The UK property market is in full swing, but the mismatch between supply and demand is a barrier for profit-hungry estate agents. To get more properties on their books, some offer incentives, ranging from significantly reduced fees to free storage, to encourage potential sellers to sign up. This means that if you are planning to sell, you have bargaining power, says Henry Pryor, a real estate expert. “The joy of a sellers market is that you can be absolutely ruthless to the agents,” he says. “Now is the perfect time to strike a competitive deal.”
The rise of online estate agents offering to sell your property for as little as £ 395 has increased competition on Main Street, says Pryor. Some agents in London and the South East pass on fees typically paid by sellers to buyers, using “informal tender” contracts for those making sealed bids. These commit the successful buyer to pay an introductory or brokerage fee to the agent, typically between 2% and 2.5% of the cost of the property. At the same time, the agent collects fees from the seller, but these are often significantly reduced. Douglas Allen, an agent based in the South East, charges sellers who use the process an administration fee of £ 150 plus VAT – far less than the 1% or 2% of the sale price they would traditionally pay.
Mark Hayward, CEO of the National Association of Estate Agents, says, “The common practice for real estate agency fees is for the fees to be borne by the seller in exchange for the agent’s role in marketing the property, securing However, given the current supply pressures in the market, some agents may well consider changing their fee structures to encourage more sellers in the market by lowering fees for those who sell a property and instead introducing finder’s fees to help buyers find the right property. “
Many agents will also reduce their fees by finding buyers without advertising your property. Pryor says, “Choosing the ‘off-market’ option often reduces the confusion and over-excitement that a 25-person bulk viewing can create and can result in a fair, private and successful deal for all. “
However, Peter Young, Managing Partner of Agent John D Wood & Co, cautions against going down this route as you risk selling your property for less than on the open market. “The reality is that the only way to really establish what your property will sell for is to expose it to the market.”
While some agents set their fees in stone, others are willing to negotiate – so it’s worth trying before signing up if there isn’t a specific incentive program in place. However, Pryor cautions against persuading agents to cut their fees to the bone to ensure they remain motivated to earn their commission by getting the best deal for your property.
Smooth the process
Selling your home is ranked as one of life’s most stressful events, but enlisting the help of agents along the way can reduce that. Many will help you make your property appealing to potential buyers by advising you on how to make it as tidy and spacious as possible, even putting flowers around your home. “We have a sales department to hold hands with sellers, from advice on decorating work to make a property suitable for sale, to finding movers and moving invoices to the new property,” Young explains.
Storing unnecessary items is often an option for sellers hoping to show their home in its best light, but it can get expensive, which is why London-based agent Douglas & Gordon has come up with a solution. It has partnered with storage company WeStore to give sellers three boxes of storage for three months, worth £ 80. Ed Mead, Executive Director of Douglas & Gordon, said: “While we can consult with sellers on what to get out of their property, many of our clients don’t have the space or time to stock these items before. the sales process. “
However, some are skeptical about the usefulness of this incentive in today’s market. Pryor describes the offer as “a bit of a gimmick”, adding: “In fast-paced markets, buyers take properties as they find them, such as when faced with an hour-long window. to view a property and meet 25 other eager buyers, they are unlikely to worry about the presentation. “
Help in finding new accommodation
If you delay selling your property until you’ve found a new home and accepted an offer about it, many agents will offer to help you out for free. The Waterfords real estate agency, for example, which covers Surrey, Hampshire and Berkshire, says it will help you get an offer accepted on your ideal home before you put your property up for sale. You only have to provide details on the type of property you want, the top 10 roads you want to live on and your budget, with no time limit for their research. Julian Amos from Waterfords said: “It has already been brought to our attention this year that we are still in a crisis situation where there is limited stock available as people do not market their property until they have found their next home and we want to help. make that happen. “