What Do Estate Agents in Scotland Do and Charge?

What Estate Agents Do and Charge

What do estate agents do to sell your home?

Valuation

There’s very little point spending money on getting your home onto the market if it won’t sell for the sale price that you want to achieve. Getting a realistic appraisal of what your home is worth in current market conditions, without having to shell-out for a chartered surveyor, helps you to make that decision. The estate agent can also liaise with the chartered surveyor who is appointed to do the Home Report, providing sales evidence and expertise if the valuation appears to be a little low or high, helping to ensure that you get the right valuation on your Home Report.

Advice

How should you prepare your home to get the best sale price? Should you convert that home office into a bedroom, at least for as long as your home is on the market? Will a new kitchen give you a good return on investment? These are some of the sorts of questions that an estate agent can answer, before you market your home for sale, to help you to get the best result.

Skills

Areas like photography, internet copywriting for your target market and creating accurate floor plans are not things that everybody has the inclination, skill or equipment to do. Depending on your abilities, this is something that is best done by a professional with the skills and the equipment to do this to a professional standard.

3rd Party Perspective

An agent provides a third party, dispassionate eye and are more likely to see your home in the same way that a potential buyer will. They are also more capable of dealing calmly with negative feedback from potential buyers about certain aspects of your home. This can be a huge benefit to a home seller as the agent can focus on moving the conversation towards what the potential buyer would pay were those elements changed or fixed.

Advertising

National property advertising websites like Rightmove and Zoopla are open only to estate agents and not to the public. It’s important to note that not all agents pay for membership of all of these websites. Most estate agents can also advertise your home on their own website which, depending on the amount of traffic their site experiences, can generate a number of viewing enquiries. If your estate agent is a solicitor estate agent, they might also be able to advertise your home on the local Solicitors Property Centre such as ESPC or ASPC. Only solicitor estate agents have access to these channels so, if SPC advertising is important to you, make sure to check that the agent you are speaking to is able to advertise on those channels.

Access to Buyers

A good estate agent will have a database of potential buyers that they can ‘match’ your property to. If they know that twenty people are looking for exactly the same property that you are selling, those people can be contacted by email or phone.

Facilitation

If fifteen potential buyers are calling you every day, asking for information about your home or to arrange a viewing, you may struggle to promptly handle these enquiries, especially if you work during the day. An agent will help to facilitate these viewings and information requests for you.

Negotiation

When you receive an offer on your property, it pays to have a professional negotiator handling discussions on your behalf. Our Property Sales Negotiators have all had training on how to handle negotiations with buyers or their solicitors to ensure that deals go through smoothly and that our clients get the best possible price.

Professional Advice

The Offer from your buyer’s solicitor is the first document in an exchange of letters called ‘missives’ that leads to a legally-binding contract. There is more to an Offer than just the price and Date of Entry. A good estate agent will provide guidance on what the Offer means, may be able to identify any clauses in the Offer that could cause difficulties later in the legal process and, if you are using a solicitor estate agent, will be able to speak to a colleague in the legal department if they have questions about unusual clauses in the Offer.

What do estate agents charge?

Percentage Fee Model

Estate agents are traditionally paid a ‘commission’ or ‘estate agency fee’ for the achieving a successful sale of their client’s home or investment property. Commission has traditionally been calculated as a percentage of the sale price. It’s important to remember that you will almost certainly have to pay VAT on the ‘estate agency fee’ or ‘commission’.

For example, if the fee you agree with your estate agent is ‘1% of the sale price’ and your home sells for £200,000, the fee will actually be £2,000 plus 20% VAT, being a total of £2,400.

Fixed Estate Agency Fee Model

Some estate agents (like MOV8 Real Estate) charge a Fixed Estate Agency Fee for their services. This means that, regardless of the value of your property, you pay the same estate agency fee. When it comes to additional advertising or services, they will provide a ‘menu’ of services or products that you can choose from, allowing you to select and pay for only the items that you want and need.

Additional Marketing Materials

Although it is possible to sell properties ‘off market’, without advertising them for sale, most people prefer that their home is openly advertised for sale. In most cases, to achieve the best price, this is the approach that we would recommend although we recognise that it is an individual choice and that there may be good reasons for wanting to sell ‘off market’.

If the home seller wants their home to be widely advertised, the estate agent will usually provide For Sale Boards, printed property schedules, floor plans and other forms of additional advertising. These fees may be included a ‘Marketing Fee’, they may be charged individually or they may be rolled-up to the end or ‘deferred’. Where these items are deferred, property sellers should be aware that if they withdraw their property from the market or wish to move to another estate agent, their original agent will probably still seek payment for these items.