How much do estate agents really charge advice, Buying a home costs solicitor guide, Buying property conveyancer tips
How much do estate agents really charge?
9 October 2022
When it comes to selling your home, you may be forgiven for thinking that any money you make on the property goes straight into your back pocket.
Not so, unfortunately!
How much do estate agents really charge customers?
You will need assistance from a solicitor or conveyancer to legally sell your home to someone else, and may incur fees from remedial work to clinch the sale or removals services when you vacate the property. However, perhaps the biggest sting in the tale when you sell your home comes in the form of estate agents’ fees.
Estate agents can be a bit cagey about the fees they charge to market your property, which are often commission based and can increase dramatically depending on the type of contract you sign. For instance, multi agency agreements can often be very pricey and ‘sole selling rights’ and ‘ready, willing and able purchaser’ agreements mean you are liable to pay the agent a fee even if they don’t actually sell your home. Many agents will also receive a referral fee when they recommend approved partners like surveyors, conveyancers, or EPC inspectors too.
So, how much do estate agents really charge you might ask?
Well, if you are going to use a high street estate agent, you can generally expect to pay in the region of 1-3% of the sale price you achieve for the property.
So, for a house sale which commands £300,000, you will be parting with a sum in the region of £3,000 – £9,000 for the estate agent fee.
Whilst some estate agents do charge a one-off, fixed fee, a commission-based fee is the norm.
Irrespective of whether you have been quoted a fixed or commission-based fee, you should always ensure that the stated fee is inclusive of VAT. The Property Ombudsman’s Code of Practice does state that “An agent must inform the buyer in writing, before they agree to use his service, what fee (including VAT) is payable and when the fee is due.” However, you should make sure you read the small print carefully to make sure the headline figure quoted isn’t going to incur an additional charge for VAT.
Marketing your Home
Do you actually need an estate agent to market your property?
Given the cost of using an estate agent to sell your home, it is unsurprising that many vendors wonder if they can go it alone when it comes to selling.
However, since the vast majority of property searches begin online these days – and the market leading property websites Rightmove and Zoopla only take listings from estate agents rather than individual vendors – unless you live in a highly sought after area where you can easily sell your home by word of mouth or you have already received an offer that you are happy with, then yes, using an estate agent will massively speed up the process of selling your home.
However, using a high street estate agent is not your only option when it comes to selling your home. You also have the option of choosing from a variety of online estate agents which could save you a considerable sum.
Sell your home with an online estate agent
How much does it cost to sell your home with an online estate agent?
The cost of selling your home with an online estate agent varies significantly based on the services they provide and ranges anywhere from free of charge, to around £1,999.
Industry heavyweights such as Purple Bricks and Yopa offer a full service estate agent package with a dedicated local agent from £999 at Yopa and £1,199 at Purple Bricks. More recently, there have been a number of newcomers who offer to sell your home free of charge such as Strike – who make their money via optional extras like mortgage advice, marketing boosts, hosted viewings and mortgage services – or Agree.co.uk who call themselves the ‘self-service property platform’ for sellers and landlords and will list your home free of charge on their own website and Facebook or for a weekly fee of £9.99 on Rightmove, Zoopla and Prime Location as well, alongside a host of optional extras.
All of these options can save you a considerable fee in comparison to using a traditional high street estate agent, although it is important to be aware which services are included and which are not when it comes to using an online estate agent. The costs for things like property photographs, floorplans, additional marketing and ‘for sale’ boards can soon mount up and you may also be called upon to arrange and host viewings and negotiate with potential buyers, so you need to feel comfortable in doing so and factor this time commitment into your schedule.
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