Why do some Estate Agents charge more than others?

If you have sold or are in the process of selling your house you may have invited in a number of estate agents and these could include a local agent, a national agent and even an online estate agent.  In the end, you may have been surprised to discover that the estate agent’s fees differed significantly. So why is this and how do you know which estate agent should be the one you choose to sell your home?

In our local area, you may be surprised that estate agent’s fees range from several £100’s to several £1,000’s for the same property. But why is this and are all estate agents really the same?

Firstly, you need to ask yourself what is the most important factor to you? Do you want to get the best price possible for your home? Do you need to sell your home quickly? Are you happy to deal with the house sale once an offer has been accepted, or would you rather leave the details to a motivated estate agent?

These may be just some of the factors that are important to you and by considering these elements you may decide that it is more important to you to get the best price for your home and once an offer is agreed to get help with the entire sales process, rather than simply appointing the cheapest estate agent you can.

Here are just some of the reasons why some estate agents charge more than others and why the cheapest is not necessarily the best.

Traditional vs Online

In a buoyant market, houses will sell quickly, and online estate agents will often sell properties as quickly as the more traditional local estate agents. However, when the housing market is not particularly buoyant do online agents have the skill and knowledge required to price your house to sell? Do they know your area? Do they know the village or town that you live in? If they don’t, how can they price your home realistically and at the right price?

A traditional local estate agent will know how to price your home to sell and they will have experience of other properties that have sold at a similar price. They will have evidence to back up their valuation.

There are many factors that go into an accurate and realistic sale price including the proximity of good schools, access to transport links, local housing market conditions and the demand for properties like yours. If your property is priced right it will sell, and it will sell quickly. If an estate agent is an online agent or a national chain, they are less likely to provide an accurate sale price due to their lack of local knowledge and local experience in the immediate housing market.

The Sales Process

Your house sale journey begins once you accept an offer and the sales process that takes you from offer to completion can be an emotional and lengthy process. This is especially true if you have negotiated a low fee with your agent which means that it is your responsibility to deal with your buyer, the survey, handling the outcome of your searches and any other hurdles which will need to be overcome prior to completion.

One critical aspect, which is often overlooked, of an estate agent’s service, is the role of the go-between with all involved parties in the sales process and the ability to handle and essentially resolve any disputes to keep the sale on track. It may be important to sell your home for the best price, but it should be just as important to keep the sale live and to prevent a fall through – and a staggering 20% of sales do fall through.

So, before you appoint your estate agent, ensure that they will handle the sales process for you, every step of the way!

Buyers looking for a property like yours!

Good, local estate agents will have a database of buyers. They will know what the buyers are looking for and, in many cases, they will know and can provide you with the details of people looking for a property like yours, as soon as they value your home. This is invaluable knowledge that online and larger national estate agents simply don’t provide. They don’t work within your community and without this invaluable resource you could miss out on a host of buyers. Local estate agents with local offices really do have buyers looking for a home like yours!

At Home Truths, we recommend that viewings are accompanied as often as possible by experienced sales negotiators.  Once we have actually met with the potential buyers we have the opportunity on the ground to really uncover what they are looking for in their perfect home. In fact, around half of buyers don’t go on to buy the property they originally asked to view and will often purchase an alternative property we tell them about if the initial property isn’t quite perfect for them.

Our detailed knowledge of the area and of the properties on our books mean that we can more closely match their requirements.

You get what you pay for! 

We all know the phrase ‘you get what you pay for’ and this is certainly true when it comes to estate agent’s fees. We are not saying that you should select the most expensive estate agent but do beware of the lowest fee, as if you want an estate agent to market your property professionally, to work hard to get the right price for your property, and to keep the sale on track once an offer is accepted, you should give serious consideration to choosing an estate agent that doesn’t rely on the cheapest fee and the highest valuation to win your business.

Estate Agents who charge a bit more, generally do so for a reason.  They are often spending more on getting to know both you and your property, marketing your home differently, and creating more sales opportunities, which can often result in a faster sale at a higher price.

What you will gain in achieving a higher sale price and a smooth sales process will more than often considerably outweigh paying a slightly higher fee.

At Home Truths, our team goes the extra mile to get you the best price we can, in a timescale that works for you. We find that this approach is much more likely to gain you £1000’s on the sales price which will certainly outweigh a differential of £100’s on fees. Now that really is value for money!