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Estate Agents - to cut fees, or increase them?

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  • Estate Agents - to cut fees, or increase them?

    Read two very contrasting points of view in the last week or so;

    1. In a flatter market, with depressed house prices, estate agents should take a cut in their fees, since the homeowners are taking a hit on the prices they're getting for their homes. This view expressed by someone running an 'internet-only' estate agency operation, also known as 'a website'

    2. In the same flatter market, estate agents should charge a higher fee, to reflect the added work involved in selling homes that take longer to sell, having to spend more time with buyers and sellers, etc. This view expressed by a representative of what I would call a fairly reputable estate agency.

    Discuss.

  • #2
    We have started charging higher fees due to the level of work/time involved in selling a property at the moment.

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    • #3
      Mind if I ask which area of the country you work in?

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      • #4
        Aren't point 1 and 2 the same type of business, an estate agent as you stated in both points?
        or do you mean a company that markets homes for sale on the internet?

        Online sales of properties will become the norm in the future as people want more service than they have received previously from the estate agent.
        The sellers want to get the best price for their property but want to pay for a service they feel they have actually received and this is why the sellers will choose the online marketing route.

        With approx 150 estate agents a month going out of business I fail to see how agents putting up fees because more work is involved in selling a property will increase business. I think incraesed fees will alienate the potential seller.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Psl View Post
          Aren't point 1 and 2 the same type of business, an estate agent as you stated in both points?
          or do you mean a company that markets homes for sale on the internet?

          Online sales of properties will become the norm in the future as people want more service than they have received previously from the estate agent.
          The sellers want to get the best price for their property but want to pay for a service they feel they have actually received and this is why the sellers will choose the online marketing route.

          With approx 150 estate agents a month going out of business I fail to see how agents putting up fees because more work is involved in selling a property will increase business. I think incraesed fees will alienate the potential seller.
          Can purely online marketing provide the service a good estate agent can ?
          I am marketing a property for a couple who have moved out of their home to a local town about 5 miles away, so it is empty. At 1pm today I got a call from a buyer wanting to view at 4pm which I then did. Would an online service provide this. I was also able to answer all their queries re local services, etc. I do accompanied viewing for all my sellers and do not add an extra charge. Putting a board up and downloading it to the internet is not really doing much.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Psl View Post
            Aren't point 1 and 2 the same type of business, an estate agent as you stated in both points?
            or do you mean a company that markets homes for sale on the internet?

            Online sales of properties will become the norm in the future as people want more service than they have received previously from the estate agent.
            The sellers want to get the best price for their property but want to pay for a service they feel they have actually received and this is why the sellers will choose the online marketing route.

            With approx 150 estate agents a month going out of business I fail to see how agents putting up fees because more work is involved in selling a property will increase business. I think incraesed fees will alienate the potential seller.

            Online selling is just one part of the service that should be provided.

            How does online selling ALONE provide more of a service?

            How does online selling ALONE get the owner the best price?

            How does online selling communicate, to a prospective buyer, that a certain property may/will be coming to market soon, and thereby generate interest in that property? A real person can say "This one will/might be coming up soon, if that might be of interest to you", but a website can't.

            "pay for a service they have actually received" - elaborate, please?

            "increased fees will alienate the potential seller" - as I said in another thread, "you get what you pay for, and you don't get what you don't pay for". You're saying that most, if not all, estate agents don't provide a full service, then espouse the benefits of a single sales 'channel' which provides even less of a service.

            I look at the high street in my town, and the public aren't walking into web cafes to browse for property, they're looking in the estate agents' windows. People who walk the same walk every day stop and look to see what's new. Believe it or not, there are still people in this world who don't browse the web, and even some who DON'T HAVE A COMPUTER

            The agents in my neck of the woods utilise sale boards, high-street windows, press advertising, their own dedicated print publications, and a variety of other tactics to sell AS WELL AS their own websites and portals. You're saying that you, or other 'online estate agents' provide more of a service with a website, and nothing else. This doesn't add up.

            There have been others who posted details of internet-only sales sites that they've been running in this and other forums, and when I go look at them, they're not worth the mouse-clicks that it took to get there. Next to no properties, an apparent lack of activity in their own forums, and generally not worth looking at. Are you running one of these? If so, please tell us the web address so I can have a looksee.

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            • #7
              increase them

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              • #8
                actually possibly decrease them due to the internet market

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                • #9
                  as it is growing considerably

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Psl View Post
                    ... fail to see how agents putting up fees because more work is involved in selling a property will increase business.
                    I didn't suggest that an increased fee would bring more business in for them, but with less property selling, and more work involved moving those that do sell, I'd suggest they're putting up the fees to maintain their income and put food on the table, clothes on the kids ....

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by edstoner View Post
                      as it is growing considerably
                      Is it? There's lots of start-up sites with catchy names, but is there any proof that they're actually succeeding in selling, or that their business is growing?

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                      • #12
                        Ive seen a lot of agents starting up do £700+vat for any property and there still doing really well and a lot of the hope charge your normal 1.5-1.75% are shuting branchs. But on £700 how long can they last?
                        www.rpbrelocation.co.uk

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                        • #13
                          I have to agree with googler!!! I work in the estate agency industry selling both property and mortgages.

                          On the estate industry side as I am self employed, I have been forced to raise the fee I charge due to the market. Other popular agents are following us.
                          I never loose a listing due to fee ever!!!! The only reason I would loose a listing is from a fellow agent over valuing!!! Something I would never do! They normaly end up coming back to me in the end.

                          So I would say! To keep the your business alive!!! Raising the prices is the answer! As long as your service and selling price matches what you charge! Whats the problem!!!?????!!!!
                          Becky

                          www.fruitmortgages.com

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                          • #14
                            Forget about increasing rates in this environment! In my opinion there are far too many estate agents around in the UK.

                            I say half of them need to close down so the service increases. It makes no sense to have 8 different estate agencies on the same high street, especially if most of them have no clue what they are doing!

                            A bit of a shake-out will do the whole sector a lot of good, let the strongest survive.

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                            • #15
                              In the current market any business just needs to stay alive - increase if you can, but if you're not selling it will force you to decrease and possibly go out of business...

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