Is the price your estate quoted you, really the price you are going to pay? What are you getting exactly? Could you end up paying extra?
Today I am on a rant. I’ve just booked a flight for Christmas and I am truly fed up of airlines trying to attract me with an enticing ticket price. In the end, I’ve chosen what on the surface looks to be a more expensive airline, however, once I've added up all the extras the others charge for, it is actually cheaper and the seat pitch is better!
Think about it. I’ll pick on Jet2 (sorry Jet2, but I flew with you last). I booked a ticket. I had to pay for a suitcase - 2 actually and of course you have to pay each way. I had to pay for a seat. They wanted to charge extra for a meal. Then just to finish me off - they were charging me to take hand luggage on board ( not handbags…). By the time I finished, the fare had more than doubled! Surely this is wrong?
I mentioned this whilst talking to friends in Huddersfield and one commented that it is not dissimilar to estate agents who charge added extra’s. When she told me about her recent experience, I was truly appalled. Her agent initially quoted a fixed fee. However, once she had instructed them the “extra’s” soon added up!
It made me think, what do local estate agents really charge? What are you actually getting for your money? Here are the additional costs that I have found so far. If you come across any more, please tell me!
1. Facebook advertising
I’ve had 3 clients switch to JDG recently who have told me that their previous agent charged £150 extra to run a social media campaign. Believe me, it does not cost anywhere near this amount of money to create a highly targeted campaign.
I've had 2 clients tell me they were asked to pay extra for a floorplan. How can an estate agent sell a home properly without one? The latest Rightmove research shows that over 80% of buyers believe they are essential and over 40% of buyers say they would not view a house if there was no floorplan.
It saddens me when a client says they had to pay to get better quality photos. Is the estate agent really saying - if you don’t pay - you can have rubbish ones?
This seems to be more prevalent with online estate agents. You can pay up to £250 extra and they will do the viewings for you. This, of course, has to be paid upfront and is money you don’t get back.
5. Discounted fees if you take a mortgage/conveyancing with them
Be very careful with this one. Check out what the mortgage or conveyancing would cost if you sourced it separately. I’ve seen instances where the conveyancers' fees are very costly.
Of course, on top of all of this, estate agents offer very different marketing packages and they achieve very different results.
To give you an example, on average, our clients achieve 2% more on the offer agreed price when they sell with us compared to other local estate agents. This is independently verified by the Home Owners Alliance Group. What becomes really interesting is that another agent could actually sell your home for free and you would still be better off if you used us! You might ask how can this be?
Here is the maths:
Property on the market with JDG at £175,000 - agreed sale price of £168,000 (96% of asking price as we achieve 2% higher on average than other local estate agents)
Fee of 1.5% plus VAT = £2700
£168,000 - £2700 fee = £165,300 in your pocket
Property on the market with another agent at £175,000 - agreed sale price of £164500 (94% of asking price which is the average achieved by other local agents)
No fee to pay
£164,500 - no fee = £164,500 in you pocket
You would be better off by £800 using JDG compared to an agent charging you no fee! If they were charging you 1% + vat, you'd be £2774 better off!
So by using JDG to sell your property, not only do you receive a transparent fee quote with no hidden extras, you receive a premium service from an independently owned estate agent, selling houses in this area for over 30 years backed up by a highly experienced team and the marketing of your property led by Zoopla ranked number 1 marketeer Michelle Gallagher and in the example above you would also be better of by at least £800!
Ultimately an estate agents job is to get you the best price for your biggest tax-free asset. At JDG we believe in total transparency - the only extra you would pay with us is for an EPC should you need one!
Are you thinking of moving? If so, please get in touch. Home consultations are free and it might just help put more money in your pocket should you decide to move!
My name is Michelle Gallagher. You can reach me on 01524 843322. We are independently rated by The Property Academy and Rightmove in the top 3% of all estate agents in the UK. This is awarded for marketing, service and most importantly results.