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Price Comparison With An Online Agent

Are online agents really better value than traditional high street agents ? I’m biased in this article, as I work for a high street agent, but I was surprised at the charges some of the online agents fail to shout about in their advertising. It seems like there are a lot of similarities with airline style pricing – your ticket costs you £9.99, but that is usually just the start.

I decided to take a typical two bedroom apartment that we have on the market for rent at £700.00 per month, and looked at how much this would be to get onto the market, and rented out with a high st agent, and with a typical online agent.

So to actually get it onto the market with the high st agent, generally costs nothing, as it is no let no fee.

To get it on the market with the same level of details as the high st agent but with a typical online agent costs £299.00

The high st agent does not charge for viewings.

An online agent charges £79.00 for an open house viewing, with 7 people viewing, a one hour visit.

The high st agent typically charges around £50.00 for an inventory.

An online agent I looked at charges a minimum £117.00

The high st agent does not charge for a ‘check-in’

An online agent charges £87.00

The high st agent does not charge for a check-out.

An online agent charges £109.00

The high st agent does not charge for property inspections

An online agent charges £65.00

To register the tenants deposit the high st agent charges nothing.

To register the tenants deposit an online agent charges £24.99

To serve a section 21 notice for the tenant to leave the high st agent charges nothing.

To serve a section 21 notice an online agent charges £60.00

The high st agents management fee is 12% inc VAT an online agents management fee is 3.6% inc VAT

So the lettings property on average will take 12 viewings to get the best choice, and price for the property. For ease of calculations lets say that 4 visits to the property are needed, this will cost £79.00 x 4 with the online agent. So here are the sums.


Details – £299.00, Viewings – £316.00, Inventory – £117.00, Check-in – £87.00, Check Out – £109.00, Deposit Registering – £24.99, serving a section 21 – £60.00, Management – £151.20 ( inc 6 months free ), property visits, 1 per quarter – £65.00 x 4 – £260.00. There may also be an extra charge if the property takes longer to let than 12 weeks

A total cost of £2214.20.

High St

Details – included, Viewings – included, Inventory – £50.00, Check-in – included, Check-out – included, Deposit Registering -included, Serving a section 21 – included, Management – £1008.00, Property visits, 1 per quarter – included.

A total cost of £1058.00

Looking at both options, the online agent does have a very much lower management fee than the typical high st agent, but the managed service from the independent high st agent includes a lot more, and the extra services from the online agent are all priced quite high.

Oh and I forgot to remind you that if an online agent didn’t manage to rent out the apartment after XX weeks, then after the viewings you will still owe them approx £615.00, and the property would no longer be advertised…….

So in conclusion, then it is definitely worth reading the small print. And I do see the benefits of having a pricing structure that allows more choice for property owners, and this is something that we may look into, allowing our landlords as much flexibility as possible, as well as making savings by taking a totally managed package.

If you are looking to rent out or sell your apartment then don’t hesitate to pick the phone up to Suttons City Living, at 0161 832 9922.