Fees: The Basics
All estate agent fees cover the overall cost of marketing and selling your property. This includes the valuation, researching the local housing market, taking the photos and measurements to make an advert for your property, , marketing it either online, organising prospective buyers and arranging viewings, and to assist you in accepting or declining offers.
The fees for a high street agent can vary depending on the region and particular area that you live in, ranging 1% up to 3% (sometimes excluding VAT). For this, you’ll also receive a ‘For Sale’ sign, advertisement of your property in their window and local press and they’ll carry out viewings of your property for you. You need to negotiate the best deal for you, taking all this into account.
Online estate agents have significantly lower prices, at an average of around £400. The reduced cost means they don’t provide you with a ‘For Sale’ sign and you have to carry out the viewings with prospective buyers yourself
Estate agents are required by law to tell you what is included in their fee. If they are vague, ask for a break down of the services they are offering you. The more questions you ask, the better. You may be charged separately for extra services, such as conveyancing, or they may be included in the commission.
If they are not included in the commission, then you need to find out whether the amount you pay is fixed or variable. This is a vital part of the contract, and if the amount is variable then you are well within your rights to ask how the fees will be calculated over the time it takes to sell your property and an estimate of how much it might be. That way you can ensure that you are getting the best deal for your money
Always check before you sign anything so you have a clear idea of how much selling your house will cost you.
Don’t Be Afraid To Negotiate
Get quotes from at least three different agencies, asking them about what they can offer you and why you should consider marketing your property through them.
Keep in mind that they want to sell your house and that YOU are paying them, so you need to be satisfied with the service and deal that you are receiving. Tell them that you are gathering quotes from other agents to conjure up a bit of competition.
Let’s Talk Figures
An investigation carried out by Which? in 2011, revealed that the high street fees for selling 12 particular properties situated in varying parts of England, ranged from 0.75% to 2.5%. The national average is around 1.8%. The lowest fee isn’t always the best option for your property, and neither is the most extortionate.
Bear in mind the services you need and the previous selling success of the area that you live in. If you do not live in a typically desirable area, high street agency fees may be more as it could take longer to sell your property.
Once you’ve done your research, it’s decision time! The high street offers a more personal touch and a middle-man to help you throughout the process, whereas the internet does most of the work for you but you’ll have to carry out the viewings.
Whichever option you choose, you must be comfortable and confident with your contract. Don’t get caught out by any extra charges!
Do you have any handy hints or tips on estate agency fees and what to expect from the high street or online agencies?
article by – Chloe Luff