Cut-price Estate Agents cut corners
June 6th, 2014


Nobody likes to hear an Estate Agent whinge, especially if it is regarding the amount of commission earned per sale but I have noticed recently a trend for Estate Agents to be advertising low cost fixed price deals in local free newspapers and magazines.  In one publication alone there were five separate companies in East Belfast offering commission from £500 to £950 for selling a house.

Where’s the problem, I hear you ask?  Healthy competition and all that! 

Competition is fine but what we have discovered is you get what you pay for – the cut price agencies have to cut corners in order to make money.  We’ve heard cases recently of vendors never being contacted by their Estate Agent even after a year in one case, sales being agreed to totally unsuitable buyers where a bit of time and thought would have highlighted the shortcomings of the offer.  If there is early interest in a house and it is a straightforward sale then I would imagine they can do no wrong but you would be as well selling your own house rather than paying an ineffectual Estate Agent.  Some of these advertisers are basically mortgage brokers who since the downturn have started selling houses to try and make ends meet but their core business is still in financial services.

It is difficult to convince a prospective house seller that a good sales service really can make the difference to your sale both by means of a potentail higher price and a less stressful journey but we can convince them in time if they will entrust us with the sale of their property.  We will now quote two commissions to our clients, one will be our standard commission and the other will be to match the cut price fixed fee agent.  If the standard of service has lived up to the clients expectations we ask them to pay the standard fee and if by any chance they are not totally satisfied and feel we have fallen short, then we are happy to accept the lower commission in full payment.  Can we say fairer than that?