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Are these the lowest high street estate agency fees in the country?

Paula Higgins welcomes the news that one agency has slashed their fees to 0.5%

August 29, 2012

What are the lowest estate agency fees in the country?

This is the sort of news the HomeOwners Alliance likes to read. Constables estate agents of the Wirral are offering to sell people’s homes for 0.5% commission. It is a special anniversary rate for limited period only, but it provokes the question: is this the lowest estate agent fees in the country? Estate agent’s fees are normally in the range of 1.5% to 3%, depending on the type of contract you have with them (sole agency obviously incurring lower fees than multiple agency – see our guide on how much you should pay estate agents here. Specialist agents dealing in high end properties can also have lower fees).

Our advice to homeowners is to try to negotiate down to 1%, and a recent survey found the lowest rate to be 0.7%. So – if you know of a high street estate agent selling family homes for the same rate or less than Constables – 0.5% –  we would love to hear from you. And we’d love to give them lots of publicity. Please email us at hello@hoa.org.uk

The trouble with estate agent fees is that homeowners rarely sell properties so they don’t feel confident in negotiating with them. Many estate agents use that to ask for high fees, confident the homeowner won’t have the experience or confidence to push them down. But with few properties for sale, agents should be competing to get sellers on their books by offering lower fees.

The other trouble with estate agents fees is that often they don’t reflect the work done – for example, the fees on a £1m home will typically be 10 times the fees on a £100,000 home, but it isn’t ten times as much work for the agent. The fees can add up to many tens of thousands of pounds – a major cost for sellers – which generally pay for a high cost network of high cost offices.  Estate agents are facing competition from online agents, which clearly pose a growing threat to the traditional high cost estate agent model.

 In the meantime, we welcome any news about agents reducing their fees. Well done Constables!