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How To Save On Costly Estate Agent Fees

Feb 18, 2008
Selling your home privately can be an excellent way of saving on costs. Selling a property can attract a number of costs that can be difficult to cope with when combined together meaning that sellers may opt for a private sale in order to save money.

The rise in property prices has outstripped the increase in the average household income by a huge margin over the past decade. This means that it is now more difficult than ever to buy a home, however, it is also more costly to sell one.

Estate agents' fees are usually charged on a percentage basis rather than a flat fee. A typical estate agent's fee would be 2% of the selling price in the UK. Because property prices have increased drastically over the past few years, this has lead to estate agents' fees becoming difficult to afford.

Because of this, the number of properties that are offered up for sale privately has increased considerably. The "for sale by owner" market has always existed, however it has hit the mainstream in recent years because of the sellers' desire to save on estate agency costs coupled with the ease of advertising private property sales on the internet.

Depending on which fee structure a seller chooses when employing the services of an estate agent, fees can range from approximately one to three percent. A sole agency arrangement, where only one agency is hired to sell the property, will normally attract a two percent fee. A multiple agency arrangement may attract a slightly higher fee and the agent who sells the property will be the only one that is paid.

If a seller wishes to list their home with at least one estate agent they should take care not to sign a contract that includes a sole selling rights clause. This clause will cause the seller to pay the agent a fee even if they sell the property privately. If a seller wishes to be allowed to sell their home privately without paying a fee while simultaneously employing an estate agent to sell it, they should take care when reading through the contract.

If a seller would like to forego having to employ an estate agent at all, they will need to invest some time into selling their house by themselves. This can be an excellent way of saving thousands of pounds on estate agents fees, however, the seller will be required to perform all of the advertising, viewings, and negotiations by themselves.

The seller should therefore weigh up the value of paying an estate agent to sell their home against the time they would spend if they attempt to sell the property themselves. Estate agents can be costly however they do have valuable contacts and established mechanisms for advertising properties for sale which are extremely valuable.

It is important to make the right decision as the house selling process is time consuming even if a buyer is found within a short space of time. Sellers should therefore choose the option that they believe will find a buyer for their property within an acceptable timeframe and budget.
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