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  • FIRST POST
    • freddieD
    • By freddieD 14th Jan 14, 9:02 PM
    • 55Posts
    • 4Thanks
    freddieD
    Estate Agents now wanting to charge fixed fee
    • #1
    • 14th Jan 14, 9:02 PM
    Estate Agents now wanting to charge fixed fee 14th Jan 14 at 9:02 PM
    I have spoken to 3 EAs about the sale fo my home and they all quoted a fixed fee instead of a percentage of the sale price. At the potential higher end of the sale price this puts their fee at 1% + VAT at the lowest end of the fee and 1.75% at the highest end of the fees. This is not even in London. It is in the midlands.

    Is this a new trick by EAs to give themselves more money than a 1% of selling price even though they may try to convince you to accept a low offer in the end?

    Can they be brought to a 1% fee or a lower fixed fee?

    Also, is the "Initial period" (exclusive EA) the same as the "lock in"? Some are giving me an "Initial period" of up to 16 weeks! They even write on the contract 20 weeks! and cross it giving you 12 weeks to make you feel that you have gained a lot when you get 12 weeks.
    Can they be brought down to an intial period of 1 week if it is the same as the "lock in"?

    Thanks
Page 1
    • greatgimpo
    • By greatgimpo 14th Jan 14, 9:05 PM
    • 802 Posts
    • 1,131 Thanks
    greatgimpo
    • #2
    • 14th Jan 14, 9:05 PM
    • #2
    • 14th Jan 14, 9:05 PM
    Yes, you tell them what you want them to do and for how long. Agree the conditions, overwriting on the contract if you all agree new terms. Anything >ANYTHING< is negotiable as far as estate agents are concerned. Stay in control.

    Conversely, you cannot expect them to accept a very short term lock-in. They will be preparing sales sheets, photography, mailing etc, booking appointments and generally spending money. It wouldn't be right for you not to give them a fair chance to recoup expenses and make a profit (ie obtain a sale).
    Last edited by greatgimpo; 14-01-2014 at 9:16 PM.
    • cattie
    • By cattie 14th Jan 14, 9:16 PM
    • 7,815 Posts
    • 5,329 Thanks
    cattie
    • #3
    • 14th Jan 14, 9:16 PM
    • #3
    • 14th Jan 14, 9:16 PM
    1%+vat is pretty good, so would be interested to hear if anybody was lucky enough to get a lower percentage, especially now the market has started to pick up. It is perfectly normal for VAT to be added to the fee, so this always has to be taken into consideration.

    Twelve weeks contract is pretty standard & I can't see that any ea is going to agree to a 1 week period. You have to at least give them a chance to sell your property & at least get some viewers through your door.

    If you want to try to skim them back to the bare minimum in terms of fees & contract, then there will be practically no incentive for them to make an effort to sell your house instead of others on their books, so there seems little point in wanting to list with them.

    A decent ea is worth the commission they charge, especially when they can achieve a speedy sale close to asking price.
    The bigger the bargain, the better I feel.

    I should mention that there's only one of me, don't confuse me with others of the same name.
    • newbie1980
    • By newbie1980 14th Jan 14, 9:18 PM
    • 1,957 Posts
    • 23,413 Thanks
    newbie1980
    • #4
    • 14th Jan 14, 9:18 PM
    • #4
    • 14th Jan 14, 9:18 PM
    db roberts telford are advertising .75% fees but then u get what u paid for and the lower end sale price
    • TrickyDicky101
    • By TrickyDicky101 14th Jan 14, 9:27 PM
    • 3,261 Posts
    • 2,152 Thanks
    TrickyDicky101
    • #5
    • 14th Jan 14, 9:27 PM
    • #5
    • 14th Jan 14, 9:27 PM
    db roberts telford are advertising .75% fees but then u get what u paid for and the lower end sale price
    Originally posted by newbie1980
    I'd love to hear how the EA influences the sales price at all - care to share this wisdom?
    • DRP
    • By DRP 14th Jan 14, 9:37 PM
    • 3,909 Posts
    • 3,376 Thanks
    DRP
    • #6
    • 14th Jan 14, 9:37 PM
    • #6
    • 14th Jan 14, 9:37 PM
    1%+vat is pretty good, so would be interested to hear if anybody was lucky enough to get a lower percentage, especially now the market has started to pick up. It is perfectly normal for VAT to be added to the fee, so this always has to be taken into consideration. //snip
    Originally posted by cattie
    We were offered a sliding scale dependant on the sale price ie. 1%+VAT at asking price down to 0.8 or something if it was sold for under asking price. They got their 1% in the end!
    • verulamium
    • By verulamium 14th Jan 14, 9:55 PM
    • 128 Posts
    • 139 Thanks
    verulamium
    • #7
    • 14th Jan 14, 9:55 PM
    • #7
    • 14th Jan 14, 9:55 PM
    Commission rates and 'lock in' periods are negotiable. If I remember correctly we negotiated a sole agency contract for four weeks with a one week notice to break with our agent and a very low commission rate (about 1.1 or 1.2%).

    The standard contract they sent had a six months lock in and sole seller clause (something you do not want), which we insisted were taken out. They obligated. Your milage may vary but as greatgimpo mentioned, it is all negotiable.
    • 1981trouble
    • By 1981trouble 14th Jan 14, 9:56 PM
    • 143 Posts
    • 44 Thanks
    1981trouble
    • #8
    • 14th Jan 14, 9:56 PM
    • #8
    • 14th Jan 14, 9:56 PM
    ive had 3 ea round today and all quoted fixed fee from 1500/2000 plus vat for 70-75k house.

    one was going on and on about how they would sell it within 4weeks but then wanted a 16 week contract. If we go with them we expect a money where you mouth is gesture.

    2 also then charged to put it on the market ranging from 125 for epc to 400 to include professional photos (erm shouldn't theyall be?), videos, premium listings and fast track legal stuff.
    • freddieD
    • By freddieD 14th Jan 14, 10:51 PM
    • 55 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    freddieD
    • #9
    • 14th Jan 14, 10:51 PM
    • #9
    • 14th Jan 14, 10:51 PM
    Thanks all. I may try to put them on a sliding scale.

    is the notice period after the lock-in is over? or can you give notice for the end to coincide with the end of the lock-in period?

    from what 1981 said, a commission of 1600 + VAT does not sound bad for a possible sale of 150-160 K
    • greatgimpo
    • By greatgimpo 14th Jan 14, 11:05 PM
    • 802 Posts
    • 1,131 Thanks
    greatgimpo
    Why don't you call in and get a sample contract to take away and read? Then decide in the fullness of time whether they are right for you or not.
    • drdpj
    • By drdpj 15th Jan 14, 9:15 AM
    • 151 Posts
    • 87 Thanks
    drdpj
    Make sure the fee is based on the final sale price, not the original asking price (a local agent here in Manchester is trying that trick...)
    • movilogo
    • By movilogo 15th Jan 14, 10:47 AM
    • 2,536 Posts
    • 1,854 Thanks
    movilogo
    EA fees are negotiable. Just play them against each other to get a lower quote.

    If all else fails and you are able to arrange viewings yourself, consider going via online EA.
    Happiness is buying an item and then not checking its price after a month to discover it was reduced further.
    • daniel80
    • By daniel80 15th Jan 14, 11:10 AM
    • 230 Posts
    • 48 Thanks
    daniel80
    We live in Kent and paid 4800 plus vat to an estate agent to sell a 250k house. Dear I know but they sold it after 1 day.
    • pinkteapot
    • By pinkteapot 15th Jan 14, 11:22 AM
    • 6,310 Posts
    • 8,161 Thanks
    pinkteapot
    We live in Kent and paid 4800 plus vat to an estate agent to sell a 250k house. Dear I know but they sold it after 1 day.
    Originally posted by daniel80


    We paid 2,500 plus VAT for an EA to sell our 250k house in one day!

    I noticed the same as OP though. EAs nowadays say 1%, 1.5%, or whatever, but then it's fixed fee. So, if your asking price is 275k and they say 1%, they'll then say that the fee will be 2,750 plus VAT. In other words, they get the same fee whether or not they sell at asking price.

    All three EAs who quoted did the same thing and said it's the way they have to do it now, which I didn't understand.

    We did a stepped fee - 1% if they sold at 250k or 1.5% if they managed to get more for us (I didn't think they would). However, it wasn't really a percentage fee as it was fixed sums of 2,500 to sell at 250k or 4125 if it went for more.

    As others have said, it's negotiable. However, no EA was willing to do a non-fixed fee. Different to when I sold four years ago and a percentage fee was percentage of sale price (not asking price).
    • harrys dad
    • By harrys dad 15th Jan 14, 11:24 AM
    • 1,931 Posts
    • 2,253 Thanks
    harrys dad
    I paid 2% plus VAT on my 130K house (four years ago), but then used the agent to negotiate for me on my purchase. The house was on for 208K and I was going to offer 192K and go up to 195K. The agent on my behalf at their suggestion offered 190K and raised this to 192K which was accepted. Result!
  • kBHX
    Noticed something similar when I was looking to put my property up for sale. All the local estate agents quoted fixed fees of 2500 to 3000 plus VAT. The value of property around 170k.
    Last edited by kBHX; 15-01-2014 at 12:26 PM.
    • TBagpuss
    • By TBagpuss 15th Jan 14, 12:48 PM
    • 7,104 Posts
    • 9,331 Thanks
    TBagpuss
    I've found locally that it depends on the value of the house, so that it will be a fixed fee on cheaper properties and a % on more expensive ones.

    It is likely that the 'initial period' is a lock in, and you should take the time to read any contract (a good agent will have no issue with you taking this away to read. If they put pressure on you to sign then and there then be very cautious!)

    Ask them how long they think it should take for them to sell your property. The lock in period should not really be any longer than that.

    I think mine was 21 days. Might have been 14.
    • annie123
    • By annie123 15th Jan 14, 1:16 PM
    • 4,221 Posts
    • 17,241 Thanks
    annie123
    I was an estate agent for 25 years so speak from experience.

    There comes a point when it is not financially viable to sell a property. It is simply not worth the time and hassle. I used to think there was very little involved until I became and EA.

    Commission is based either individually to the selling negotiator or as office commission, where all sales are pooled and shared out, my fav way of selling but rare these days.

    So put yourself in the negs seat. You have a few new instructions, you get indi com and will be paid 2-5% com of the final fee, excluding VAT, just the basic fee.

    The first thing you do is work out what gives you the most personal income, and you start with that property to get viewings and work your way down the list till you reach the bottom.

    How hard would you work to get say 30 less tax and NI, to sell your property?

    You want to motivate the staff to sell your home. Pay a fair price to get a good service. Ask the manager if it's OK to offer an incentive to the sales staff, maybe some gift vouchers etc.

    Don't be demanding, don't insist your home is worth xyz because your neighbour got that for theirs. You'd be amazed how many properties I walked into and thought, OMG! only for the owners to take great delight in telling me they paid 5K for someone to put in the york stone fireplace 3 years ago in their Edwardian semi and artex the ceilings.
    And if you bought the show home, that is 18" wider, no it isn't worth 10% more than the others.

    12 weeks max for a contract, No Sole Selling Rights
    If you want to try it at a higher price than the agents says, ask if they will agree to for 14 days at that price and then drop to what they said if it doesn't sell.

    If you get an offer from the first viewer it doesn't mean you've under sold it, it means they have done their job quickly.
    If you get several offers in the 1st week, it doesn't mean it's under sold it means they've done their job.
    If it gets no viewings, the price is too high.
    If you get lots of viewings but no offers there is something wrong with the inside or outside. Ask for HONEST feedback.
    HTH
    • freddieD
    • By freddieD 16th Jan 14, 2:53 PM
    • 55 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    freddieD
    Thanks a lot all. Yes, like I said, no-one quotes a percentage anymore. So it will have to be the one with the lowest fixed fee as they could be lying about the price they say they can get for the house.

    Also, like Annie123 said, one of the EAs told me that they have internal competition for a commission on selling a property so that the sales people have to try hard.

    I have got copies of the contracts now

    I know you do not know my area but this is what each EA wants. Please let me have feed-back:

    They will all advertise in window, Rightmove, their own site, make brochure, local press, etc.
    They all said that the higher price they suggested could the 'starting asking price' which probably means they will ask me to bring it down later on.

    Agent A- Large chain

    Asking price: 160-165 K
    Lock-in: 12 weeks
    Commission: 3120 incl VAT
    Plus 240 in advance for fancy marketing features: recorded description, premium property and featured property (probably waste of money)
    Prepared to start promoting house while still being refurbished

    Agent B- Large chain

    Asking price: 140 K (?) (they called me sounding worried about their suggested asking price and asked me what prices other agents told me (I did not tell them)
    Lock-in 10 weeks
    Commission: 3000 incl VAT

    Agent C- Single independent agency

    Claim to have been operating in area for years and years.

    Showed me a sheet from website www.vizzihome.co.uk in which it says that their agency had the most sold properties (29.5% of sales) in my area from 5 July to 4 October 2013. Nearest competitor 17.6% of sales
    Prepared to start promoting house while still being refurbished

    Asking price: 150 to 160 K in letter
    (they said 160K the day they visited the house)
    Lock-in: prepared to come down to 12 weeks
    Commission: 1920 incl VAT
    Prepared to start promoting house while still being refurbished but do not want to bring people until it is tidy (H&S)

    Thanks
    • Dan-Dan
    • By Dan-Dan 16th Jan 14, 3:05 PM
    • 4,977 Posts
    • 4,357 Thanks
    Dan-Dan
    is this a trick question?
    agent 3
    Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night.
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