Using an estate agent when selling your home can be a great choice. Estate agents are professionals who are trained to help you sell your property, and they know what to do to get the best possible price for it.
You may think that selling your own home would save you money, but in fact, it can cost you more money in time and effort than using an agency.
The estate agent will take care of all the paperwork involved with selling your property – from arranging viewings and taking photographs, to negotiating with potential buyers and ensuring that everything goes smoothly on completion day.
Also, having an expert on hand means that you don’t need to worry about any legal issues or getting confused by complicated paperwork because they’ll do all this for you!
In this blog post we’ll explain what the estate agent’s role includes, the approximate cost, the types of agency you can use, and the advantages of using an estate agent rather than selling your home privately.
What does the role of an estate agent include?
- Property valuation and marketing price
The first step is to provide you with a valuation and marketing price for your property. This will help you understand what the asking price should be and whether or not that amount is realistic.
In order to place a value on your home, the estate agent will take into account a number of factors, from the number of bedrooms and street you live on, to the smaller charismatic features that buyers look out for and even the age of your central heating system.
Additionally, the agent will use their market knowledge and experience, along with recent sold house prices, to help give the best valuation possible.
- Market the property
Once a price has been set for your home, the next step is to market the property through their chosen advertising channels. This could be through newspapers, websites, leaflets or even social media, and the estate agent will write the description for you and organise professional photography to show off your home.
They will also organise putting up the ‘for sale’ sign outside your home, and contact a list of potential buyers that they have on their books who may have registered interest for your postcode or type of property.
- Organise and manage viewings
Hopefully you’ll have plenty of potential buyers who are interested in your home, in which case the viewings will need to be scheduled and managed. You can choose whether you’d like the estate agent to host the viewings for you, or some people prefer to do it themselves, and usually the agent will be the main point of contact in terms of organising dates and times.
- Negotiate offers
Once a buyer has been found, the next step is for them to make an offer on your property. An estate agent will help negotiate between you and your new buyer until an agreement can be reached.
How much is it to use an estate agent?
Estate agent fees in the UK can vary massively and will depend on the type of agent and the service you have chosen. Generally speaking in 2023, you can expect to pay between 0.9-3.6%, and typically they will charge either a fixed fee or a percentage of the final sale price.
Once you’ve decided on which estate agent you’d like to instruct to sell your property, you need to enter into a contract with them to proceed, which will be either:
- A sole agency agreement – when you agree to market your home with the one agency for a minimum time period, with fees usually ranging from 1.2-1.8% inc VAT
- A joint agency agreement – when you use two or more agents to market your home, and usually the agent that introduces the buyer is the one who charges the fee, however always check details of what the terms are if both agents were to introduce to you the same buyers. Fees are typically slightly higher with this agreement, ranging from 3-3.6% inc VAT
Average estate agent fees in 2023 are approximately 1.42% including VAT, so on a £275,000 house this would mean estate agent fees of around £3,900. It’s up to you to try and negotiate fees, as your estate agent will aim to charge the top end of their fee range.
You may be tempted to go with the cheapest estate agent you can find, or perhaps the most expensive option as an indicator of quality, however we’d strongly recommend doing your research and looking at the estate agent’s success rate in selling and achieving the asking price. You may well decide that going with an agent who has an impressive selling record is a smart investment, even if you have to pay a higher percentage fee.
You can use an online estate agent fee calculator HERE to estimate costs.
What are the advantages of using an estate agent to sell your home?
It can be very tempting to cut costs where possible when selling your home, and it’s true that you can market your property yourself. However, using an estate agent will likely be a much faster and smoother process, with the following advantages:
A higher chance of selling your home
As high street agents only receive a commission upon the sale of the property, they have both yours and the potential buyer’s interests at heart, and will do everything possible to ensure a smooth transaction.
Estate agents also have the experience and local knowledge to market your property professionally, with access to a variety of listing services to provide maximum exposure.
Most agents also have a network of contacts including both buyers and sellers, and they may have someone in mind straight away who they think could be interested in your property which would result in a speedy sale.
If you were to go down the route of marketing your own property, this could turn out to be a time consuming and stressful process. Whereas with an estate agent you can have peace of mind that the process will be organised professionally, and you don’t have to worry about a thing (except ensuring your home is viewing ready!). The agent will manage all of the viewings for you, including pre and post viewing correspondence which can be a timely process.
Additionally, an estate agent will look into both parties to make sure the potential buyer is legitimate and serious about the transaction. They can do this by looking at their house viewing history and checking the financial background of prospective buyers. Plus, professional agents will be fully aware of all the latest regulations around selling properties, so you don’t need to worry about the complicated legal side of things.
Increase likelihood of selling for your asking price
Your estate agent is likely to be experienced in professional negotiation with potential buyers, whilst providing objective advice for both parties. As mentioned, it’s in their best interest to try and get you your asking price, as after all it’s the commission they’re after!
If you’ve never sold a property before, then it can be a daunting process knowing where to start and what to expect. However, when using an estate agent they will offer their industry expertise where needed, from advising on accepting or declining offers based on the current market and your property, to assisting with paperwork and providing contacts in their professional network, such as surveyors and conveyancers.
If you’re looking to sell your home and would like some friendly advice or recommendations of estate agents, get in touch with us today for a free, no obligation chat.