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Which type of estate agent should you choose?

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There are different types of estate agents and they all offer a different service, but which one should you choose? We are going to look at all the different types and compare the advantages and disadvantages of each one.

Online Estate Agents

Online estate agents operate solely online. They are a completely virtual service and they often work out of normal office hours. They also allow you to make a lot of the decision yourself. So, if this is what you want an online agent would work for you.

An advantage of online agents is they are usually cheaper than other types of estate agents. This is because they offer a more basic service. However, be aware as most online estate agents charge a fixed fee, which means even if your home doesn’t sell you will still have to pay them.

A disadvantage of online agents is how they do a valuation of your home. They don’t physically come and see your home and the condition it is in. They also don’t have knowledge of your local area. Therefore, your estimation could be unreliable. This could lead to your home not selling or you losing out on money.

Due to them offering a basic service you may need to conduct viewings yourself. You will need to be comfortable letting potential buyers into your home and showing them round. You will also need to be prepared for any questions the buyer will have about your home or local area.

High street Estate Agents

High street estate agents offer a full service to help you sell your home. Traditional high street agents sell around 90% of property in the UK. Whereas, online agents only sell around 10% of property in the UK. This is because there are many advantages to high street agents. For example, they offer a more personal service. You can physically go into a branch and speak with an agent face to face.

High street estate agents also have a no sale, no fee policy. Which is great to ensure you don’t lose out on money if your home doesn’t sell. In addition, everything needed to sell your home will be included in the fee and there will be no extra charges involved.

A valuation of your home is important. A high street agent will be able to do a reliable one for you. They have local knowledge of what price homes in your area have sold for and are on sale for. They will also know about schools and local transport in your area, which could add value to your home. If you would like to know more about valuations, you can read our blog post ‘ A guide on how to get your home valued’.

A high street agent will also arrange and conducts all viewings of your home for you. All you need to do is prepare your home and the agent will do the rest. They will ensure your home is secure and vet potential buyers for you.

Negotiations can be stressful, so having an experienced high street agent to deal with these for you is a good idea. They will ensure the sale goes smoothly and keep a happy relationship with the buyer.

The disadvantage of high street estate agents is they are usually more expensive then other types of agents and some of them will only work normal office hours. This means they might not be there 24 hours a day to help you. However, the overall service you receive will be worth the fee you pay. The agent will deal with all responsibilities of selling. So, if you don’t have a lot of spare time, you don’t need to worry as the agent will keep the sale moving along.

Hybrid Estate Agents

A hybrid estate agent is a combination of both an online and high-street estate agent. They are an online service but will provide you with an agent to help you sell your home.

Advantages of hybrid agents is they offer a no sale, no fee service the same a high street agent. They also market your home on property portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla, which will help you reach more buyers.

A disadvantage of them is they don’t have a office you can visit, you cannot pop in to have a face to face chat with your agent when you want to. This makes the service they offer not very personal, so a hybrid agent might not work for sellers, who want an agent they can go and talk to when they need to.

If you want a mix of both online and high street agent, a hybrid one could be for you. However, something to consider is some hybrid estate agents say they will give you a local agent. It is important you check that they actually are local, as there is no guarantee they will have an agent free that is local to your area. Whereas, if you used a high street agent you can be more assured the agent will be local and have the knowledge of your area to help sell your home.

Comparison of each type of estate agent
Independent and National Estate Agents

It is worth mentioning estate agents can be independent or national. National estate agents are usually well known, big chains. Independent agents work solely for themselves and usually only have one or sometimes a few branches. Whereas, national agents will have branches all over the UK.

National high street estate agents are usually not very flexible. This is because all the branches may have to follow the same process for each seller. They will all work the same which means you may not receive a personal service tailored to you. However, an advantage of multiple branches is being able to market your home at each one therefore, reaching more potential buyers.

An independent agent is the opposite, they will offer a more personal service and will be able to give you the focus and time to get to know you and your home. Independent agents also have local knowledge and will have built up trust and a reputation in your area. In addition, they only get paid if the sale of your home goes through. So, it is in their best interest to ensure you get the best marketing and sell your home.


Selling your home is one of the biggest financial decisions you will make and each estate agent has their advantages and disadvantages. So, it is important you choose the right one for you. Looking at what each agent offers, local independent high street estate agents will offer a better service and will be more tailored to you. High street agents have the experience and knowledge to help sell your home. In addition, their services are included in the fee, so you should get no surprise extra charges.

If you would like to hire a local independent estate agent, enter your postcode on our website homemove to find a trusted agent in your area and get started on your journey to selling.