While it might good to have a professional supporting you in the sale of your home, some high street estate agents could be charging you more than doctors or lawyers. Sellers are being heavily stung when it comes to selling their homes through traditional estate agents, and could save thousands by simply using an online seller.
Traditional High Street Estate Agents
The fees that a high street estate agent will charge can vary wildly, and can be as high as 2.5 per cent of the final sale price. The average is 1.6 per cent. According to the land registry, the average time it takes an estate agent to sell a property is between five and 15 hours, which translates into an hourly fee as high as £774.
In comparison, other professions like lawyers and doctors that require much more training and qualifications have lower hourly fees, according to an online property seller. Lawyers charge £500 an hour, and a private doctor around £250 an hour.
And while an estate agent’s work involves valuing a property, uploading it to online property portals, holding viewings and seeing a deal through, they make their money through commission percentage on the sale.
They can do things like not including VAT in the percentage cost, so you actually end up paying 20% more than the advertised figure.
However, digital has revolutionised the house buying market.
Online Estate Agents
An online estate agent can provide many of the same services that a high street one does, but at the fraction of the price, they can arrange viewings, taking pictures, creating floor plans, a for sale board, and negotiating with buyers.
This is not a commission based fee, instead you pay for the services. The fee is usually based upon how much support and promotion that you might want. Even the largest fee comes in well under what you might pay for a traditional high street agent.
They won’t lock you into a sole agency contract either, so you can pay as many as you like. An online estate agent will usually list your property on websites like Rightmove, Zoopla and PrimeLocation as standard.
Somewhere like House Network Ltd, who claims to have saved sellers £33 million in fees, offers upfront payment, so you know exactly how much you’re being charged.
The only downside to an online estate agent is that you’re unlikely to actually meet them in person, which makes some people nervous. However, as long as you know that they’re a legitimate business, there should be no need for nervousness.