31 Aug Real Estate Agent Fees: The Ultimate 2021 Guide
Whether referring to first-time homebuyers or those who may be looking to upgrade to a different property, real estate fees will always need to be considered. However, it can be somewhat tricky to appreciate the nuances to make the right decision at the right time. There are also other factors which should be considered.
AD Services Owner Aaron Donovan has been a professional contractor for ten years and he boasts more than 20 years of experience within the construction sector. Let’s, therefore, examine his observations relating to real estate agent fees in 2021 as well as some other related metrics.
Basic Estate Agent Questions and Contractual Terms
First and foremost, it should be noted that average estate agent fees throughout the United Kingdom currently equate to 1.18 per cent (in addition to VAT). It should still be mentioned that the fees associated with more populated areas (such as London) may be higher. Be aware of any hidden costs.
Furthermore, it is prudent to determine the types of estate agent services that are being offered. How aggressively will the individual market the property? What type of demographic will be catered to? Does he or she have access to the appropriate buyers? It is important to remember that all these factors will determine the outcome of the final sale.
What is Included Within the Fees?
Clients should always ask for a breakdown of what the fees include. As mentioned in the previous section, this is an excellent way to avoid any hidden costs and surcharges. Here are some of the services which may be present within these fees:
- The property valuation.
- Documentation such as floor plans, photographs and written descriptions of the property.
- Marketing (via traditional means as well as with the use of online portals).
- Viewings of the property.
Getting an accurate breakdown of these fees is essential before making any type of commitment.
The Role of Energy Performance Certificates
Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) may be required when buying or selling a property. In fact, they are legally necessary in the event that the premises have not been provided with one in the past ten years. Fees generally range from between £60 and £120 (VAT included).
Although these concerns are often addressed by the estate agent, there are times when the certificate will need to be completed by the individual. If you suspect that the property requires an updated EPC, determine whether this service is provided by the agent.
Online Agent Fees: More Cost-Effective Options?
One of the most common questions involves whether choosing an online estate agent represents the most cost-effective option. To be clear, many professionals feel that this is a viable alternative to consider. Online agents will often provide free listing packages, and some may even advertise a single up-front fee. This helps to take the guesswork out of the equation.
However, it should be mentioned that fees that may be included within traditional services (such as signage and viewings) may be charged separately. Once again, determine these factors from the beginning. It might be a good idea to get the opinion of others before committing to any online agency. If these are not available, ask for any testimonials that may have been provided by previous clients.
Sole Agents Versus Multiple Agents
There may be times when more than one estate agent is needed to complete a transaction. While not generally relevant for standard home buyers, these may be wise choices when dealing with property developers. Multiple agents can also handle ancillary concerns such as purchasing buy-to-let properties or if planning permission is needed for numerous buildings.
Multiple agents can also be efficient in terms of transaction speeds. As more than one professional is overseeing the sale, the chances are high that a deal will be closed in a timely fashion. This is beneficial for anyone who is dealing with a stringent deadline or who has other business concerns to address.
Of course, it should be noted that the fees associated with multiple agents are almost always higher when compared to a sole professional. Although this may be offset by the speed at which a sale can take place, it is still an important factor to emphasise.
No-Sale, No-Fee Agents
This concept is somewhat like a no-win, no-fee solicitor. Simply stated, a growing number of agents will not charge any type of up-front fee when listing a property. This is because initial surcharges will not necessarily guarantee a final sale.
It is prudent to speak with agencies that offer these conditions. If they do not, they may provide attractive alternatives such as lower fees or more inclusive services.
Is it Possible to Negotiate Estate Agent Fees?
One of the most common misconceptions within the real estate agency is that the associated fees cannot be changed. These charges can often be negotiated by the client. Most agents are somewhat flexible to what they expect to earn off of a sale.
Having said this, it is wise to avoid anyone who immediately buckles under the slightest amount of pressure. This may signal that he or she is desperate for business. In other words, talent and experience are called into question.
Most professional estate agents will provide an agreeable fee with a small amount of room to negotiate. If an agency appears to be “set in stone”, it could be advantageous to work with a third-party expert who can accurately represent your interests.
2021 Estate Agent Fees: Taking the Guesswork Out of the Equation
We can see that there are many factors to consider. While estate agent fees are indeed the most important consideration, other metrics come into play. Therefore, it is vital to perform research in advance.
At the time that this article was written, 2021 property prices across the United Kingdom were on the rise. Therefore, it is crucial to appreciate the fees that will be charged while simultaneously avoiding any hidden costs along the way.