When selling your home via www.eMoov.co.uk you get what we say you will. If you choose to put your home on the market using our £349 + vat fee option, then that’s all it costs. No small print. And definitely no catches.
This is pertinent in light of the latest Property Ombudsman report on the complaints it has received so far this year in relation to estate agents which tells a story of an industry, already renowned for being unscrupulous, that’s certainly living up to that reputation.
The report outlines that gripes against estate agency sales offices in the first three months of 2010 have increased by 43% since December last year. A phenominally bad statistic. And, appallingly for an industry that has communications as its very purpose, complaints against agents for ‘communication failure’ topped the list at a whopping 22% of all concerns submitted. That’s really bad and epitomises another traditional failing of estate agents in that they are renowned for not bothering to call people back. An excruciatingly annoying habit.
But the report also highlights cases that it has dealt with relating to issues of disgruntledness over fee, ‘deceptive fees’ in particular.
Now, when eMoov talks of a fixed fee regardless of your property’s price, it means exactly that. Sell for £100,000 or £1,000,000. It makes no difference. That’s because it doesn’t cost us any more to market a more expensive home than a cheaper one. £349 plus vat is £349 plus vat. No ambiguity.
High Street estate agents though, particularly the large corporate agents like Spicer McColl, haart and the Countrywide Group, owner of Bairstow Eves and Abbotts etc, often use a clause in their commission agreements that may catch out the unwary. In fact the Property Ombudsman chastises a particular agent that did not properly point out those terms.
The commission trap is this….
You sign an agreement (without reading it properly usually) to market your home for, say, £200,000. You agree a (high) fee of 1.5% thinking that, as is the norm, you will pay the percentage fee based upon eventual sale price. However particularly greedy High Street agents will actually contract you to pay the 1.5% based upon the original asking price, regardless of what you actually sell for.
That means that if the agent himself overprices your home and you then sell it for £20,000 or so less than his valuation, you still end up paying an additional £300 plus vat for his error/deception.
Fair? Well in our opinion estate agency fees based on percentages are unfair anyhow especially when they equate to charging you thousands to sell you home not hundreds as with eMoov.co.uk.
To ramp commissions up by hoodwinking the unsuspecting seller into paying a fee on proceeds that he didn’t even receive?
That is proper robbery.