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Online Estate Agents – A Review of the Top 5

Online Estate Agents

Over the past few years, online estate agents have emerged as an alternative to traditional real estate agencies, since they offer convenience and substantial cost savings. If you’re considering using their services, you’ll want to read through this comparison of the UK’s top 5 online estate agents.

Purplebricks

This is one of the best known online real estate agents and has been in the market since 2012. Purplebricks is a hybrid agency, meaning they work with representatives who have local knowledge of different real estate markets. This agency has a Trustpilot score of 9.5 – the highest of all online agencies listed here.

Their fees start at £1,399 for London homes and £899 in the rest of the UK. Included in the fee are valuations, floor plans, professional photography, For Sale signs, and listing on multiple online portals. Additional advertising can come through social media via the Facebook photobook feature. Properties can sell in as little as 14 days, although some take over 6 months.

In 2018, average total fees were approximately £1,200 per sale once some extras were added. Popular add-ons include hosted viewings (£399 in Greater London and £300 elsewhere), featured property listings, and EPC reports. Fees can be paid upfront or deferred for up to 10 months.

This agency runs 24/7 customer support via an 0800 number or via live chat from 8am to 9pm.

Housesimple

Housesimple was founded in 2007 and was recognised as Online State Agent Of The Year in 2018. According to Trustpilot, over 75% of users gave the agency an excellent rating.

The fee is fixed at £995 irrespective of location and is and payable upon sale completion. The fee includes valuation, professional photography, floor plans, support from a dedicated account manager, For Sale sign, advertising in multiple online platforms, viewing arrangements, buyer vetting, and negotiation services. Sellers can manage listings online, and average selling time is quoted at 8 to 12 weeks.

EPCs, conveyancing, hosted viewings, Scottish home reports, and mortgage brokerage are charged separately. Their strongest point is the marketing structure, since it has one of the largest advertising networks and claims to be used by more than 10 million buyers and sellers. The agency also uses social networks to boost property exposure, and was the first UK agency to sell a home via Facebook Live.

Customer support is offered by phone from 8am to 8pm on weekdays and reduced hours on weekends.

Yopa

This is a relatively new company that has been operating since 2016, and like Purplebricks, is a hybrid online estate agent. Their Trustpilot score is slightly better than Housesimple’s, with 88% of users rating the experience as excellent.

Unlike other agencies mentioned here, Yopa offers a No Sale, No Fee option that starts at £1,999 and goes up to £2,999 for select London postcodes. Fees can also be paid upfront, in which case they are £1,399 for some London postcodes and £899 elsewhere. Included in the fee are valuation, floor plans, professional photography, viewing arrangements, For Sale sign, listing in online platforms, online listing management, and offer negotiation. Under the upfront scheme, sellers can spread out payments over 10 months.

Some popular add-ons include their viewings package (offering unlimited hosted viewings at £399 in London and £300 elsewhere), premium listings, and EPCs. All properties are listed for at least 10 months, and the agency claims many properties sell in under 30 days.

Customer support is offered by phone between 8am and 9pm on weekdays and reduced hours on weekends. This agency is also the only one to implement a referral scheme where sellers can get a £100 Amazon gift card, and the same amount is taken off the referred friend’s Yopa fees.

Tepilo

Tepilo was established in 2009 and relaunched in 2019 after being acquired by Mashroom. Their Trustpilot score is a bit of a mixed bag, with 75% of user rating them as excellent but 10% rating them as poor.

The agency charges a fixed fee of £895 irrespective of location, which includes listings on 3 online platforms, valuation, For Sale sign, dedicated support, buyer vetting, offer negotiation, photography, and floor plans. Listings are live for 10 months and can be edited by the seller via their Tepilo account.

Additional fees apply to premium listings, hosted viewings, EPC, and verifications that are sometimes needed in remote rural properties. Fees can be paid upfront, when the house sells, 10 months after the initial listing, or when it comes off the market. One thing to note is that the deferred payment option requires conveyancing services, and those wanting to opt out will need to pay an extra £360 once sale is finalised.

Customer support is done via live char or by phone between 8am and 8pm on weekdays and shorter hours on weekends.

Emoov

Emoov relaunched in 2019 soon after going into administration. Approximately 83% of users rate this hybrid agency as excellent on Trustpilot, but Emoov also has the highest percentage of bad ratings of all the agencies listed here.

Their fixed fee is £895 irrespective of location, which gives you a listing on 3 major platforms, a dedicated support agent, valuation, For Sale sign, buyer vetting, floor plans, and professional photography. Viewings and listings can be managed online, but note that viewings are exclusively conducted by the seller.

Fees can only be paid upfront, although during a chat conversation, an agent mentioned they may add a deferred payment option in the future. Customer support is offered by phone and email, and there’s also a 24/7 chat function.

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