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Online Estate Agents? What are they and what do they do?

What is an Online Estate Agent?

There has been a lot of discussion about online estate agents over the past few years . Who they are and what do online estate agents do? We discuss how online estate agents have changed the property market.

An Online estate agent is a digital alternative to the traditional high street estate agent service.

Online estate agents offer many of the same services as traditional high street agents. Online estate agents list properties for sale on local property portals, market properties and offer viewing management. All at a much lower cost than traditional estate agents.

Traditional Estate agents operate primarily from offices located on local high streets or within town centres. Like online estate agents. They will list properties on local property portals, carry out marketing activities, and manage viewings. In addition traditional agents will have a shop front where they have window displays. They tend to also host viewings, and negotiate sales as part of their standard service.

 

What are hybrid estate agents?

Hybrid estate agents is a term used to refer to online estate agents who also offer services which cannot be completed solely online.

They are a mix of both traditional and online estate agent services.

• The pure online estate agent model would be that all interactions between the estate agent and the buyer or seller are via the internet.
• The traditional estate agent model is based on face to face interaction with buyers and sellers in a shop/office in town. Alongside meeting at the property to host viewings or valuations.
• The hybrid model is focused on dealing with as much administration and communication via the internet. Whilst also offering face to face services such as hosted viewings, valuations or other services.

 

Are online estate agents safe to use?

Online estate agents are legally classed as estate agents. Therefore they must also adhere to the same laws as traditional estate agents. This means online estate agents must comply with the ‘Estate Agents Act’: The core requirements all estate agents must adhere to are;

1. Give clients clear and written information about fees
2. Tell clients promptly about all offers made
3. Comply with money laundering legislation
4. Register with a public redress scheme

There is no legal requirement for estate agents to have any qualifications or training in order to operate. In order to maintain professional standards within the estate agency practice we advise that those wishing to sell their home use an independently accredited estate agent.

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Over 90% of all people looking to buy a new home begin their search online. It is a massive catchment area for property sales. If an estate agent does not have an online presence they are missing out significantly.

 

Are there any online estate agents Northern Ireland?

Homepage Estate agents are online estate agents in Northern Ireland. We are based in Limavady, County Derry/Londonderry and are NAEA Propertymark Protected. As online estate agents we offer online services covering property sales for the whole of Northern Ireland.

Homepage also offer hybrid estate agent services for Derry/Londonderry, Limavady, Coleraine, Ballymoney and Magherafelt areas.

If you are interested in seeing what estate agents services we offer you can find our various packages here.

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What is the best option for using an estate agent?

Who you use for your estate agent is a very personal choice. Whether it is an online estate agent or your local high street agent. What is important however is that you get value for money and can trust that you are getting a quality service.

Our top 3 things to consider before instructing any form of estate agent are:

1. What is the total cost?

This will include marketing fees, commission, upfront fees, payment on completion etc. Be sure to do your homework and ask for a total cost before instructing any agent.We offer fixed fees for all our services.

We are very open about our pricing and detail all the services offered.

2. How long will the agent market your property for?

Some agents take instruction for 3 months, 6 months up to a year, or any number of variations in between. Make sure you are comparing the costs against a similar marketing period.

Our standard marketing period is 12 months. Although we expect all our listings to be sold much sooner than that.

3. How will your property be marketed?

Will your property be listed on the agents website? local property portals? National portals? Will the agent run advertising campaigns? Or will your home just be another listing for the agent. It is important to get the best possible marketing from your agent.

We list on PropertyPal and PropertyNews. The two largest property portals in Northern Ireland. We also list on our website and social media channels. we can produce specialised video and 3D interactive walkthroughs for our listings. All adding to the exposure of individual listings and increasing sales.

 

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