Fee is the magic number

Across our borough there is an ever growing number of estate agents – yet fewer properties are being sold.

I am now seeing agents offering the lowest fees since starting my property career in 1996. But as my father always told me though, you get what you pay for in life. And if you think hiring the professionals is expensive, try hiring the amateurs!

This advice strikes a chord with me every day and I often find myself repeating this simple mantra to many potential clients.

As a young estate agent back in the 1990s, I remember my first boss telling me that you must always value your professional service. Or in his words ‘the property business does not suffer fools’.

After 17 years working in West London, I now consider myself a veteran on the estate agent scene and after all of those years and the experience I’ve gained, I seriously question why some clients would appoint an inexperienced or unqualified high street agent.

In case you didn’t know, professional fees are the commissions that estate agents earn from the sale price of your property.

These fees tend to come in a variety of packaged terms ranging from the standard percentage (from 1% to 3.5%), to staggered, scaled, fixed, performance, joint, sole or multiple agency.

Regardless of their fee system, however, some high street agents do not negotiate their professional fees with clients, while others reduce theirs at the drop of the hat to win the business.

For me, neither of the above is the right approach. Always sticking to your guns can often mean losing a potential client, though dropping your fee too quickly also shows a lack of confidence in yourself as an agent.

The latter is far more common in our area.

Any agent can offer the highest sale price and lowest fee, but this often tells you that the agent in question does not value their own services.

My advice to any seller or landlord is to whether you are planning on choosing an agent based on finding the lowest fees, highest listing price, or overall customer service?

Call three agents to value your property and why not mystery shop your three choices prior to your decision? My experience tells me that if your agent is prepared to ‘buckle under fees’ and offer you the lowest fee this is not a very good indication of how well the agent can potentially negotiate on your behalf.

I always ensure that we offer flexible fees and versatile terms depending on the property and situation of the vendor or landlord.

Here are Horton and Garton, we will always give you an honest valuation and reasonable fee. We value our honest and professional approach and hope you do too.

So, if you would like a gimmick-free market appraisal and valuation, let us know.