How much are estate agent fees?
If you’re looking to sell your house fast, there’s a good chance that you’ll be on the lookout for an online or high-street estate agent. However, with so many agents around the UK, it can often be hard to find one that you can trust to sell your house successfully with an offer as close to your original asking price as possible.
The quality of an agent can often be hard to judge. Many agents seem to request a ridiculous fee as payment, while others appear to undercut the competition significantly, but how can you – the client – know whether or not they are worth the requested payment percentage based on current sold house prices?
How much should I pay the estate agent?
With few exceptions, estate agent fees are always calculated on a percentage basis from the final sale figure for the property they are representing. As a vendor, you should not be expected to make any additional payments for any service related to the sale of your home. Of course, certain agents will offer – for an additional cost – to promote your listing above other similar listings on online portals such as Rightmove – but remember, it is in the agent’s best interests to sell your house in a short time period for as much as possible, and so most reputable agents will cover the cost of premium listings themselves.
So how much commission does an estate agent make? Across the UK, the average fee is around 1.3% of the final sale figure. Like many things in life, you get what you pay for, and consequently it’s worth being a little suspicious of estate agents whose fees are undercutting their competitors drastically – any agent worth their salt would never de-value their brand in such a way. Conversely, it’s also worth being suspicious of agents who overcharge their clients significantly unless it is clear why they do so, and whether their track-record in sales is productive enough to warrant the extra cost.
What are an estate agent’s fees?
An estate agent’s job is to promote your home to potential buyers who are looking to buy in the area. These may be local families who are planning to upsize, retired individuals who are looking to downsize, or even people from hundreds of miles away that need to move to the area for a job. Ensuring that your property is viewable by all potential buyers is no easy task – hence the sizeable fee. Using various mediums such as online portals, word-of-mouth, local and national advertising, an effective agent will be able to target those who are open to the possibility of purchasing. The fee that an agent charges also covers the man-hours involved by staff, operational overheads, valuation costs, and promotional materials for your home such as professional photographs and well-written descriptions.
However, it is important to remember that although an agent will provide you with a percentage quote, this does not mean that you can’t negotiate. Thanks to the competition amongst agents, there are certain situations that allow you to haggle:
- If an agent requests to be the sole contract holder for the sale, this can limit the number of potential buyers who will see your home and allows you to negotiate a lower commission – often as low as 0.8-1%
- If your property costs much more than the average home in the area (research these values in advance), it should be relatively easy to push down your agent’s fees as the sale of an expensive home does not necessarily require more work than a house of a much lower value. And as an agent’s commission is percentage based, they are still likely to collect a great paycheck at the end.
- Since 2016, the Property Ombudsman has instructed all estate agents to include VAT in any quote they offer to a client – so if an agent tries to charge you an additional amount once the sale has gone through, ensure that you contact your solicitor for legal advice, as well as report them to the necessary authority. Luckily, these underhanded tactics are rare.
How to sell a house without an estate agent
Luckily, if you’re a vendor who would prefer to avoid the hassle of dealing with agents, there are other options. If you can spare the time, you can always try to sell the house yourself – although as many others can attest, this route can be absolutely exhausting. Other options include the use of house buying companies such as National Homebuyers, who will happily buy any house, regardless of location or situation for a competitive fee – perfect for those who need to move house in a limited time-frame in order to move on with their lives.
Looking for a fast house sale? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we buy any house. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.