It seems that more and more ‘traditional agents’ are now charging up front fees IN ADDITION to crippling fees on completion.
This is in response to hard times on Estate Agent Street with the average property firm now selling just one property per week now, half that of 2007 levels.
And so, depleted of cash, High St estate agents have to look to other ways of trying to bolster their income. By way of a real world example as imparted to us today, here’s how it goes…
One lady that we spoke to today asked Reeds Rains in Wakefield to visit her to discuss the marketing of her detached house. The property has a value of around £320,000.
The agent from Reeds Rains, part of the large LSL Property Services Group, explained that whilst their fees would be £7000.00 or so on completion once vat was included, he also wanted a £275.00 ‘marketing fee’. Payable upfront.
This masquerades as an admin fee that is, apparently, not due until withdrawal or sale but effectively locks in the seller to stay with the agent, notwithstanding any belt and braces sole agency agreements, because that seller is bound to be hesitant in dis-instructing them when there is the prospect of a ‘withdrawal fee’ as a result of doing so.
High Street estate agents are desperate for money and even more stubborn in protecting their archaic business model, as this scenario so proves.