Estate Agents

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Estate agents, everyone's favourite! Estate agents have played their part in the recent house boom by constantly talking up the market and playing buyers off against each other (or possibly in some cases against themselves!). They have done extremely well in recent years and there have also been thousands of new estate agents which have set up shop as the market is currently unregulated and requires no licences or qualifications. However, there is the property misdescriptions act 1991 although this still does not stop the derelict house being described as one of "outstanding opportunity".

When a market becomes stagnant and the number of transactions drop off then estate agents don't make as much money from commissions. They may then help to turn the market by talking it down in order to create momentum.

The fees an Estate agent charges can be significant. For example a 2% fee may not sound like a lot of money but on a £400,000 house it is £8,000! If this still does not sound like a lot of money to you, then calculate how many hours, after paying tax, you have to work to earn £8,000 and then finally ask yourself the question does the estate agent have to work as many hours to earn your money? If the answer is "no" then you could try selling your property on Tesco's or a similar website such as mousesale.co.uk! After all most buyers now look for their new home on a website, and once found they either speak to the estate agent or to the seller directly. Lets face it, we all learnt to talk even before we went to school, so we don't need an estate agent for that! In today's dropping market saving the estate agents fees is critical (it could even save you from being in negative equity). The buyer is not daft, they know if you are selling via an estate agent then the price is probably higher than if you were selling direct. Even if selling direct terrifies you then the least you can do is knock that 2% down to 1%; or better still to the £200 Tesco/Mousesale charges!

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