Can I negotiate my estate agent's fees?
When you’re moving, keeping a lid on the budget becomes an absolute necessary. Making smart decision here can mean be able to do more on your new property when you are eventually in. Moving house isn’t cheap, so it is worth reviewing where can you make savings. One of the things you can do it negotiate with your estate agent about the fees that you have to pay. For some people, bargaining and having a money conversation feels very strange, but it can pay to haggle. Here are our top tips for navigating the estate agent fee conversation.
In the UK, the average estate agent fee can vary from less than 1% to as much as 3.5%, depending on a number of factors, including how many estate agents you have selling your property. This means the fees can run into tens of thousands.
If you are not happy paying this in fees, you are absolutely within your rights to negotiate them. And on the whole, most agents are prepared to be flexible. But, before you broach the subject, work out how much you would like to pay so you have a figure in mind. Then, let the estate agent come and value your property. Save discussions about fees until you are nearing the end of this appointment as it will give the agent a chance to think about how they will market the property and how much money they can make in commission.
When you are discussing fees, be firm, be open to discussion, and be polite. Ask your estate agent exactly what you get for those fees and stand your ground if you think the fees are too high. It’s worth thinking about it like this – the fee structure is there as a first point for discussion. Most people won’t negotiate so you are in with a really good chance of getting a good deal and any reduction in fees will literally save you money.
If you think you can do a better job yourself and the fees seem a crazy amount of money, there are online estate agencies where you do a lot of the work yourself. But, remember to consider the hidden costs. If you are arranging and doing the viewings or wrting the marketing copy – this is your time that you are paying for. And don’t forget your estate agent does this every day and will have loads more experience.
Lastly, it is worth looking to see if you have a local independent estate agent nearby. Sometimes, an independent can be more open to negotiation than a big chain of estate agents.
When it comes to talking money, remember to be nice. You never know - your estate agent may already have someone in mind that they know is looking for a property just like yours – and everyone loves a quick sale.