Skip to content

Estate Agents offered chance to reveal fees and charges

According to a new comparison website the whole structure can be more transparent if the details are displayed so that property sellers and landlords can select an estate agent based on a more even basis.

Sellers and landlords can list their property for free at the site and agents then bid against the clock for the opportunity to sell or let it. The site says it gives sellers and landlords a snapshot of what agents can offer and brings transparency and competition when it comes to estate agency fees and marketing tools, which in turn means the best deal for sellers and landlords.

When putting a property onto the market, most sellers select a handful of agents whose boards they have seen locally or whose flyers have been put through their letterbox. They might invite a few to come and value the property. It is usually only after all of that does the issue of fees come up.

But many people don’t really know what they should be paying an agent or that some fees are negotiable. There is also often mystery about sole agency tie in clauses.

‘Agents can be too guarded about how much they charge. We want to lift the lid on estate agency fees and make the process more competitive, encouraging them to pitch upfront for the business,’ said co founder Domenic Versace.

‘Property owners can compare what agents can offer by listing their property on this site. It is completely free for them to use and removes the randomness from choosing an agent by giving a useful snapshot of what a selection of local agents can offer, not only the ones they might have heard of but potentially others too,’ he explained.

‘It’s not always about the lowest fees, it’s also as important to know how long you are tied into any sole agency period, and where your property is being advertised, especially online, as approximately 90% of all properties searches begin online and 1% of all UK internet traffic is property related,’ he added.

The seller or landlord registers details of the property for free at the site, giving brief details on property type, location, number of bedrooms, approximate price bracket and a short description. Once the property details go live on the site they are sent to local estate agents to bid or pitch for the opportunity to market that particular property for sale or to let.

The agents bid on the following criteria: commission rates, length of sole agency, marketing options and benefits of using the agency. Versace says this creates a level playing field and against the clock the agents bid against each other for the business. When the time is up, the seller or landlord chooses which agent can offer the best package, although there is no obligation to use any of the agents.

Versace, who has over twenty years experience as an estate agent, believes it offers a win win situation for both sellers, landlords and agents. ‘The seller or landlord has a simple, free and no obligation opportunity to compare what local agents are offering prior to inviting them to the property to give a valuation. For agents it is a new and effective way to find sellers and landlords who about to put their property on the market,’ he explained.