One of the biggest expenses when selling your home is the estate agents’ fees.  But, at the end of the day, they’re just another service provider out to secure your business.  They want your money like any other business, and with a little persuasion will offer you their best service for the best value.  The agent will charge either a flat fee or a percentage of the sale price for selling your property, and attempt to add in a lock-in clause, which, should you decide to withdraw your custom will prevent you from marketing with another agent for the stated period.  Your aim is to achieve the lowest fee and shortest lock-in period possible.

 

Don’t Be Afraid to Haggle

It might not be a very British thing to do, but haggling is the way to go to secure the best service and save you money.  Begin by looking up all the agents in your area and doing some initial research to see if they might be right for you.  It’s a good idea to seek a balance between engaging a popular agent, and one that’s small enough to give one-on-one attention.  Popular agents are busy for a reason – but beware of one that’s getting a bit big for its boots.  Once you’ve picked the few you like the best, get quotes from them for both their standard agent fee and lock-in period.  Remember – they want your business, so tell them about the other offers you have.  Stand your ground and remember to use your buying power.  A house sale is a big commitment and can be potentially very stressful, so you want to be sure you’re choosing the right person to help you through the process.  You should be aiming ideally for a fee of around one percent of the property’s value, and a lock-in period of one week after written notice that you wish to withdraw.  If they refuse to play ball, simply walk away and tell them you’ll take your business to someone else – it’s their loss.

Saving Money When Selling Your House

Creative Commons License
Estate Agents by Dauvit Alexander, on Flickr.  This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic License.

 

Consider an Online Agent

If you want to make sure you’re definitely getting the best deal then it’s worth considering selling your home with an online agent.  You may not have considered it before, but it’s a very 21st century solution to the age-old agent problem.  You’ll have to conduct the viewings yourself, so might not be for you if you’ve got a very busy schedule – but if you’ve got a little time on your hands go for it!  Check out the House Network savings calculator to get an idea of just how much money you could save by choosing to sell with an online agent.

Tom
 

Arnel Ariate is the webmaster of Money Soldiers.

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