How much will an estate agent charge me?
If you sell your home through an estate agent, you know it’s going to be costly, but how much should you expect to pay?
Estate agents will charge you a percentage of the sale price, some will also charge you extra fees, perhaps for placing an advert in a local paper. Others will have that included so do check what you get from each agent in your sale package. Basically speaking though, the higher the value of the property you’re selling, the more you’ll pay to the estate agents.
If you’re wanting a quick sale and decide to hedge your bets by using more than one estate agent, you do need to declare this to each agent, and the fee they charge is likely to be higher than if you used one agent solely. Perhaps around 2% to 3.5% of the sale price. So for a property selling for £200,000 you’ll be looking at paying fees of £4000 to £7000. Don’t forget that you will also have to pay VAT on top of this.
As you’ll be paying them a lot of money, it’s worth picking an estate agent carefully. Check their credentials. If your estate agent is a member of the Ombudsman for Estate Agents (OEA) Scheme this will make it easier for you to be able to claim compensation if something goes wrong. The National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) also have strict codes of practice for their members, so check if your agent belongs to either or these organisations too.
Estate agent fees are high, so they do have some leeway, so don’t be afraid to ask for a reduced rate. If you haggle you may be able to get them to drop their rates a little for you. Always get a few quotes, and ask what they will do for you. Some will list your home on the internet and in a local paper for free. Others may not. Some will even charge you extra for a ‘For Sale’ board! Read the small print carefully before signing up with any estate agent.
Also check whether or not you will still be liable for their fees should you find your own buyer. It can be very annoying, if you sign up with an estate agent, only to find your friend wants to buy your house, but you are still legally obligated to give the estate agent several thousand pounds, even though they haven’t done anything to aid you in selling the property.
You should also make very sure that there are no fees to pay whatsoever if they do not sell your home, for whatever reason you decide to take it off the market.