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How much are estate agent fees?

11/06/2024
(Last Updated: 13/06/2024)
5
8 min read
Key Takeaways
  • In the UK, estate agents typically charge a commission of 1%-3% based on the property's final sale price.
  • Top Tip: Always find out how long you will be tied into a single-agent contract; otherwise, you could be stuck with an agent who can't sell your property.
  • Disbursements are additional costs incurred during the process of selling a property.
  • Estate agents often use certain tactics to secure listings and sell properties quickly. Being aware of these can help sellers navigate the process more effectively.

The world of estate agents and conveyancing can be complex and overwhelming for sellers. Understanding the fees, disbursements, and processes involved in a land and property transaction is crucial to ensuring a smooth and successful sale.

However, an estate agent's services come at a cost that sellers need to be aware of. These costs can vary widely depending on several factors, such as the location and value of the property, the level of service provided, and whether the agent is online or traditional.


Estate agents fees

How much do estate agents charge to sell a house?

Estate agent fees are significant when selling a property. In the UK, estate agents typically charge a commission based on the property's final sale price. This commission can vary, but the average fee ranges from 1% to 3% + VAT of the sale price.

For example, if a house sells for £300,000, the estate agent fee could range from £3,600 to £10,800 (including VAT).

Who pays estate agent fees?

Estate agent fees apply to the seller; home buyers don't need to pay any estate agent fees. However, if you opt to sell privately, you won't need to pay any fees to a third party.

Looking to sell your house?

Get a fixed-fee conveyancing solicitor quote for your sale, including all solicitor fees for selling your property.

We'll look after you from the first call to completion and have a no-sale no-fee guarantee.


Factors influencing estate agent fees

Location: Fees may be higher in London and other major cities compared to rural areas.

Property value: Higher-value properties might attract a lower percentage commission fee due to the higher final commission amount.

Service level: A high street agent may offer a full service which includes extensive marketing and support, but they will usually charge more than online or hybrid agents.

If the agent charges withdrawal fees, use that as an indication to walk away because you should not be charged high fees for deciding not to sell your home. Opt for a no-sale, no-fee agreement.

Three small wooden mode houses sat next to three differently sized stacks of coins. SAM Conveyancing can help you with your land registry fees, local authority searches, and your mortgage lender.

Estate agent disbursements

What are disbursements when selling a house?

Disbursements are additional costs incurred during the process of selling a property. These are usually passed on to the seller and can include a variety of services, and understanding these potential hidden costs can help sellers budget accurately and avoid any nasty surprises during the sale process.

  • EPC (Energy Performance Certificate): Required for selling a house, costing between £60-£120. This certificate must be ordered before the property is put on the market, but bear in mind that an EPC lasts for 10 years and one will only be required if yours has expired.
  • Professional photography: High-quality images to market the property, costing between £100-£300. Some estate agents include this as part of their fees, but others charge separately.
  • For sale board: Placing a sale board outside the property costs around £30-£70. Although more traditional than online, it’s still an effective way to generate enquiries and increase local awareness.
  • Advertising and marketing: Costs for premium listings on property portals vary widely but are generally between £100-£500. These costs can also cover social media advertising costs, brochures, and other marketing materials.
  • Floor plans: Detailed floor plans providing a clear layout of the property can cost between £50-£150. This can attract serious buyers as they can visualise the space before viewing.
  • Virtual tours: Since the pandemic, along with the rise of digital technology, virtual tours have become a popular tool, typically costing between £100-£400. Potential buyers are allowed to explore the property online and in detail, which can increase the number of eyes on your home.
A happy couple stood next to their 'sold' sign outside of their home, sale completed with the help of SAM Conveyancing. We can help with your land registry fees, any local authority searches, or even an environmental search

Typical conveyancing fees

The conveyancing process involves the legal transference of property ownership from the seller to the buyer and will require legal documentation, property searches, and financial transactions.

Clarity about fees and conveyancing disbursements will help ensure transparency and avoid surprises such as hidden costs. Always compare fees on multiple quotes and services to find the best fit for your needs, but they are typically divided into basic legal fees and conveyancing disbursements.

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Common conveyancing disbursements

  • HM land registry fees can range from £20 up to £900 (depending on property value), for transferring the legal title of the property from the seller to the buyer.
  • Local authority searches cost between £100-£250 and provide important information about the property and its surrounding area. It includes planning applications, restrictions, and potential local developments. You can also add on other searches such as an environmental search, a drainage search, or a land registry search.
  • Management pack fees (for leasehold properties) can cost around £200-£400 and will contain essential information about the lease, service charges, and management details. This is usually paid for by the seller.
  • Bank transfer fees, usually from £20-£50, cover the cost of transferring funds electronically to pay off any existing mortgage and distribute the proceeds of the sale.
  • Indemnity insurance, if required, can cost between £100-£300 and might be necessary to cover any legal defects or issues that arise during the conveyancing process.
A woman looking at a board with 'pros' and 'cons written on it. SAM Conveyancing can help with stamp duty land tax for buyers, land registry fees, and your drainage search

Choosing an estate agent

selecting the right estate agent is crucial for a smooth and profitable sale. Here are some tips:

Online agent vs. high street agent

  • Online estate agents: Often charge a fixed flat fee paid upfront, which can be lower than traditional agents. Fees typically range from £300 to £1,500.
  • High street estate agents: Charge a commission based on the sale price but offer more personalised services and local market knowledge. Some high street agents might offer a sliding scale on a house sale depending on the valuation of your property.
  • Hybrid estate agents: Won't have a physical office but will provide the same services as a high street agent with the convenience of an online-only agent.

Estate agent tricks of the trade

Estate agents often use certain tactics to secure listings and sell properties quickly. Being aware of these can help sellers navigate the process more effectively.

  • Overvaluing properties: Some agents may overvalue a property to secure the listing. Sellers should get multiple valuations to ensure a realistic price.
  • Underquoting fees: Ensure all potential costs are clearly outlined in the contract.
  • Tie-in periods: Long tie-in periods can lock sellers in with one agent, sometimes also known as a sole agency agreement. Look for agents offering shorter or no tie-in periods.
  • Dual fees: If switching agents, be aware of any clauses that may result in paying separate fees to two agents.

Looking for a quick, easy sale?

Get a fixed fee conveyancing quote for your sale, whether it's through an estate agent, it's privately handled, or at an auction.

We'll look after you from the first call to completion and have a no-sale no-fee guarantee.

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Written by:

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