Frequently Asked Questions About Estate Agents
What is an Estate Agent?
An estate agent can be an individual or a company that is hired by anyone looking to buy, sell or rent a property. They aid the process for both the vendors and prospective buyers, in the UK estate agents are still involved with the majority of property transactions.
What does an Estate Agent do?
If you are selling a property then an estate agent will offer a variety of services, for example they will start by providing a valuation of your house in order to set a realistic market price which they will then advertise the property on the market for. Traditionally estate agents use newspapers and magazines to advertise available properties but non-traditional means of searching for houses such as the internet are becoming more and more popular. It is also an estate agent’s role to arrange viewings of your property by parties interested in purchasing the property.
What fees do Estate Agents charge?
Estate agents are helping to aid the sale of your home, therefore they will charge a fee for their valuable services. This is usually set as a percentage of the property value. Typically this fee is between 1 and 3% of the value of the property. Other estate agents have begun charging a fixed fee, this means that an agent will not vary their fee according to the sale of the house, this has the benefit of knowing that your estate agent is working hard to sell your house regardless of its value and you can also save money by using an estate agent that charges a fixed rather than variable fee.
Is there an alternative to using an Estate Agent?
Estate agents are heavily associated with the sale of a property but the truth is that more and more people are looking to alternative ways of selling their homes in order to save money and avoid agent fees, furthermore with the rise of the internet publicizing a house yourself needn’t be so difficult: many websites offer this service for free. Another option for people looking for a quick sell and wanting to avoid charges is putting a property up for auction or using a quick sell company. Are Estate Agents regulated?
In the UK there is no legal regulation of estate agents. This means that you should be particularly careful when dealing with estate agents to make sure that they have your best interests at heart. That said they do have to adhere to rules set in the Estate Agency Act, on top of this estate agents can voluntarily become a member of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors or the National Association of Estate Agents which require a certain level of professionalism to retain membership and therefore are a sign of quality.