My mother moved house last week so when I got a press release about how we’re ripped-off by estate agents’ fees it hit a nerve! She sold a house in London and had to pay 2% to the estate agent plus VAT. Ouch! Still, that was good. Most of the other agents wanted to charge 3%. It’s a rip-off.
Apparently Brits spent over £2 billion on unnecessary high street estate agent fees in 2012, according to research by eMoov.co.uk. a low-cost online estate agent. The site found that £2,193,878,132 was spent on estate agents’ fees in the UK from 1 January 2012 – 31 January 2013, working out as £3,847.29 wasted per minute or £64.12 every second. So, it’s no wonder that complaints against estate agents to the Property Ombudsman rose by 12% in 2012.
Property sellers in the South East spent the most on estate agents’ fees in 2012, racking up nearly £27 million in fees, over £3 million more than property owners in London (£23.3 million in fees in 2012).
I’m really surprised that online selling hasn’t taken off in the property space. As well as eMoov there’s also Sarah Beeny’s Tepilo.com which is a great little site.
You can also use Gumtree.com and even Craigslist if you want but it seems like too few people are using these cheaper sites to get the critical mass.
So if you’re thinking of buying or selling, try one of these sites instead of expensive and tiresome estate agents. I certainly wish we had and will do another time!