When you enter the Property market to buy or sell a property, one of the most considerable costs you’ll experience are estate agent fees. What are the fees, estate agents charge in the UK? It’s one of the most prominent questions you’re probably going to ask before commencing your property purchasing journey. We’ve garnered the current advice from our expert estate agents in St. Neots to update this primary guide to UK estate agent fees in the year 2023.
This guide covers the most important things you need to know about estate agent fees and gives our view of the market in 2023.
Agents’ contract and fees
A buyer or seller is always inundated with a multitude of questions like should I go with the most inexpensive agent or whether the price is directly proportional to the quality of service? What all services will be included in that fees? Who is better online, or high street agents?
We would foremost advise you to gather information about fees and services directly from the agents and then make a comparison of all the factors before you book an evaluation.
Most often estate agents command a fee based on a percentage of your house sale price. This can range from 0.75% to 3.0%+VAT dependent on your contract with the agent.
For higher-value properties –over £500,000 – agents most likely accept lower fees, which is worth taking note of.
Also, note that you’re trying to sell in London, and agent fees tend to be more expensive.
It is important to conduct due diligence before signing any contract, especially the ‘sole agency lock-in period’ and ‘sole selling rights ‘which can stop you from hiring another agent if something goes wrong or give exclusive rights to sell for the specified period.
What services do the Agents’ fees cover?
An estate agent’s fees usually include the following,
- Evaluation of your property, based on research and analysis of the local market, & by processing current trends and past sales data.
- Outlining floorplans.
- Take professional photos of your home.
- Creatively written description of your property to tempt buyers.
- Install a For Sale sign.
- Devising interest from their personal list of suitable buyers – this should be paramount
- Advertising the property through online portals like Rightmove and Zoopla, also through various traditional outlets like their agency office windows, newspaper notices, and so on.
- Booking & managing viewings
- Negotiating on the asking price/sale price
- Lastly, the fee includes their operating costs which cover office rental, fleet cars etc.,
Ensure that there are no hidden costs in the contract, sometimes guise in the form of ‘extra costs
Fees often quoted by agencies are excluding VAT, which is presently at 20%. For instance, fees quoted at 1% of the total sale price would be 1.2% including VAT. Estate agents should clarify whether their fees are inclusive of VAT or not. Be sure to verify this.
You shouldn’t be charged ‘withdrawal fees’ if you decide to hold or cancel selling your property. Any agent who includes this is not trustworthy.
ReallyMoving states that an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) can be obtained by paying between £60 and £120 (inc. VAT).
EPCs as a rule have a 10-year shelf life. If you do not have one, you’re required to secure one before an estate agent can successfully market your property.
Online Estate agents are always cheaper
Usually, online estate agents are the cheapest hires. Online agents generally command a one-off fee beforehand, while some of them now follow the ‘no sale, no fee’ model. Although, their lowest prices are packaged for their minimum services. This means you will be doing a lot of legwork for your requirements.
Multi-agent vs. Single agent
Multi-agent sales are lesser known amongst the public, although it’s an often-adopted method by property developers This approach could sell your home quicker, & at a higher sum.
Choosing multi-agent means you commission 2 or more estate agents to engage with each other on a ‘winner takes all basis –simply put, you pay only that agent who makes the sale.
A downside of this method is that it is quite expensive.