A Guide To Estate Agent Fees

If you are planning to sell your home using a traditional high-street estate agent, you’ll want to know how much do estate agents charge for their services so that you can factor this cost into all your related expenses. Most of the time, when working out how much do estate agents charge for commission, you will usually calculate it as a percentage of the price that the buyer pays for your property. On average, estate agents tend to charge around 1.42% of the final selling price for your home, including VAT. However, this figure can vary from less than 1% to over 3.5%, depending on various factors including the estate agent that you use and if there are multiple estate agents selling your property.

How to Choose an Estate Agent:

While average estate agent fees in Bath are important to consider when choosing a company to sell your home, it is not always an ideal option to go for the cheapest estate agent fees based on price alone. Although the typical estate agent’s fees can seem like a huge sum, there are plenty of other factors that are worth taking into consideration aside from the fee when it comes to choosing the agent that will sell your home.

In fact, the best estate agents will often charge fees that are slightly higher than their competition. However, you will often get what you pay for, and in some cases, going for the estate agent that charges the higher fee could be worth it in the end if they are able to get a higher price compared to the cheaper competitor. Before choosing the right estate agent for you, compare statistics and check out which estate agents are selling properties similar to yours for the best prices.

It’s also worth considering if you are happy to do business on a personal level with the estate agent, since you will likely have a lot of contact with them in the coming weeks and months while selling your home.

Finally, if your main priority is keeping costs to a minimum when selling your home, an online estate agent is worth considering. Online estate agent fees are often cheaper since they are charged at a flat rate rather than a percentage of the selling price but you won’t get the benefits of a local estate agent you can trust.

Cobb Farr - Independent Bath estate agents

Can You Haggle for Cheaper Fees?

If you want to sell your home, it is a wide idea to ask around three different estate agents to your home to provide a valuation and quote for their fee. During the visit, this is also the ideal time to ask questions about their recent performance, similar homes that they have sold recently, and what is included as part of their service.

Since most estate agents will not want to lose your business, you can often negotiate the estate agent’s fees or other aspects of the service that they provide. This is where getting multiple quotes can come in handy, since you can mention any other estate agents that might have offered you a cheaper deal to see if your preferred estate agent is willing to price match.

If your preferred estate agent will not offer a lower fee, it is also worth asking if they are willing to compromise by working on a sliding scale, where you will pay a different rate of commission depending on the price that the agent secures for your property. Many agents are willing to do this, and it can also be a good incentive for them to get the best possible price when selling your home.

What to Check in the Estate Agent Contract:

Thoroughly reading and checking the estate agent’s contract before you sign, and questioning anything that you are not sure of or unhappy with, is important for ensuring that your relationship with your estate agent remains positive throughout the sale process. If you do not understand anything in the contract, you should not sign it. Some key things to consider when reading the contract include:

  • How quickly you can get out of the contract if you are not satisfied with the service that you receive?
  • What to do if you find a buyer on your own, such as a friend, neighbour, or family member who offers to purchase the house
  • If you can use more than one estate agent to advertise your house for sale.
Estate Agent Fees

Terms in the Estate Agent Contract to Be Aware Of:

Along with understanding what you’ll get for the Bath estate agent fees you’re agreeing to pay, there are several common terms that will often appear in an estate agent contract that are worth being aware of.

Multi-Agency Agreement:

In this type of agreement, several estate agents will act on your behalf when selling the property, but only the agent that actually sells the property will receive the commission. To go multi-agency, you will usually pay a higher fee. However, consider that most estate agents will list their properties on online sites like Zoopla and Rightmove, so it’s usually not worth paying for this type of contract.

Fixed Fee:

Certain estate agents will offer their service for a fixed fee rather than taking a percentage of what the property sells for. This is most common with online estate agents and will usually work out cheaper compared to traditional fee structures. However, you will usually have to pay upfront, leaving you paying the same amount regardless of whether your home sells quickly or slowly, or how much you get for it.

Open-Ended Agreements:

With an open-ended agreement, the agent is able to claim commission if you sell your property to somebody that they originally introduced it to, even if a long period of time has since passed.

Sole Agency Agreement:

This is the most common type of estate agent contract, and means that the one estate agent is the only one that has the right to sell your home during the contract term. However, you will not usually be required to pay the estate agent fees if you are able to sell the home yourself during this time.

Ready, Willing and Able Purchaser:

Experts advise against signing the contract if this clause is included, since it means that even if you have to withdraw from the sale, you will still be liable to pay the estate agent fee if they found a willing buyer.

Notice Period:

This refers to the period of time that you will need to wait before the contract is terminated after informing your estate agent of the plan. It is usually two weeks.

Terms of Payment:

Some estate agents will charge interest on fees that are not paid immediately. However, if you expect that it may take a few days to make the payment, choose an agency that allows a few days for the payment to come through before interest is added.

Sole Selling Agreement:

This agreement means that the estate agent you are contracted to is the only agent that can sell your home during the contract term. In addition, even if you find the buyer yourself, the estate agent will still claim their fee, so this type of agreement is not always recommended.

Tie-in Period:

This refers to the time period that you are going to be tied into the contract from the signing date. This means that you will still be liable to pay a fee to the original agent if you change estate agents during this time. Typically, six weeks is the shortest tie-in period available.

What Are My Rights with Estate Agents?

Your estate agent contract must use clear terms legally and everything should be cleared to you. All offers made on your property must be passed immediately to you in writing, and the estate agent is legally obliged to tell you about any financial or personal interest that they may have in any offers made on your property. They are required to keep records on file for at least six years and must be a member of either The Property Redress Scheme or the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution.

How to Complain About an Estate Agent:

If you believe that your estate agent has breached regulations, has not upheld the terms of their contract with you, or their estate agent fees are unfair in any way, the first thing to do is complain to the estate agent. If you are not satisfied with the resolution offered or eight weeks pass without resolution after first making your complaint, you can escalate the complaint to the relevant scheme that your estate agent is registered with. It is a wise idea to keep detailed records of any dealings that you have with your estate agent in case of any problems that might arise.

Finding the right estate agent can make all the difference when it comes to selling your home but understanding what you are paying for is crucial. While estate agents can vary with the fees that they charge, it can sometimes be worth paying more to work with an estate agent that is likely to get the outcome that you want.

If you need any advice about choosing the right estate agents do contact our team here.

Related Articles