Online portals provide a helpful tool for those looking to buy property, as it’s a great starting point to test the market. Some well known portals such as Zoopla will allow you to have access to their list of properties on the market, while some other websites that specialise in certain BMV property deals may charge you to access their listing. Because of the accessibility to listed properties these portals provide investors, all from the comfort of their own home, it’s not surprising that buying through online portals is becoming increasingly popular. A survey by Which.co.uk revealed that just under half of house buyers now find their properties online, with a little over 20.00% using Estate Agents in second.
However, like buying through Estate Agents or auctions, there are positives and negatives through buying property via online portals. These pros and cons do tend to fluctuate depending on the portal you chose to buy through. In general, portals have a set fee, which many would not activate until the property is sold for the asking price. Comparing this to more generic high street methods, Estate Agents tend to take a percentage of the sale as a fee which can amount to a big chunk of the selling price, plus few will have any sort of online platform easy to manoeuvre around when compared to online portals. These websites are also often contactable 24/7, whiles most Estate Agents will not be.
So there are definitely positives that, if choosing the right portal whilst using it the correct way, can result in you spending a small fee while searching through a wide number of properties before buying the perfect one. But, as mentioned previously, there are potential risks in buying online. Firstly, not all portals are as genuine as they appear. There have been stories of individuals losing money to ‘property sharks’, as there are a number of these present in an unregulated market. For those who prefer speaking person-to-person to learn more, or if they already have rapport with a particular Estate Agent, it may also be wise to choose a method away from the internet.
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