I am very interested in hearing of the highest estate agency fees in the UK.
Not because I want to bash those firms that achieve such dizzy remuneration heights necessarily, but just out of pure property industry voyeurism I suppose. Some people ogle pictures of Kerry Katona on holiday. Whereas learning of someone paying a king’s ransom to offload their London Town House is of more intrigue to me.
The starting point for my venture into establishing the richest fees, naturally looks at the most expensive of properties. These can be found in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and in particular in streets such as Wycombe Square, Palace Green and Kensington Palace Gardens and surrounding.
In June 2009, 19 Wycombe Square changed hands for £9,557,500. Today, a detached villa in Upper Phillimore Gardens can be snapped up for £19,750,000, according to Rightmove and even at that price it requires ‘modernisation’. However it is a big old gaff at over 6000 square feet and has planning permission to add another 6000 square feet or so too.
These eye watering price tags lead to equally bewildering estate agency commissions. As a context, the OFT says that the average fee in the UK is 1.6% of sale price. The average house price is around £180,000. So the fee that you will pay, is about £2880.00. To me, relative to what eMoov is doing to promote better value, that is a lot of money.
But just to really provide demonstration of the other end of the ‘value’ argument, I telephoned Knight Frank estate agents in Kensington Church Street today to enquire as to their fees. They are the agent handling several of London’s dearest of home sales including Upper Phillimore Street.
The answer? 2.5% plus vat!
Now I know that it’s relative to wealth and all that, but surely even the likes of Gates, Abramovich and Buffett should think twice about paying £500,000 to their agent?
Yes, that’s HALF A MILLION POUNDS in estate agency fees?! (plus vat).