.
But if you’re really in the market to reduce the cost of selling your property, why not consider conducting the viewings yourself?
In our experience, the homeowner is always better at selling their home than any estate agent. We saw this first hand when we sold our first house. We used a high street estate agent, who conducted the viewings for us.
But because they only do viewings during office hours, we also had to do some. The result: almost all potential buyers we showed around either wanted a second viewing or made an offer.
None of the people that were shown around by the estate agent showed any further interest. We sold the house for the asking price to someone we showed around.
This convinced us that the best course of action is to always conduct our own viewings, which we have done in subsequent house sales.
The online process is more hands-on and you may need to take part in the negotiations and then monitor the process through to completion.
Not everybody has the time to dedicate to this process when selling their home, whereas a traditional High Street agent will have the time and local knowledge to help your property sell.
However, most house sellers will know the answers to the questions that a potential buyer may ask. So, what are the tips for conducting a successful viewing?
Selling a property with a successful viewing
There’s no doubt that a key component as part of selling a property is a successful viewing.
And while this sounds daunting, with the correct preparation there’s no reason why you cannot have viewings without incident and you’ll also boost your chances of selling your property.
Here’s our guide to successful property viewing tactics:
You’ll need to prepare your home for the potential buyer so it needs to be uncluttered and clean to make it attractive to a potential buyer.
It’s important that you keep personal items away from sight so the buyer can then see what they can do to the property when they move in.
Whenever we sell our home, we go through the same routine:
- Declutter: We get rid of everything we don’t need, including clothes, ornaments and kitchen accessories we thought we needed. We try to be as ruthless as possible and use the rule: if we haven’t used it in the past six months, let’s get rid. If there are things that we still need, but that make a room look small, we pack it away or put in storage.
- Depersonalise: We love having pictures and souvenirs up of all the special events in our lives. But when it comes to selling a house, these will stop people from imagining themselves living there. So we store them away out of sight and replace any photos with general pictures.
- Deep Clean: Finally, we do a deep clean of the whole house inside and out, including front and back garden. While this includes a lot of scrubbing and hard work, it is worth it in the end. We also get the pressure washer out to clean paths, patios and decking.
We do all of this before putting the house on the market, so that the photos will reflect all our hard work and look stunning.
In addition to cleaning the property, you’ll need to make a special effort, for example, to ensure the bathroom and kitchen are shiny and bright and the windows are sparkling.
Essentially, by cleaning your home, you are showing how much you love it.
As we said, we do a deep clean at first, but then we also keep everything clean until we have accepted an offer. This is hard work and get tiresome, but we always got comments on how clean our house was. For us, this means that other houses that viewers looked at weren’t, so our house stood out.
Especially before viewings, we take an hour to check the whole house, tidying anything away and wipe sinks, baths and taps to make them shiny and sparkling.
Forget the house selling tips such as having freshly baked bread or home-made coffee giving off aromas to create a home that is cosy. Potential buyers will not be persuaded like this and yours will not be the first home where they have encountered these tricks.
It’s important to be yourself and don’t second-guess what someone who is looking to buy a home is wanting.
We have sold several houses over the years and although my wife is an enthusiastic bread baker, she never baked any for the sake of viewings. We just always felt that it’s not worth the effort. And as we always sold our homes, we don’t think it has as big of an impact as many people say.
When showing someone around your property, you really need to sell its best attributes such as the gleaming kitchen, the amount of space in the garden or its location, which may be good for schools and public transport.
We found that making a list of all the best attributes is very useful. We try to divide them by location and features, because we know that for some people the location is more important, for others the house is the main thing.
In one of the homes we sold over the years, we had a huge window in the living room. And by huge I mean shop window size. It gave out to the large south-facing garden and the view was just stunning. It gave you the feeling of living in the countryside, even though we were in a city.
Any potential buyer that came for a viewing we showed this view first. And the reaction was always the same: people were stunned and loved it. Once they saw that it, any potential negative in the rest of the house looked a bit smaller.
You’ll need to tidy up and show that the garden is a priority and for those with a big garden that is suitable for young children then make sure the buyer knows about it. Also discuss where the local parks and playing fields are.
Our first house was a typical three-bed semi-detached house with a tiny garden.
So when we came to sell it, we made sure we pointed out that only a 15 minute walk away was a good-sized park with a playground.
However, we also made sure that our little garden was looking perfect.
We used to grow our own vegetables, albeit not very many. But in readiness for putting our house on the market, we swapped the veggies for flower bulbs to make the garden look bright and colourful.
We also restained the small shed and all the fences, which made the garden look very attractive indeed. It helped to show that even though it was small garden, it was still a perfect place to relax and enjoy the sunshine.
When conducting a viewing, you should always be friendly but remember to be professional too. If you are over-friendly then it may come across as being desperate.
Finally, the most important part for conducting viewings when using an online estate agent is to make the viewer feel comfortable. They should be free to look around as much as they want to and go anywhere without you shadowing them.
Be friendly and informal and establish a rapport, since being annoying will put potential buyer off.
We always do the same thing. We show potential buyers around, which gives us the chance to show our home in the best possible light. Then we just let them wander around on their own, while we either sit down in the kitchen or the garden (depending on the weather).
This way, the viewers can start to look at each room and figure out how they would use it. Most people don’t view houses alone, in our experience. So giving them time alone in the house also give them the opportunity to discuss it.
We know from our experience as buyers, that this is often the time when people start to decide where their furniture would go. And this is the first step of imagining living in the house, which is what you want to achieve.
Use an online agent for accompanied viewings
It’s also worth noting at this point that while these tips are useful for showing a potential buyer around your home when using an online estate agent – they are also helpful for when you use an online agent for accompanied viewings.
Of course, you don’t have to be there – which is why you are paying an agent for their expertise – but you can answer questions and you will get a feel as to whether the buyer has a genuine interest rather than waiting for the agent to send an email saying how great everything went.
As most online estate agents who do viewings make clear, the best seller for your home is you.
So, it makes sense to have your enthusiasm and input during a viewing while the agent uses their experience to highlight the best things about your home while guiding the viewer around.
A quick guide to the best online agents offering viewings
While there are lots of online agents offering great packages for their service, as we mentioned earlier, not all of them will offer accompanied viewings but below we take a look at those who do and rate the best ones for you.
1. Yopa (Our Rating = 9.6)
Yopa is the top-rated online estate agent who do viewings for lots of reasons. They are not only cost-effective when it comes to selling your home, but they also get lots of positive reviews from happy clients.
Yopa also offers a package that enables their clients to host viewings that suit them, or the local Yopa agent can deal with them. Opting for this will see the agent and their team updating you every week with details.
The Yopa viewings package is £300, though in some London postcodes it’s £399 and covers unlimited hosting viewings to help sell your property.
We have used Yopa ourselves to sell our last home. Although we opted to conduct our own viewings, as we believe we can sell our home better than any agent.
But we were still very happy with the service we got and the price we paid.
#2 – Purplebricks (Our Rating = 9.5)
If you don’t mind paying upfront in order to save money, the UK’s best-known online estate agent, Purplebricks could be a good option for you.
They provide a service very similar to most high street agents for just £999, though at that price, it doesn’t include hosted viewings.
If you want them to do your viewings for you, you’ll need to add on their hosted viewings package for an extra £400-£500, or upgrade to their Pro package from £1,699.
The only downside is that there is no option to pay on completion so you’ll be taking the risk that you’ll be paying the fee even if you don’t sell successfully.
3. eSale UK (Our Rating = 9.2)
Not the best known of online estate agents, but eSale UK have well-priced packages and excellent reviews on independent sites.
Tailoring their offering to meet your needs as necessary, we highlight that you should read the small print to understand the conditions that some packages have.
Their basic package starts at £595 including VAT and for six months of unlimited accompanied viewings, eSale UK will charge £325.
4. 99Home (Our Rating = 9.2)
Quickly growing in popularity, 99Home has a low starting cost for their packages at just £99. Their ‘Combo’ package costs £499, including VAT, and the vendor hosts the viewing. There are also voucher codes available.
However, if you want 99Home to take care of the viewings then you can add them on for an additional £300, though this only permits you up to 8 hosted viewings.
Best online estate agents who offer an accompanied viewing service
As you can see, that’s a varied offering from the best online estate agents who offer an accompanied viewing service and they all meet a wide range of needs.
For the cost saving, you may be tempted to use them to conduct accompanied viewings though they will still need to liaise with you about times and most of them say you should be there too.
Otherwise, opting for an online estate agent with their accompanied viewings package brings you much closer to the offering of a traditional High Street estate agent – but at a fraction of the cost.
This then makes these online estate agents who do viewings a viable alternative to the traditional route and helps explain why growing numbers of people are using them.