Real Estate Agents vs Online Estate Agents

Finding the right home for you and your family is an often long and tedious process. You need to ensure that you have organized your finances first and foremost. After that, it is all about compiling a list of potential properties for you to view, and hopefully, your dream home will be hiding among them. One of the biggest considerations that you will need to make when looking for homes to view is whether to use an in-person or online real estate agent. Let’s get into it. 

Online Estate Agents

An online estate agent’s main bulk of operations happens online. Although they might have a headquarters, they don’t tend to have a number of different locations which are accessible to the public. Instead of being listed at different locations, the properties are all listed online. Potential buyers can peruse them at their own leisure, using the sites to organize viewings and even be directed to mortgage providers. The question then becomes why should you – as a buyer – choose to use an online estate agent over a more traditional option? The biggest attraction, admittedly, for both buyers and sellers is the low cost. They tend to take less commission, or some even charge a flat fee which is important if your seller plans to include these costs in the price of the property. 

In addition to this, there are also obviously no opening hours to consider; you can look at the property listings whenever you have the time, including evenings and weekends when traditional real estate agents might be closed. Obviously, any enquiries or viewing requests are likely to have to wait until people are there to answer them. Convenience and ease are arguably two of the biggest advantages. Depending on the online estate agents too, you can find comprehensive listings which detail the amount that you can expect to pay each month, as well as an exploration of the local area and the amenities that you can expect. EZ Home Search can help with this because all of their listings include links to google maps, which then allow you to explore the street view of each property as well as the surrounding area. 

That being said, depending on where the headquarters for the business is, you might miss the intricate local knowledge of the area that a traditional real estate agent can provide. There is also very little standardization across the industry, meaning that fees can vary, and the approach to viewings and the house-buying process might be handled differently, too. You also lack the personal touch overall because you are taking charge of your own house-buying venture, and there isn’t anyone helping to find listings or otherwise minimize your involvement in the process. You need to be fully involved and committed, which can be tiring and cumbersome for some people. 

Real Estate Agents

Most people know what a real estate agent is. It is a qualified person who often works for a business, although they may work for themselves, who is hired by a seller to sell their home. Buyers can approach a real estate agent, outlining their needs in terms of the size of the house and the features that they are looking for; the estate agent then goes through their listings to find properties that fit these specifications. Obviously, if they sell a house, a real estate agent expects a commission, sometimes in addition to their other fees, which can be pricey depending on the cost of the home, so a lot of sellers account for this in the price of their home. They might also state in the contract that the buyer is responsible for these fees. Real estate agents are often more expensive than online estate agents. 

However, there are a number of benefits to choosing to use a real estate agent. Firstly, it can save you a lot of time because they work on your behalf, as opposed to you having to do the legwork, which can be convenient, especially if you have several other responsibilities which require your time and attention. Your real estate agent is also likely to be more versed in the art of negotiation, which can mean that they can go to bat for you to help you secure the best possible price. This is also possible thanks to their intimate knowledge of the local property market, which informs the negotiations and tells them how much they can haggle using the average price of homes in the area. Lastly, depending on who you choose, they might be able to offer you some help and expertise when it comes to the contracts and legal requirements. 

However, there are also a few disadvantages to choosing a real estate agent over an online estate agent. Firstly, they have more than one client meaning that their attention is always going to be divided, which can slow down the process for you when compared to using an online estate agent, which goes as fast as you do since you’re the one looking through the listings and booking viewings. As mentioned above, there is also the commission to contend with. They also often act as the middleman between you and the seller, which can further delay answers to queries or the relaying of messages. Working to someone else’s schedule can also be irritating. 

How Do You Choose?

When it comes to choosing between an online estate agent and a traditional real estate agent, it will largely depend on your personal preferences and circumstances. There are both advantages and disadvantages to both options, which is why it comes down to the individual. You will need to think about your other obligations and responsibilities, which will inform whether or not you have the time to liaise with a traditional real estate agent or whether using an online estate agent in your own time will be the best option. Think about whether or not you want to hand off the tasks to another person, or perhaps involving a real estate agent as a middleman is going to delay the process for you, which may not be ideal should you have a stringent timeline. Regardless of the option that you choose, doing some research is imperative. You need to find the right person or site to work with. 

The Bottom Line

Buying a home is a huge financial decision whether you are a first-time buyer or planning to move up the property ladder. The process itself can be long and tiring, requiring a lot of mental attention until the process is complete. It can be incredibly stressful, too; this stress can be lessened by your choice of estate agent; depending on whether you choose a traditional real estate agent or an online estate agent, the process might be made less stressful. This is because you can hand off a lot of the work to an estate agent if you choose, and they handle most things for you, or if you have trouble relinquishing control, then you might want to take the reins and use an online estate agent. Obviously, in the end, it is your choice, so bear in mind the points raised above when it comes to making your decision. 

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