Home sellers in the UK could get better value for money by questioning agent fees

Home sellers in the UK could get better value for money from some estate agents by questioning their fees, finds survey

Sellers in the UK could get better value for money from some estate agents if they challenged their fees but many are reluctant to do so or feel pressurised to accept what they offer, new research suggests.

Research from the online agent suggests pricing is an issue for people selling a home.

Some 82% who took part in the survey by agent Housesimple, said that they agreed the first fee that was offered to then by an agent while 41% were unaware that they could have negotiated their commission fee, with 29% wishing they had negotiated a lower rate after they had agreed it.

On top of this, 46% felt pressurised by their estate agent and one in five said that they were not confident negotiating which is why they didn’t challenge their estate agent. More than half, 55%, of those home sellers polled said they paid at least 1% commission to the estate agent, with more than a quarter revealing they paid fees between 1.4% and 2%.

The agent says that sellers could potentially be saving millions of pounds every year in fees if they were prepared to negotiate with the agent. Housesimple worked out that if home sellers over the past 12 months had bargained the initial quote by just 0.25%, they could have saved £487 million in agent fees. For example, negotiating a 1.25% fee down to 1%, would equate to a saving of £1,500 on a property on the market for £500,000.

Housesimple chief executive officer said Sam Mitchell said the survey highlights how much home sellers could potentially save by negotiating and not taking no for an answer. There is always room for manoeuvre on the fee and an estate agent that is not willing to reduce their rate will need to have a very strong case as to why, particularly if it is significantly higher than other agents are quoting in the area.

He added that unfortunately, for many people, they don’t feel comfortable negotiating, and estate agents are extremely good sales people who can put forward a convincing argument as to why they are worth the commission they are charging. But at the end of the day they also want to secure their client’s business, and if they are as good as they say they are, then the house shouldn’t be on the market for long, and they will have had to do very little work to make their commission.

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