You don’t have to pay high (street) percentages.
It’s not often we share as it’s really only of interest to those of us who work in the property market but we’ve been reading more and more recently from folk attempting to justify estate agent commission.
Admittedly – as you would probably expect – the stuff we’ve seen in the trade press and forums has mostly been penned by traditional high street estate agents who are still using the old business model which sees them take a percentage of the price your home actually sells for. It used to be as high as 3% but, with increasing competition from online estate agents such as ourselves, that’s dropped over recent years to an average around 1.5%.
But that means, if your home sells for let’s say £200,000, you’re still going to pay your average high street guy £3,000 in commission as opposed to our own pay-up-front package, priced at just £595 (including VAT). And, if you’d rather pay on completion, we’ll take the instruction for just £1195 – still over £2,000 cheaper than the high street equivalent.
There has been a lot of muttering and discontent within the industry about the so-called undercutting. The high street guys have done their best to spike the guns of the online threat with dire warnings of poor practice, customer service and rank inexperience.
But, although there are no doubt some less-than-excellent online options out there, the same could be said of the traditional agents; to suggest that each and every one is better than any no commission estate agent is nothing short of ridiculous. Even more laughable was one apparently reputable London agent recently claiming that the trend towards online agencies was nothing more than a fad as likely to disappear as an X Factor winner.
In our view, the truth of the matter is that some folk who are uncomfortable with the technological age will always be more aligned a commission-based high street agent – even if they do charge more. Others – particularly the so-called Millennials, for example – will opt to sell property online. You pays your money and makes your choice, as the saying goes.
We’re not going to claim to be better at selling homes than your average High Street Henry. We’re not trying to lead a crusade against estate agent commission UK. All we’re doing – and doing reasonably successfully – is offering choice. If there are some who aren’t comfortable with that, then maybe they should spend a little time looking in on themselves, rather than spending so much time striking out …