At Northfields Estates we take quite a few calls from people asking us what our fees are. I know from our market research that many agents will quote a fee over the phone without knowing a single fact about the property or the seller. But should estate agent’s fees be standard like this? Northfields doesn’t think so.
First of all, it is important to understand what service you can expect to get in exchange for the fees that you pay. Estate agents charge fees to cover the costs involved in marketing your property and assisting with the sale. That marketing might (and should) include advertising your property across various different media, such as websites, newspapers, for sale boards, window displays and e-mail campaigns. It is also essential that your agent sits at the phone to personally contact all relevant house hunters registered with them to drum up interest in your property. The agent should also arrange block viewings or individual viewings and then finally assist you with negotiating, accepting and declining of offers. The agent then acts as go-between, communicating with you and the buyer during the property transaction. A good agent will also facilitate the sale right to the end, so that the sale does not fall through. This is known as sales progression, although it is safe to say that some agents do this bit better than others. At Northfields we have a dedicated sales progressor whose sole job it is to ensure that your property sale completes as smoothly as possible.
It is also important to note that a great many estate agents are unregulated. A good agent will voluntarily adhere to a code of conduct administered by the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) or other recognised regulatory bodies, as does Northfields Estates. However, despite public calls for statutory regulation of the industry, the level of service that you can expect from an unregulated estate agent could vary widely, so look for estate agents who voluntarily maintain the high standards required by professional bodies.
What Is The Average Estate Agents’ Fee?
Just as service can vary widely so can the fees charged for them.
Agency fees can vary dependent upon the region of the UK in which you will be selling your property - from as much as 1% up to 3%. The type of contract entered into – either sole or multi-agency can also affect the fees. To understand a bit more about different estate agency contract types, click here.
Most estate agents will only charge a fee if a buyer is found who then proceeds to complete the purchase. However, it is worth noting that some agents will charge fees if you withdraw your property from the market, while others may charge you extra for advertising, so read your contract carefully before signing it.
When Is The Fee Payable?
The fee is generally paid on the day of completion of your sale. The fee will usually be paid directly from the solicitors acting on your behalf to the estate agent. Always remember that VAT will added to the estate agent’s fee.
No Such Thing as an Average Fee
Although there are many agents who will happily quote their fee over the phone with no information on the property or its seller, Northfields believes that the fee should be tailored to fit the property and the seller’s situation. Each property is different and will require a different amount or type of marketing at different costs. For example, if Northfields were instructed to sell a million pound plus property, the marketing required to sell the property might include insertion into a glossy magazine or national newspaper likely to attract the right buyer. However, if we were to sell a one bedroom flat for under £250,000 advertising on websites or in a local paper would likely suffice. Shouldn’t the fee reflect the difference in cost between these two marketing strategies? Of course, Northfields could treat you like a standard client with a standard fee, but we choose to treat you and your property like the individuals that you are.
To find out how Northfields would market your property call us on 0208 840 6666 to arrange your tailor-made valuation or click here to request your valuation online.