Although many people do not haggle over estate agent fees, there is nothing wrong with haggling. Haggling can particularly be beneficial when there are fewer sellers as agents will be willing to offer a significant cut on their fees in order to win business. If you are selling your property through a sole agency, you need to aim for a 1% fee or less for properties of a high value.
If you are not sure about haggling over the estate agent fee, here are some things you need to keep in mind:
• Ask for quotes from at least three different estate agents. Be sure to get the fees for a sole agency agreement as well as other related costs. Be sure to tell the estate agents that you are talking to other agents. This way they will give you a quote bearing in mind that they need to offer a competitive quote.
• Although the majority of estate agents will ask for a fee of between 1.5% and 2.5% +VAT for sole agent contracts since they know that most sellers will not haggle over it, it does not mean that you cannot negotiate with them.
• If you are interested in working with an estate agent you deem expensive, be free to tell them that other agents are offering lower fees and the percentage you are willing to pay in estate agent fees preferably 1% +VAT.
• It is important to keep in mind that small estate agents are usually more flexible when it comes to negotiating a commission downwards compared to large agencies that operate on nationwide policies.
• Agents who are eager to win business with the goal of increasing their market share in an area will probably more flexible in negotiating than an established estate agent.
• When you have an unrealistic price for your property, regardless of a new bathroom, loft conversion or expensive pergo laminate flooring; the estate agent is likely to be unwilling to agree to lower the fee, as it will be difficult to sell the property.
The power of Sliding Scales
When you give estate agents sliding scale, they are more likely to be interested in selling your property, as this will give them an incentive to sell any house in the UK for a quick sale and higher price.
This should however be based on the value of your property so that they are keen enough not to sell it for less than its worth.
The idea of a sliding scale is particularly good where the estate agent is insisting a fee that is too high. Additionally, you can use incentives in rewarding the speed of the sale especially where a quick sale is important.
If you feel you are paying too much in estate agent fees, you may want to consider an online estate agent, as they tend to charge just a fraction of the cost.