Selling a home involves numerous decision-making moments, among which the choice of an estate agent stands as one of the most pivotal. Your estate agent can shape the selling experience, affecting not just the final selling price of your property but also the smoothness of the transaction. But how much do they cost, and do you even need one?
This guide unravels the complexities of estate agent fees and provides home sellers with a roadmap to navigate their way towards a successful and cost-effective home sale.
Understanding estate agent fees
Estate agent fees are the costs you incur for the services of an agent when selling your home. These services often include advertising your property, arranging viewings, negotiating with potential buyers and handling some paperwork involved in the sale.
There are two main types of estate agents: traditional high-street estate agents and online estate agents. High street estate agents have physical offices you can visit, and they offer a full-service experience.
On the other hand, online estate agents operate primarily over the internet, offering a streamlined, often cheaper service. The level of that service can vary greatly between different agencies, so it’s good to understand what you’re getting for your money before instructing an agent.
What are typical estate agent fees?
The average cost of estate agent fees for selling a house in the UK typically falls within the range of 0.75% to 3.5% of the sale price, with the average being approximately 1.42%. However, the actual fee can vary substantially based on a variety of factors.
Let’s say you sell a house for £250,000, and the estate agent charges 2%. In this scenario, you would pay the agent £5,000. Alternatively, if the fee is at the higher end (3.5%), you’d need to give the agent £8,750.
To help you estimate what the estate agent fees would be on your property, you first need to know what your property is worth. Here is an instant, free property valuation tool that will tell you what your home is worth today.
The location of the property plays a significant role. If the home is in a sought-after area with high demand, it may be easier for the estate agent to sell, potentially leading to lower fees. Conversely, properties in less desirable locations might require more effort to sell, potentially resulting in higher fees.
Higher-value homes could lead to larger commission totals even if the percentage rate is lower. Likewise, lower-value properties might attract higher commission rates to ensure the estate agent’s work is adequately compensated.
In a seller’s market, where demand exceeds supply, properties may sell quickly and easily, which could lead to lower fees. On the other hand, in a buyer’s market, where supply exceeds demand, estate agents may need to work harder to secure a sale, which could result in higher fees.
What’s the difference between high street and online estate agent fees?
High street estate agent fees
High street estate agents typically operate on a commission basis, charging a percentage of the property’s selling price. This fee can include:
- Advertising costs
- Professional photography
- Accompanied viewings
- Support through the negotiation and sales process.
Be aware, though, that some agents may charge extra for services like premium listings on property portals like Rightmove or Zoopla or for additional marketing materials.
Online estate agent fees
Online estate agents often provide a more cost-effective service, with fixed fees that are payable upfront or on completion of the sale. Some offer a ‘no sale, no fee’ model, where you only pay if your property is sold within a certain period.
It’s worth noting that while online agents may seem cheaper, their services are often less comprehensive than that of a high street agent, and you may need to take a more hands-on approach to your sale.
Alternatively, many online agencies offer add-on services similar to high-street agents for additional fees. As a result, you can pick what suits your selling requirements – for instance, you may decide to do the viewings yourself but need a professional photographer, which you’re happy to pay more for.
Are there any alternatives?
Property Rescue offers a quick, hassle-free alternative to estate agents. We provide a direct cash purchase of your property, covering all details and legal fees. With a guaranteed sale, no pre-sale expenses, and a process that can exchange contracts within 48 hours, Property Rescue is an effective solution if you need a swift, straightforward property sale without any estate agents involved.
Negotiating estate agent fees
When it comes to estate agent fees, negotiation is often possible and sometimes even expected. Start by understanding what services are included in the fee and compare this with other agents. Then, armed with this information, you can discuss the fee structure and potentially negotiate a reduced fee or more services for the same price.
Does the seller need to pay any additional costs?
One significant expense is solicitor fees, which cover the legal work involved in transferring ownership of the property. This can include tasks such as drafting contracts, conducting searches and liaising with the buyer’s solicitor. You don’t need to pay this if you sell to us as we’ll pay it for you.
Removal costs are another factor and encompass the expenses of moving your belongings from your old home to a new location. This can vary widely depending on the volume of possessions, distance, and any special requirements.
Home improvement costs may also arise, especially if your home requires repairs or upgrades to make it more appealing to potential buyers. This could involve anything from minor cosmetic changes, like a fresh coat of paint, to more significant renovations. You don’t need to pay for modifications if you sell to us, as we buy homes in any condition.
Additionally, if your property is part of a chain, you may have to factor in potential costs related to delays or complications in the chain. And let’s not forget potential mortgage-related costs if you have a mortgage on your property that hasn’t been fully paid off yet.
How to choose the right estate agent
When selecting an estate agent, it’s easy to look solely at the fees. But try and go beyond how much it’ll cost and consider the value of the service provided, the agent’s reputation and their knowledge of the local market. Make sure the agent provides a detailed overview of their services, including how they plan to market your property.
Frequently asked questions
Are estate agent fees included in closing costs?
Yes, estate agent fees are typically included in home closing costs. The commission fees are usually a percentage of the property price, with the average commission in the UK being approximately 1.42% of the home’s price.
Can you change estate agents?
Yes, in most cases, you can switch estate agents. However, if you’ve signed an agreement to work with an agent for a specific period, changing agents before this period has ended may violate the agreement.
Can you negotiate estate agent fees?
Yes, negotiation is often possible. It’s advisable to do your research and have a specific reason if you’re planning to negotiate the fee. Remember to ask any questions about the fee early in the process before signing any legal agreements.
How much do online estate agents charge?
Online agents usually charge a set fee, which can start from as little as £75, or in certain circumstances, be completely free. This fee structure contrasts with high street agents, who typically charge a percentage of the final sale price.
What are the additional costs of selling a house?
As well as the costs previously mentioned, such as legal fees and removal costs, you may also need to pay Capital Gains Tax if the property is a second home or buy-to-let. Capital gains tax is a levy assessed on the positive difference between the sale price of an asset (like real estate, stocks, or bonds) and its original purchase price, essentially taxing the profit made from the sale of the asset.
Should I get multiple quotes?
As a seller, always get multiple quotes and read the fine print before signing any agreements. Take your time, do your research and make the choice that suits your needs and budget the best.
What’s the fee?
Understanding estate agent fees and their structures is an essential part of a successful home sale. Remember to consider the overall value of the services provided and not just the cost. Research and compare before deciding on an estate agent, and always read the fine print before signing any agreements.
If you’re looking to sell your home fast, skip the agents and their fees and sell to Property Rescue. Just fill in this form for a free, no-obligation quote to see what guaranteed price you can get for your home. Or get more information about how Property Rescue works.