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Online Estate Agents Take UK by Storm

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The UK is seeing a surge of online estate agents taking on the traditional high street agencies that still dominate the UK property market. Recently online estate agencies such as Emoove HouseSimple Tepilo and Purple Bricks all received funding from various sources. Investors are seemingly convinced that the British will want to conduct their future sales using an online agency. It seem the biggest advantage of online agents is the savings you can make. High street agents typically charge around 1.5% of the price achieved. Even if you do get 1.5% this means you will pay £4,500 if you sell your home for £300,000. This seems extortionate compared to fees charged by online agents. Basic packages normally start at around £400, but even for the more expensive services you will struggle to pay much more than £1,000.

Sarah Beeny from Tepilo says: The amount of online estate agents is growing and it is predicted that by 2020 70% of homeowners will be selling online. This is partly because a high street agent selling a £500,000 home generally costs the homeowner around £8,406. With online estate agents like Tepilo.com it costs £594 (including VAT) and it's hard to see what you get for the extra £7,812.

One of the main advantages of using an online estate agency – such as eMoov.co.uk, Housesimple.co.uk and Hatched.co.uk – is that your property should still appear on the national property websites such as Rightmove, Zoopla, Findaproperty and PrimeLocation, which is where most people start looking when they are thinking of moving home.

However, these sites only accept listings paid for by estate agents, and they won't feature private sales or do-it-yourself websites, where sellers try to market their own homes. Average agency fees in the UK vary from 1.5% to 2.75% based on the property sale price.

Recent Research concentrated on five online agents: eMoov, House Network, House Simple, Purplebricks and Tepilo alongside five traditional high street agents: Foxtons, haart, Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward (KFH), Knight Frank and Your Move to see if there was a noticeable difference in the digital service offered by the different business types.

The research found that customer service from an online estate agent was as good or even better than a traditional agents- All the featured online agents scored well when it came to customer response.

The clearest advantage traditional agents have over online agents is much greater brand awareness, solidified over many years. It is evident that despite online agents' protests, the traditional high street agents are embracing the online revolution -with greater focus on new media and developing a digital presence.

With a market share estimated at less than 5%, the online agents are still in the early stages of growth, which arguably suggests that some of the figures achieved in the report are really quite impressive.

Property portal The House Shop offer vendors a comparison service allowing British homeowners the option to choose how they want to sell or rent their homes. The service is one of the first places in the UK to combine estate agencies listings with for sale by owner properties. You can also compare the services of UK online estate agents at Home Owners Alliance