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WARNING! Up-front estate agency fees do not add up!

16 Jun 2017

Local homeowners who are considering a move need to be on the lookout for the latest rip-off, which is even being perpetrated by established and apparently respectable Sunderland estate agents.

It works like this. The agent advertises a surprisingly low commission to entice you, as a prospective seller, to invite that agent to your home with a view to listing your property with them. They might even offer to throw in the VAT, conveyancing and EPC costs! Smell a rat?

The “deal” is that in return for the low fixed fee you are required to pay the agent’s fees up front. This is totally contrary to the concept of having an agent who is 100% on your side and fully motivated to sell your home, as quickly as possible and for the highest price the market will pay. What better way to support a lazy agent!

The agent will of course tell you that buyers come from the internet nowadays. They’ll tell you that their use of technology enables them to achieve cost savings, which they pass on to their clients. Nonsense. Technology frees up time so that expert negotiators can do more of what they do best – sell, negotiate, nurture and facilitate property transactions by helping people move.   

Don’t be fooled. It really isn’t a matter of simply uploading your property to Rightmove and waiting for a buyer to materialize. That’s not how a good agent gets you the best price. If anything, finding a buyer is the easy bit. Negotiating a great price with the right buyer, and having the skills and resources to manage chains of linked transactions is a whole different story.

But it gets worse. During your meeting, the agent may then try to sell you other services, such as accompanied viewings, negotiation, sales progression support, a for sale board, etc each for a small amount extra. These costs add up and remember are paid up front. So sellers can end up paying, in advance, the same if not higher levels of commission than they would have paid with a regular agent, who would have only charged on results! What a sham!

The figures substantiate my claim; since the beginning of January we’ve sold 203 properties in Sunderland. According to my research, one of our up-front fee competitors has sold only 35 - “Nuff” said. Be careful! 

Of course, if you want the reassurance of working with Sunderland’s most popular and successful estate agents, proven to deliver results and where personal values are sharpened with a contemporary approach then please feel free to contact me personally. No pressure, just straight talking good advice – and, we only charge when we deliver the results you need. 

WARNING! Up-front estate agency fees do not add up!

Ashley O’Carroll
Managing Director BSc MNAEA MARLA