Estate Agent Fees: What Am I Paying For?
We recently conducted a poll as part of our ongoing research in to what our customers are really looking for, and what we discovered was really quite interesting.
We headed to a local group on Facebook and asked, ‘If you needed an estate agent, what would put you off contacting certain agents?’ 288 people responded and the results of our poll were as follows:
Now, when we embarked on this journey, we were looking at things from a customer service point of view…but once one of our respondents entered the option for fees and people started to comment on their confusion surrounding what estate agents are charging for, we quickly realised that there is a real lack of clarity around why estate agency fees are what they are.
Jacobs Steel is known for our honesty and transparency and so, we’ve compiled a number of reasons why sellers are charged a fee when it comes to the sale of their property.
1. National Property Portals
There’s no denying that when it comes to marketing your home, the internet plays a vital role. Property portals such as Rightmove, On The Market and Zoopla are giants when it comes to property marketing; and the first place most buyers will go when debating a move.
Rightmove’s busiest day in 2018 saw in excess of 40 million page views.
As with all things, the property portals charge a fee for the privilege of being listed as an agent on their sites; a fee which, with some sites, is thousands of pounds per month. But, were we not on them, we would see a huge decline in our reach of potential buyers; especially those that relocate from out of the area.
Now, when you’re selling your home, the very first step is to get potential buyers through the door. The best way to do that, is with photography.
Nothing beats professional quality photography and good advice on how to present your home. To be able to portray a room at it’s best, it takes specialist equipment. We demonstrate this below by comparing standard photographs to professional quality photographs.
3. A database of buyers
An added benefit of using an estate agency is that they deal with the marketing, sales and purchases of properties every single day. Over the years, these transactions turn in to a huge database of buyers and sellers; with hundreds of active buyers readily available for us to contact about your home at any one time.
Jacobs Steel have been in business for 35 years, so we have tens of thousands of contacts on our database; most of which still hear from us in one way or another. You never know when something will tempt someone to move; and it may just be your property appearing in their email inbox that does the trick!
As we’ve previously mentioned, estate agents deal with property transactions every single day. That means we’re in the know when it comes to the best solicitors, surveyors, contractors and so on…
By using an estate agent you get to utilise the strong connections that we’ve built within the industry; and a good relationship with a good connection can make all the difference when it comes to the levels of stress involved in a property transaction!
There is no sugar coating that selling a property is a complex transaction.
Even from the point of introducing a potential buyer, it’s important to qualify that that viewer is actually able to proceed with the purchase – if they aren’t, allowing the viewing to take place would be a huge waste of everyone’s time and would only cause upset to the seller. Estate agents have an obligation to check that buyers are able to proceed before allowing viewings to take place.
Then, once an offer is agreed, you have 6-12 weeks minimum of progressing the sale through to legal exchange and completion. We have experienced so many of the various issues that can crop up during a property transaction, that we know the best ways to handle them and ensure they don’t cause too much disruption.
Naturally, some sales do fall through; but we always do everything we possibly can to save it before admitting defeat. The ability to fall back on our aforementioned database is also reassuring should your sale fall through.
6. Enhanced Marketing
Most estate agents can offer various methods that can enhance the marketing of your property. At Jacobs Steel, we have a Signature Service where options such as Matterport virtual walkthroughs, virtual furnishing, twilight photography, premium and featured portal listings (which attract more than double the interest) and ariel photography.
We also have the ability to utilise various, costly, advertising sources; such as social media, newspapers, magazines and more.
7. Estate Agencies are businesses too
Ultimately, we aim to deliver a top notch service and do everything in our power to secure a buyer for your property and see the sale through.
But, as with all businesses and services, we have a number of outgoings, including everything we have named, but also so much more. Our staff, the people who give the high level of service and put in the hours to secure a sale and see your sale or purchase through; they are salaried. Our offices, the central hub where all the magic happens and you can come and chat with someone face to face; there is rent to pay.
Our industry costs; and whilst we do what we can to minimise this cost to you, the seller, we do still have to charge.
We hope that we’ve been able to provide some clarity on our fees, but should you have any questions or wish to discuss the sale of your home and the fees involved, you can contact your local Jacobs Steel office.
Sources: Rightmove; Facebook Poll