Do Estate Agents provide value for money?
With so many Estate and Letting Agents to choose from it can be difficult to see the wood for the trees. This decision is further complicated when taking into account the vast difference in the fees being charged.
Online Estate Agencies, who charge as little as a few hundred pounds, now offer a real alternative to the traditional estate agency model where percentage fees are still the norm and charges are commonly in the thousands of pounds even for properties at the cheaper end of the market. This model also means someone with an ‘expensive’ house can pay substantially more than someone in a less expensive property who could be living on the same road – is the service any different or did it require lots more effort on the part of the agent to sell it? Probably not.
There is however another way of looking at it. Maybe by paying extra you’re getting a better service, better marketing, a quick sale or even the chance of selling for more money. As the age old saying goes ‘you get what you pay for’. Does this apply to Estate Agency services though?
Do the ‘expensive’ agents really invest more into their service hence having to charge a higher price or is charging more expensive fees simply motivated by profit?
And then there’s lettings. Tenancy application fees have featured heavily in the news recently with some agents charging many hundreds of pounds up front. For some this means they’re unable to afford to apply at all, especially when the rent and deposit are to be paid shortly after the references are completed. Landlord fees appear to have remained relatively consistent over the past few years but again the Online Agencies have been able to undercut the ‘usual’ fees whilst offering what on the face of it seems like a very similar service.
We’d love to know your thoughts on this issue.
What has been you’re experience of dealing with Estate/Letting Agents recently?
Did you feel you got value for money?
What do you think is a fair fee (for landlords and tenants as well as sellers)?
Please post your comments below.