Estate agent fees explained

Estate agent fees explained
20th September 2021

How much does a estate agent charge? When it comes to selling property, most homeowners need and want all the help they can get. From marketing your property to conducting viewings and completing all necessary paperwork, the entire process can be daunting and stressful. That’s where an estate agent comes into play.

If you want to simplify the sales process, a skilled, experienced estate agent can offer support, resources, and expertise - at a cost. Are you considering hiring an estate agent to help close the deal on your house sale but aren’t sure how much it’ll cost you? Keep reading for a complete breakdown of estate agent fees and what you’ll get for your money.

Estate Agent Fees and Services

Not all estate agents are created equal and they don’t all charge the same fees. There are three main types of estate agents: online, high street, and hybrid. Online estate agents work primarily online and often come with lower overhead costs. High street agents, or traditional letting agents, operate out of a brick-and-mortar business and are often more hands-on than their online counterparts. Hybrid agents offer a little bit of both.

But the type of agent you hire isn’t the only thing that impacts their fees. Some agents offer individual services that you can pay for as needed, while others promote fully managed services that include everything you need from start to finish.

Most estate agents offer the following services:

  • Pricing your home and providing a market analysis
  • Listing your home on popular portals like Zoopla and Rightmove
  • Advertising your home
  • Handle all inquiries and schedule viewings
  • Keep you informed and interest in your property high
  • Complete all final and legal paperwork

Here’s a breakdown of the common percentages and fees you can expect to pay when hiring an estate agent to help sell your property.

Percentage and Commission Fees

Most estate agent fees range between 1% and 3.5% of the sale price of the home, depending on its location. Sellers must also consider VAT, or value-added tax, fees which may equal as much as another 20% of the home’s value. VAT taxes, which are also referred to as consumption taxes, are tacked onto any product of value.

Keep in mind that the percentage an estate agent charges isn’t based on their level of service or experience. Instead, it’s based on the type of contract you sign. That’s why it’s so important you read all aspects of the contract before signing to determine what estate agent fees you’ll be paying. The good news is, estate agent fees are often negotiable so don’t be afraid to ask. Generally, the estate agent’s reputation and experience will determine how much they’re willing to adjust their fees. An estate agent fee calculator like the one found on Rentround can help give you a better idea of how much a reputable estate agent will cost.

Additional Service Fees

In addition to a percentage, estate agents offer and charge a variety of fees for individual services. These include, but aren’t limited to:

Property Improvements

Do you need help getting your home ready for sale? If your property needs upgrades or renovations, an estate agent can point out areas for improvement. An estate agent is experienced in getting homeowners top dollar for their property, which may include performing a few home repairs. This doesn’t mean the agent will pay for or even make the repairs but instead point out what upgrades might increase your home’s value. Over the years, estate agents develop lasting relationships with contractors and other professionals in the field. They may be able to recommend a reputable company and even expedite the project. 

Mortgage Advice

Not many people can buy a home outright with cash. If you need mortgage advice or help to secure lending for your next purchase, your estate agent may have resources. While they can’t offer financial advice, most estate agents work closely with a mortgage broker which gives you first-hand access to a reputable professional in the field. At Leaders, we are partnered with Mortgage Scout to offer our customers a seamless experience when buying a property with a mortgage.

Conveyancing and Surveying

Before you can sell your property, you need a survey to verify the property’s boundary lines. A professional surveyor will present you with a legal document and description of your property for you to pass along to prospective buyers. While some estate agents will perform these tasks themselves (at Leaders we have our own surveyors), others will elicit the help of another professional. 

Once your agent helps you secure a buyer, you’ll need a conveyancer to legally transfer the property to the new homeowners. Similar to mortgage brokers and surveyors, many estate agents work closely with a conveyancer. This saves you the trouble of finding and hiring your own. Ask if you’re responsible for these referral fees or if your agent is receiving a kickback from the conveyancer.

Letting Services

Are you struggling to find a buyer or are considering holding onto your property as an investment? Many estate agents also double as letting agents. That means they can help find, reference, and secure you a reliable tenant. In addition, many agents offer fully managed services so that you don’t have to worry about the stress of being a landlord.

Not only is letting your property a great investment opportunity, but it can bring in passive income as you save up money for your next property. Ask your agent if they charge fix fees for these services or if individual services might fit your needs and budget better. Before signing an agreement, make sure letting your property makes more sense than selling.

Estate Agent Fees are worth the Investment

When it comes time to sell your home, there are countless factors to consider. Choosing the right listing price, advertising, and conducting viewings are all part of the process. Not many homeowners are equipped to perform these jobs themselves. While it’s tempting to skip the estate agent fees and act as your own agent, you’ll be missing out on a number of resources and years of experience.

Sit down and calculate your finances before entering into an agreement but remember, your property will likely sell quicker and at a higher price when using estate agent services. The process of selling a home can take several months, so you can leave it to them to do the hard work for you.

Looking to sell your home? Get a no-obligations valuation to find out what your property is worth.

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