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London agency tries fixed-fees and a contest to lure £1m-plus vendors

We’re used to agents in the provinces having to initiate incentives to attract vendors but the state of the high-end London market is such that it’s happening in the capital, too.

Portico - the recently-adopted name for the old Edmund Cude agency with 11 offices across mostly-central London locations - has now launched a competition which means one vendor of a £1m-plus home could sell their property for only £1.

The agency normally charges up to  two per cent commission meaning an asking price of £1m - if achieved in a London market still suffering from a downturn in sales of seven figure properties since the late-2014 stamp duty reforms - could attract a £20,000 fee.

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Now every home-seller instructing Portico as sole agent during April will be entered into a prize-draw - an indication of how vendors there are at this price level is given by the press release which says the entries will have “a strong chance” to save thousands.

In addition, Portico is launching a £10,000 fixed-fee service for every property valued at £1m or over and that the company is instructed to sell until September 30. 

The agency says that across all of Greater London vendors now have to find an average £9,000 in agent fees to sell their home. 

This is 31 times more than in the mid-1970s when the average fee was around £298. By 1985, the figure had more than doubled to £886 and by 2005, Londoners were paying around £5,650 to estate agents to sell their home and. 

In 2015, this had increased 66 per cent to £9,389.

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