Estate Agent's fees

Does anyone have recent first hand experience of the main agents fees for selling? I know I am looking at in the region of 1.5 - 2.5% but just looking for some real world examples. Thanks!

I used a small agent and paid 1% all inclusive, last summer.

That seems very reasonable indeed. For better or worse I am leaning towards using one of the bigger name agents.

My agent ended up selling it to an offshore investor and now manages the property. Massive conflict of interest. But I don’t care because I got the price I wanted (which was what I thought it was worth, based on enough data points from PPR).

I suppose they’re all bastards in one way or another.

I bought my new house from SF. They were earning a BIG fee (prob. 15-20k) from the vendor and really did very little for the money. The brochure was nice, photos were good but there were a lot of complexities around boundaries, leasehold, services etc that almost scared us off, that could easily have been resolved by a more diligent approach (anticipating issues and getting answers ready).

I guess it depends on what you’re selling. Mine was fairly cheap and had an effective price ceiling for the area.

That conflict would annoy the hell out of me!

Yep, I’m leaning towards a bigger name agent because of what I’m selling. It is relatively high value, but more importantly difficult to value - i.e there are no local comparables to check on the PPR.

If I was selling something cheaper that had others on the street I could check on PPR, I think I’d choose agent on price (or maybe not use one at all).

We had two agents value our house recently for sale (both well known, multi-office agencies) and they both quoted initially 1.25% to sell it. When I told Agent A we had decided to go with Agent B, he said he’d do it for 1% to get the business. When we mentioned this to Agent B he promptly matched the 1%.

Why anybody bothers with estate agents is beyond me. Get somebody to take a few decent photos, put the advert up on daft, if you’re not available during the day pay somebody a tenner to open the house for half an hour. I was recently viewing property in the UK and it was evident that local pensioners were being ‘employed’ to give access to houses.

I’m surprised nobody has not come up with a good alternative to this useless group. Replace with online transparent bids and trustworthy door openers. Purchasers need to conduct their own due-dilligence regarding the property because you can’t trust a word any EA says, no matter how big or small they are. Some are plainly dishonest, others are simply incompetent. They don’t add any value to the process.

We had a really bad experience from a buyers perspective with one of the major EAs. Basically, they shut down the bidding by excluding us, when we would have easily paid an extra 50K to the vendor. The only reason I can see is that it was the Friday before a major holiday and they wanted to close the sale.

I agree that EA’s can be pretty useless, and before I considered selling I would have been of the DIY mind.

But now I must admit I am not prepared to take the risk of selling without one. Mainly because there is no established alternative and it seems to me that my most likely purchaser would prefer to deal with an EA hence I’d better off providing them with one!

Eh, I think most purchasers complain about EAs, just explore this site for evidence of that. But, hey, if it makes you feel better to give 1-2% to an agent for a few hours work you could do yourself…

Would be interesting to hear what alternatives people would have in mind to a EA and bidding process. You never know who could be reading this, we give them the idea, and they kick something off that’ll benefit both the buyers and sellers out there!

Typically 1%. DNG and any of the local agents will do it for that. Sherry can be stickier but if the property is one they think they’ll move then they can be haggled down. Things are quiet they say. They offered me 1% for a house just going to market this season.

You can test their pricing hypothesis by offering to pay a higher & rate if they achieve what they say they can get (assuming they set a max price higher than your expectations. Quids in if they make the higher cut).

Once that established, ask them at what sale price they are prepared to accept 0.75% (lets suppose you’ve a baseline of 1% from them starting out). That will help reveal their true expectations.

Jennifer O’Connell mentioned the above in her IT article recently. An online auction of sorts I gather. Seems to deal more with commercial than residential but why not?

Dunno if you can list a property as a private seller rather than through an agent.

I’d love to see the Scottish system here. Basically most of the work done by vendor and solicitor.

Solicitors have a sort of joint marketing coop - - where properties are marketed with an “Offers Over” price.
Solicitors handle enquiries and setting appointments for viewings, vendors conduct viewings. Though many properties are generally on open view Thursday evening/Sunday afternoon.

Prospective purchasers lodge “notes of interest” with the solicitor. When vendor feels there is sufficient interest they set a closing date and any interested parties must submit their best and final offer with vendors solicitor by 5.00pm on that date.

Vendor picks the best offer - usually the highest. Job done.

It’s a brilliant system for all involved - except specialist estate agents!

Using an EA is just a signal to the market that you are serious about selling. Otherwise you could have a lot of sellers just testing the market and wasting everyone’s time.

Even if they squeeze 1% out of the market that you couldn’t they are generally worth it.

The value is very good compared to the Continent or the US where you hear of a wedge of =~5% between buyer and seller.

I am involved in an estate sale at the moment and there is no way we would mess about with other sales methods given that we need to demonstrate to a few people that the best price was transparently achieved.

Hey All.

Some good advice being discussed here. I’m an agent in Dublin so will chip in my two cents from inside the industry:

  • Don’t consider any fee OVER 1.5%. SF will rip you off for that when there are better comparable services.
  • Don’t consider any fee UNDER 1%. Many agents dropping their rates to 0.9% or so. They are DESPERATE for your business (this includes probably 3 out of the biggest 5 agents in Dublin right now). Not a sign of a good agent if they have to cut their fee to win business. Plus you’re incentivising them to sell your property for more. A good agent will earn you €5-10,000 more, well worth their fee.
  • Don’t get ripped off with Upfront Fees or Marketing Fees. Agent should pay for these costs. €500 to be one of 40 properties on a double page spread in the Times does NOTHING to sell your property. Only sells the agent to more vendors (that’s all we want at the end of the day!).
  • If you are thinking about selling yourself, give is a go. There’s a new online agency called Moovingo starting up soon. I met with them about joining but wasn’t the right time. Someone above is right though, going with an agent is more trusted and shows your serious. Plus there is more than just the marketing and negotiating. The hardest part is getting a sale through to completion, hustling solicitors etc. A good agent is worth their weight (I’m 17 stone… just saying).
  • Pick a big agent and the risk is you get the boss week one, you get the No. 2 week two and you’re down to the office junior in week 3. Pick a small agent, they don’t have the marketing chops or the market depth to connect buyers and sellers well. Pick someone in the middle who will work hard for the rewards of your business but isn’t too busy/up-themselves.

Good luck! It can be a great time to sell at the moment but it’s not like falling off a log. Sales have a very high fall-out rate at the moment (almost 50%) so things don’t always go smoothly first time. All parties are very nervous at the moment.

If you need any advice along the way just shout me here!