A Guide to Estate Agents' Fees

Top Tips on Estate Agents' Percentages

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Local Estate Agents’ Fees

Presumably because it makes them look cheaper, estate agents don’t like to include VAT in their prices. Ask your agent to state your fee inclusive of VAT .

Negotiate the fee

Be brutal, introduce the subject when you first call him. It’s much harder to begin the process after you have discovered that he knows your brother and he’s sitting on your sofa drinking your coffee! Or can you afford to throw away £1000!

Agents think it’s unlikely that you will haggle, so they will ask for 1.5% up to 2.5% (+VAT) for a sole agency. Tell each agent (before they visit you), that you will be seeing at least two other agents and will be comparing fees and you expect to pay no more than 1%.

If sellers are in short supply, agents will very probably reduce their fees to maintain their property portfolios.

Small estate agents are often more flexible than large chains. You may even be seeing the boss who, will certainly be able to haggle with you.

Agents new to an area, trying to increase their market share will certainly be open to negotiation.

If you insist on a very high price, expect the agent to argue against a low fee, you may never sell!

Multiple Agent Fees

Agents will ask for fees between 2.5% -- 3% + VAT for multiply agency involvement. Negotiating a significant fee reduction may prove more difficult as each agent’s potential to secure the sale is reduced by some margin!

Sole Agency Fees

Given no negotiation, the average agents required fee for sole agency is 1.5% --1.8% + VAT.

You should aim for 1% + VAT (of the final selling price).

For high value properties (over a million in the south east) agents may accept a lower fee, possibly even below 1% + VAT.

For low priced properties he may require a set fee, which may be a high percentage of the selling price. As usual...shop around!

“Adjustable” Fees

If you want to go with a particular agent but you think his fee is too high. Suggest that you will only agree if he sells for (say) £10,000 more than the asking price......... but do the sum first!

You can also use incentives to reward the speed of the sale, if a quick sale is important.

A Guide To The Process of Buying/Selling a Home/House/Flat