We all do an increasing number of things online these days – booking holidays, buying our weekly groceries and even watching films or TV.

But, although online estate agents are not a new concept any more, there still seems to be some inherent reticence when it comes to actually instructing them, even though they’re often far cheaper.

Why is that? Well – much like high street shops and businesses and the old-style travel agents – the industry establishment has a vested interest in stamping out the new-fangled, internet-based usurpers and therefore much is made of their apparent shortcomings.

But are these real or imagined? We can’t speak for everyone, but here are ten things you may not know about us and the way we do business:

1/ We are real people: Some would have you believe that the average online estate agent relies on internet jiggery-pokery to convince you that they’re something that they’re not. At eSale, it’s certainly not the case. We are a small team of genuine people punching above our weight from our offices in Yorkshire and proud of what we’ve achieved since we were established in 2012. There are no “smoke and mirrors”. You can find details about us here: https://esaleuk.com/about-us/

2/ We don’t work out of a bedroom: A myth propagated by our high street rivals is that the smaller online estate agents are really keyboard cowboys with little real knowledge of the industry working out of their back rooms at home. Not true either. We have an office; it’s just not on the high street which helps us to keep the cost of the services we provide to a minimum. However, we would still welcome any of our vendors if they prefer to visit us at any time.

3/ We are experienced estate agents: Again, if you do any internet research on online estate agents at all, you’ll find plenty of the old guard like to suggest we’re not “proper estate agents”. Not true. The core of our team is based on a combined experience of several decades in estate agency and we are more than capable of making sound judgements on asking prices, negotiating on your behalf and chivvying the parties along to ensure your house sale is completed quickly and efficiently.

4/ We don’t all use call centres: We have based our business model on excellent customer service and we accept that would be difficult to achieve if we used a call centre. If you need to speak to us, we are at the other end of the phone or you can reach your assigned member of the team via email if you prefer. If we are not immediately available, our promise to our customers is that we will respond in person as quickly as possible.  

5/ We can do assisted viewings: An increasing number of vendors are happy to take the reins when it comes to viewings rather than letting an estate agent do the sales patter. However, if you’re not one of them, we can arrange to have someone attend. We would concede it’s not part of either of our standard packages but neither is it impossible. All you need to do is let us know if it’s what you would prefer.

6/ You can pay us on completion if you prefer: It’s tiresome but time and time again we read that online agents charge up-front and, if your home hasn’t sold within the agreed period, you lose that money. Not true. It is an option we offer and it is our most popular package but, if you would prefer to pay on completion, then you can. There are no deferred payments or thinly-disguised credit agreements. If we don’t sell your home, you pay us nothing. What’s more, if you’re not happy with our service for whatever reason, you can take advantage of our money-back guarantee. Just let us know within 30 days and we’ll refund anything you’ve paid us up-front.

7/ We don’t force you to sign up to deals with suppliers: Someone we know buying property recently related a horror story telling how the estate agent acting for the vendor insisted they had to use the mortgage broker of the company’s choice in order to have their offer accepted. In our view, that’s outrageous and not in the vendor’s interests at all. We have preferred suppliers offering everything from conveyancing to removals but, although we are happy to recommend them, they are by no means part of a deal. In our view, the client comes first, not what we can make in referrals.

8/ We deal with negotiations and chase things up: Another common misconception is that an online estate agent is simply that; all they do is take details of your property, pass it on to the property portals, take your money and then sit back and do nothing. In reality, both of our packages include a full sales progression and negotiation service and, if necessary, we’re not shy about banging heads together to keep things moving. It’s in our interest to do all we can to ensure your property sells as quickly as possible for the right price so we’ll always pull out all the stops to make sure that’s what happens.

9/ We do vet buyers: Again, if we didn’t, then it wouldn’t be long before the inevitable disappointment of a collapsed sale backfired. Not only is there a risk a vendor would instruct another agent, they may also vent their disappointment by telling family and friends. As exemplary customer service is our watchword, we have to be sure a potential buyer has the financial wherewithal to meet the agreed selling price. It’s an essential part of the service a good estate agent must offer.

10/ We use all the main portals: Did you know many estate agents don’t advertise property on both Zoopla and Rightmove? Many use the lesser-known On The Market instead – a portal set up by a syndicate of big-name high street agents in an attempt to break the existing duopoly and therefore reduce the cost of advertising homes online. If you were to use an estate agent which has signed up, it will mean your property is not going to be advertised as widely as it could be as being a part of On The Market obliges members to use either Rightmove or Zoopla – not both. However, if you instruct eSale, details of your home will be posted on Rightmove, Zoopla and PrimeLocation as well as the ProperStar network which advertises homes on more than 80 websites in 51 countries and in 19 languages around the globe. For us, giving you the best chance of selling your home is more important than being part of a something set up to reduce our own overheads.

Hopefully, we’ve managed to bust a few myths about online estate agents but, if you have any other questions about the services we provide, please feel free to drop us a line or give us a call. We’d be happy to help.

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