estate agent fees

Selling your home comes with many untold stresses. It is not an easy task but it doesn’t need to be chaotic or stressful if you give yourself enough time to consider all that has to be done. As with anything involving a lot of money and time, the key is preparation and organisation. We combined all the info you could possibly need when selling your house, including comparing estate agent fees. It is easy to follow and contains all the info you need to make your move run smoothly.

Energy Performance Certificates

If you’re planning on selling your home, you must provide an energy performance certificate (EPC) to potential buyers. This should be one of the first things you do. You and anyone acting on your behalf, such as your estate agent, must try to ensure that an EPC is available within 7 days of the property being put on the market.

An EPC gives information on the energy efficiency of a property using ratings of A to G, A being the most energy efficient and G the least. The certificate must be produced by an accredited domestic energy assessor.

Trading Standards can issue a notice with a penalty charge of £200 per dwelling, where an EPC is not provided.

Where there is a Green Deal plan on a property for which payments are still to be made, information about this must be included on the EPC.

A certificate is valid for ten years and can be used multiple times during this period.

Compare Estate agent fees here. We analyse the performance of every active estate agent in the UK and using basic information about your home, we provide you with a list of agents that cover your postcode and how they perform against each other.

Can You Sell A House Without An Estate Agent?

There is no legal requirement to use an estate agent.  There are various websites that let you access a good range of marketing too.  However, there are some things that you do need an estate agent for:

  1. Setting the price. A good local agent will have a real feel for the market and should be able to set the price accurately.
  2.  Traditional marketing – Some people still check the property section in the local newspapers each week.  However, this probably isn’t so important.
  3. A good local agent will have a shop front  and a database of potential buyers.
  4. Some people prefer buying through an estate agent
  5. You will have to do the viewings yourself.  Some people worry either about having strangers in their house or how to show people around
  6. You will have to negotiate on price. Good agents have experience negotiating. It’s often easier to be a tougher negotiator if you are not the one having to ask for more.
  7. Pushing the sale through – this involves more negotiating between the parties in the chain, solicitors and  mortgage companies.

Compare Estate Agents HERE.

Estate Agent  Fees

When selling property, it’s vital that you find an estate agent that best suits your needs. The same estate agent won’t be the same for everybody. The first step is to invite an estate agent to value your home. This will give you a clear idea of what you can sell it for and help you decide which agent you want to work with.

High street agents typically charge around 1.5% of the sale price, or a pre-agreed fixed fee. So even on a 1.5% commission you will pay £4,500 if you sell your home for £300,000. This is a large amount compared to online agents where packages cn range from about £300 to £1000. If you do choose an online estate agent, always get a few local estate agents to value your home first. This will give you an idea of a reasonable asking price.

When comparing estate agent fees ask them whether you have to pay extra or the following are included in this fee:

  • advertising costs
  • costs of preparing details of the house including photographs
  • a ‘for sale’ board
  • VAT

Estate agents must confirm the charges and rate of commission from the outset. For more about Estate agent fees and contracts see HERE.

Types of Estate Agent Contracts

Sole Agency

If you use one estate agent to handle the sale this is a ‘sole agency’ agreement; the agent has ‘sole selling rights’. A sole agency is still only using one agent, but if you find a buyer yourself you don’t have to pay commission to the estate agent. A sole agency agreement should be agreed for a specific period of time.

Joint Agency

This is when you appoint two estate agents to act together in selling the property. This is where the estate agents involved share the commission when the property is sold regardless of which estate agent actually finds the buyer. The commission is usually higher for this type of arrangement.


If you appoint more than two estate agents on a ‘multiple agency’ basis, only the estate agent who sells the property will be entitled to the commission. Again, the rate of commission is usually higher than for a sole agency.

Receiving An Offer On Your Property

You can sell the house to whoever you want. This might not be the buyer who offers the most money. You may take into account whether the potential buyer:

  • is a first time buyer/cash buyer / without a chain
  • has found a buyer for their own property. If so, is it part of a chain and how long is the chain
  • is relying on getting a mortgage
  • wants to move at the same time as you

Your estate agent will negotiate with the potential buyer about the price. They should try and obtain the best possible price for you. You do not have to accept the first offer put to you and should not be rushed into making a decision quickly.

Accepting An Offer

Even if you have accepted an offer, there is nothing in law to prevent you from changing your mind and accepting a higher offer from someone else.

You should bear in mind that when an offer is made and accepted the potential buyer can also withdraw – for example, they may not get a mortgage, or the survey may show some structural problems.

If you are selling, it may be a good idea to keep the names and addresses of all potential buyers who make offers, in case the one you accept falls through.

Choosing A Conveyancer

Conveyancing is the legal side of selling or buying a property. It involves transferring ownership from the seller to the buyer, and other legal tasks that are part of buying or selling a property.

Their tasks vary depending on whether they’re representing the seller or the buyer. For you as a seller, your conveyancer will have to: 

Write the sale contract: They will examine the draft contract and supporting documents. Any queries will be raised with the seller’s conveyancer. You must go through the forms the seller has completed. Raise any queries or concerns with your solicitor.

Managing the collection and transfer of funds: Your conveyancer is responsible for looking after money matters from start to finish. They will Pay Stamp Duty Land Tax on your behalf, and send documents to the Land Registry. They will send a copy of the title deeds to your mortgage lender, notify the freeholder if the property is leasehold, and send you a bill.

Exchange Of Contracts

Before exchange of contracts, neither side has a legal obligation to buy or sell the property. Either party can pull out without any penalty (except for any deposit on agreeing offers).

Both buyer and seller sign identical contracts but only when they are formally exchanged does the deal become legally binding. Between exchange of contracts and completion sizable penalties will be incurred if one party pulls out. However, it is rare for anyone to pull out after exchanging contracts. In practical terms, this is when you can relax and be fairly sure your sale/purchase will go through.


Completion on a property means that everything has been finalised – all the searches have come back, any outstanding queries have been answered, your property survey came back with no problems and your mortgage, if you have one, has been agreed and transferred. Take a look at all our information on completing on a property.

Choosing An Estate Agent

Choosing an estate agent to manage the sale of your property can be an intimidating prospect and important to get right for a smooth and quick sale. Pick the wrong agent and your property might not sell as quickly as it should or for the best price. Compare estate agent fees today and make your home buying or selling a simple and easy process.

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