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Online firm resuscitates argument over traditional agents' fees

In the first half of this year, vendors in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, could have saved over £1.87 billion in agency fees according to an online agent.

The OwnerSellers agency claims in a statement that this “massive cost” is achieved through taking the typical high street agent’s commission-based fee - which it says is 1.3 per cent - and multiplying it by the average price of a home according to the Land Registry (£216,750) by the number of transactions.

This apparently makes the typical fee as £2,818 plus VAT.

“Sellers do not need to rely on high street agents for valuation advice as they are fully aware of market conditions and can do their own research online” says a spokesman for OwnerSellers.

  • Trevor Mealham

    What a load of rubbish. Check out their costs:

    FS board £60
    Floor plans and pics £144
    EPC £120

    Considering WHICH claim only 4 in 10 buy through main portals. Their model will miss over 1/2 of buyers. Now that could be a very expensive way to try and sell.

    If an agent can't get a decent fee and has to charge upfront. Sellers are best to run a mile as most such agents struggle to negotiate clients a best price.

  • Adam Pritchard

    I've just taken over a property that failed to sell in 9 months with Purple Bricks. The vendor has paid them £1,100 effectively for nothing. Recent research suggests they PB only complete on 14% of their instructions, our audited figure is 90%. Smart vendors realise they get what they pay for. Others learn the hard way. 14% get lucky.

    Jon James

    Couldn't agree more Adam. We all know if property just sold from an advert we would all of been out of business 40 years ago. Also to say the market is better informed for valuation advice...really/ have you seen the figures the Zoopla valuation system comes out with...

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    “Sellers do not need to rely on high street agents for valuation advice" - seems a pretty naive statement to me...

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    As a conveyancer please don't go cheap in terms of what you pay the estate agent to sell your property. I certainly would not.

    House sales are about achieving best price; going cheap in your motivation of your estate agent will not end well. Nor will the situation where they dictate the conveyancer you are allowed to use. Nor will the lack of interest that can be shown in the conveyancing side once a buyer has been found.

    This is my experience, and client comments.

    Adam Pritchard

    Tim, you're absolutely right. We are often frustrated when a client (or more usually a buyer) goes to some conveyancing shed full of disinterested, underpaid conveyancers. In my experience you can't beat a good full-service estate agent and a good full-service conveyancer working together to maximise price and then achieve a smooth and hassle-free transaction. As I said above, you get what you pay for - it's true for estate agents, conveyancers, removal firms, decorators, surveyors, builders and everything else in life!

  • Terence Dicks

    I must admit to being rather annoyed that the online "agents" are given so much space on EAT to spout their drivel, but it does raise some interesting responses whih I DO enjoy reading. Owner Sellers eh?? About as much thought went into that name as went into their article. There is NO average house price in the UK. £216, 750 is WAY above the average price for a property in the area of Birmingham that I work in, as is the so-called average fee of £2,218.00 plus VAT. I suppose this company is another who rely on handouts to survive, as their business model is fatally flawed. Are they mostly started by failed high street agents who think they can make a quick buck?? Would be mildly interesting to know.

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    Here at Expert Agent we have 2550 branches across the country, over the last 12 months our customers have achieved an average fee of 1.11%, lower than the 1.3% quoted above which I reluctantly thought might be the case.


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