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Yorkshire Lad

Solicitors Have Declared War On Estate Agents

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Paul Marsh, president of the Law Society of England and Wales, which represents 100,000 solicitors, says that taken with stamp duty, estate agents’ fees account for the lion’s share of the costs of a house sale — dwarfing solicitors’ fees from the same transaction.

Might get interesting..

http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/busi...icle5933639.ece

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It would be awful if they wiped each other out....

Solicitors are just bitter because their role has been watered down when they allowed legal secretaries (Conveyancers) to do their job, with less skills and less training. They were overpaid before then and it must be painful to skim around £500 per deal them self and then send a £3000 cheque to the agent on completion.

What they don't realise is that the agent takes on about 10 properties 6-months in advance on a no-sale, no-fee basis and advertise the lot with expensive marketing only to be paid on one of those original 10 properties! They only see the deals that go through, not the misery and cost of those that don't. If estate agents are making so much money, why have about 50% of them closed down already?

I know of one estate agent that never sold a single property in both December & January!! His running costs, which include the shop, two company cars, two members of staff online & newspaper advertising costs, phone bills & postage etc. run at over ten grand a month! He needs to sell around 6-properties a month just to break even and allow for at least one fall through (Crashed sale) each month. If he has no savings, he could be another agent going to the wall.

Solicitors on the other hand get given the business once all the hard work has been done. They send out and review fairly standard letters and documents, print out some contract papers and order the money from the bank for completion. If they spend more than 8-hours in total dealing with a particular case (One days work), it will be a lot and for this they charge £500+ !!!!!

Our company spends that time alone producing the marketing material. Floorplans, virtual tour, brochures, online content, newspaper advert, Rightmove advert etc.

Our business only charges around 1.25% +VAT for sole agency and 1.75% +VAT for multiple agency, so not much at all when you consider that after costs and up to six months work, we might generate a profit of £150, assuming we sell a dozen properties each month, which has been nigh on impossible over the last 12 months.

Their beef is that the number of sales have dried up so they are now moaning about how little they are earning.

Well join the kin club boys.

If agents charged every homeowner an upfront fee for say 6-months of marketing and nothing if the property sells, selling fees would only be around £700 per property. But Joe public wants the no-sale, no-fee option, so he must therefore pay for everyone on that agent's books that don't sell.

The UK has already got the cheapest property selling fees in most of the civilised world, so I doubt anything will change.

Agents are already regulated through the Estate Agents Act, Property Misdescriptions Act, Town & Country Planning Act etc.

They are legally required to be part of an official ombudsman scheme like NAEA or OEA and take out professional indemnity insurance.

If an agent is not following the acts as stated, they can be closed down by Trading Standards and the Office of Fair Trading.

Getting them to take out some kind of licence will benefit no one but the company setting up the licensing!

They will achieve nothing and they are actually just as endangered as the agents themselves. A retired banker is currently buying a property through our firm and he is doing all his own conveyancing! Anyone can buy a house without a solicitor in the same way that anyone can sell their own home without an agent! I'm currently in rentals, but I know the industry well enough to do my own conveyancing. It's not hard and I am sure there must be a simple step by step guide out there to tell someone with no experience how to save on solicitor fees. ;)

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Agent fees here in the US are around 6% with payment made to the sellers agent and the buyers agent - apparently there needs to be two agents to ensure both the seller and buyer get unbiased representation. Complete bull of course.

The realtor model here is the USA is just plain ridiculous and has encouraged a culture of property price ramping on a catastrophic sale. The banks and public are complicit in the whole scam lending and borrowing more than sensible income multiples. All at rates that don't reflect the natural reward for risk expected by the bond market.

We all knew this of course and its taken a catastrophic financial crisis to motivate our glorious leaders to do something about it. What does it say about them and what should we all think about leaders in the financial sector? The simple truth is they can't be trusted because they are either liars or delusional.

So what of British estate agents. If the average house costs 300k and they are charging 2% then thats 6000 per sale. That compares with three times as much in the USA. Doesn't seem outrageous to me..... 6% does tho.

BTW - I know a young woman agent who sells houses priced in the $1mln range. She drives a porsche ceyenne and gloats about how much she earns. Is a realtor worth ten times a primary school teacher? What a effed up world we live in.

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I'm currently in rentals, but I know the industry well enough to do my own conveyancing. It's not hard and I am sure there must be a simple step by step guide out there to tell someone with no experience how to save on solicitor fees. ;)

You've got that right, I've seen packs containing all the required documents and clear instructions for sale in WH Smith, for £15... along with a lot of other DIY legal kits.

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Guest KingCharles1st

Would be lovely if one could avoid "The dance of the copulating Solicitors"

wouldn't it... <_<

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One of the solicitors in my town set themselves up as an estate agent!

The worst of both worlds :lol:

This is the de facto standard arrangement in Scotland - most Estate Agents here are run by solicitors.

Then the legal profession get ALL the money!

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It amazes me how high most estate agents manage to climb on the ladder of incompetence.

Most cannot relay a simple phone message, remember a single fact correctly, or achieve any reasonable level of literate communication. Their IT skills are woeful - I have never seen one who could organise their client lists properly. They get to appointments late and are stupidly disorganised. They talk too much and don't listen. Many are condescending. Lying is used (unlike good spelling and grammar) as a professional tool.

Exceptions do exist, but they are very rare.

No wonder I am delighted when they go bust.

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Solicitors are just bitter because their role has been watered down when they allowed legal secretaries (Conveyancers) to do their job, with less skills and less training. They were overpaid before then and it must be painful to skim around £500 per deal them self and then send a £3000 cheque to the agent on completion.

What they don't realise is that the agent takes on about 10 properties 6-months in advance on a no-sale, no-fee basis and advertise the lot with expensive marketing only to be paid on one of those original 10 properties! They only see the deals that go through, not the misery and cost of those that don't. If estate agents are making so much money, why have about 50% of them closed down already?

I know of one estate agent that never sold a single property in both December & January!! His running costs, which include the shop, two company cars, two members of staff online & newspaper advertising costs, phone bills & postage etc. run at over ten grand a month! He needs to sell around 6-properties a month just to break even and allow for at least one fall through (Crashed sale) each month. If he has no savings, he could be another agent going to the wall.

Solicitors on the other hand get given the business once all the hard work has been done. They send out and review fairly standard letters and documents, print out some contract papers and order the money from the bank for completion. If they spend more than 8-hours in total dealing with a particular case (One days work), it will be a lot and for this they charge £500+ !!!!!

Our company spends that time alone producing the marketing material. Floorplans, virtual tour, brochures, online content, newspaper advert, Rightmove advert etc.

Our business only charges around 1.25% +VAT for sole agency and 1.75% +VAT for multiple agency, so not much at all when you consider that after costs and up to six months work, we might generate a profit of £150, assuming we sell a dozen properties each month, which has been nigh on impossible over the last 12 months.

Their beef is that the number of sales have dried up so they are now moaning about how little they are earning.

Well join the kin club boys.

If agents charged every homeowner an upfront fee for say 6-months of marketing and nothing if the property sells, selling fees would only be around £700 per property. But Joe public wants the no-sale, no-fee option, so he must therefore pay for everyone on that agent's books that don't sell.

The UK has already got the cheapest property selling fees in most of the civilised world, so I doubt anything will change.

Agents are already regulated through the Estate Agents Act, Property Misdescriptions Act, Town & Country Planning Act etc.

They are legally required to be part of an official ombudsman scheme like NAEA or OEA and take out professional indemnity insurance.

If an agent is not following the acts as stated, they can be closed down by Trading Standards and the Office of Fair Trading.

Getting them to take out some kind of licence will benefit no one but the company setting up the licensing!

They will achieve nothing and they are actually just as endangered as the agents themselves. A retired banker is currently buying a property through our firm and he is doing all his own conveyancing! Anyone can buy a house without a solicitor in the same way that anyone can sell their own home without an agent! I'm currently in rentals, but I know the industry well enough to do my own conveyancing. It's not hard and I am sure there must be a simple step by step guide out there to tell someone with no experience how to save on solicitor fees. ;)

I think you are giving poor advice. I am not a solicitor (so I have no bone to pick there) but it's OK to do your own conveyancing providing everything is just hunkey dorey. There can be problems with a title that may only surface long after completion. In this case you can rely on the solicitors PI (indemnity insurance) to pay you out if the mistake was to your detriment. It's well worth the extra for peace of mind. Similarly with employing a qualified surveyor (RICS) who has similar coverage. You should really think again my friend.

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Agent fees here in the US are around 6% with payment made to the sellers agent and the buyers agent - apparently there needs to be two agents to ensure both the seller and buyer get unbiased representation. Complete bull of course.

The realtor model here is the USA is just plain ridiculous and has encouraged a culture of property price ramping on a catastrophic sale. The banks and public are complicit in the whole scam lending and borrowing more than sensible income multiples. All at rates that don't reflect the natural reward for risk expected by the bond market.

We all knew this of course and its taken a catastrophic financial crisis to motivate our glorious leaders to do something about it. What does it say about them and what should we all think about leaders in the financial sector? The simple truth is they can't be trusted because they are either liars or delusional.

So what of British estate agents. If the average house costs 300k and they are charging 2% then thats 6000 per sale. That compares with three times as much in the USA. Doesn't seem outrageous to me..... 6% does tho.

BTW - I know a young woman agent who sells houses priced in the $1mln range. She drives a porsche ceyenne and gloats about how much she earns. Is a realtor worth ten times a primary school teacher? What a effed up world we live in.

Agreed on that. We just sold my wifes Mums house in Mass and I told the agents that I came from the UK and 2% was tops. I am RICS so I went through some valuations with them (Red Book) and it really put them off I think. It wasn't really relevant-just a ploy to get the fees down but it worked in my case. I was just disgusted that her brothers and sisters had to pay close on $20,000 for some crap valuation from a three-month property "expert". Not one of them had even heard of a damp meter and not one of them even came armed with a freakin tape. Anyway it saved the family over $10,000 so all was well.

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You've got that right, I've seen packs containing all the required documents and clear instructions for sale in WH Smith, for £15... along with a lot of other DIY legal kits.

Nothing excites a solicitor more than taking instructions to contest a home-made will or rectify title on DIY conveyaning. And with litigation bills running into thousands, it may be the most expensive £15 saving ever...

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IANAL, but I think the estate agents protest too much.

Throughout the boom, estate agents were charging about 1.5% to 3%. In London, on a typical £400,000 price (outrageous I know), they'd get a cheque for £6,000 - £12,000. For that, they'd do an average of 10 viewings, taking say one hour each. Houses were going as soon as the went on the market remember. So they were making about £600 - 1200 per HOUR.

Hence, the flash cars, the flash suits, the repaint jobs every year.

Now take a look at your local solicitors and their office: hasn't been painted since 1982, solicitor (underneath all that pomp) wearing a threadbare suit, driving a 10 year old renault etc. That should tell you something, but most people are too blinded by their own prejudices to see the truth: solicitors weren't making any money. They were getting paid about £600 and having to read carefully every single page in a pile of papers about a foot high. The average conveyancing was taking about 20 hours on a new build in lawyers' time, if done properly. They simply weren't making any money on conveyancing.

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In my experience Solicitors spin out every single task to make it appear as if they are actually doing something for the money. £600 for 20 hours of looking and reading seems pretty good money to me.

Perhaps estate agents and solicitors have more in common with tradesmen; all of whom have been coining in the dosh for a decade in the biggest property bubble we've ever seen.

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You've got that right, I've seen packs containing all the required documents and clear instructions for sale in WH Smith, for £15... along with a lot of other DIY legal kits.

The problem is though that if you f4ck it up then you don't have a solicitors professional insurance to fall back on.

I wouldn't touch a DIY legal kit at any price. Fact is that you aren't trained in the relevant legal matters and you will likely end up donig something wrong.

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IANAL, but I think the estate agents protest too much.

Throughout the boom, estate agents were charging about 1.5% to 3%. In London, on a typical £400,000 price (outrageous I know), they'd get a cheque for £6,000 - £12,000. For that, they'd do an average of 10 viewings, taking say one hour each. Houses were going as soon as the went on the market remember. So they were making about £600 - 1200 per HOUR.

Hence, the flash cars, the flash suits, the repaint jobs every year.

Now take a look at your local solicitors and their office: hasn't been painted since 1982, solicitor (underneath all that pomp) wearing a threadbare suit, driving a 10 year old renault etc. That should tell you something, but most people are too blinded by their own prejudices to see the truth: solicitors weren't making any money. They were getting paid about £600 and having to read carefully every single page in a pile of papers about a foot high. The average conveyancing was taking about 20 hours on a new build in lawyers' time, if done properly. They simply weren't making any money on conveyancing.

Where do you take account of:

Newspaper advertising costs

website charges

manning the office 7-days a week

postage costs

printing/brochure costs

aborted sale costs (EAs work on a no sale-no fee basis, unlike solicitors)

I agree the disparity between EAs fees and solicitors fees has become too great, however please do not misrepresent how much profit an EA makes. It is nowhere near £600-1200 per hour!

As an aside I dealt with the sale of Mr Marsh's previous home. Suffice to say it was of a value 99% of EAs will never be able to afford.

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Solicitors on the other hand get given the business once all the hard work has been done. They send out and review fairly standard letters and documents, print out some contract papers and order the money from the bank for completion. If they spend more than 8-hours in total dealing with a particular case (One days work), it will be a lot and for this they charge £500+ !!!!!

As a conveyancing solicitor this gave me a chuckle.

You miss the point that the skill is knowing and being able to apply your 1000 page book of Land Law so that you can both spot and resolve problems that would otherwise cause a problem down the line.

You train 6 years to be a lawyer and you are paying for the skill and expertise.

How I only wish every transaction was simple. Some people think they are simple - but that is precisely why problems occur years down the line.

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Agreed on that. We just sold my wifes Mums house in Mass and I told the agents that I came from the UK and 2% was tops. I am RICS so I went through some valuations with them (Red Book) and it really put them off I think. It wasn't really relevant-just a ploy to get the fees down but it worked in my case. I was just disgusted that her brothers and sisters had to pay close on $20,000 for some crap valuation from a three-month property "expert". Not one of them had even heard of a damp meter and not one of them even came armed with a freakin tape. Anyway it saved the family over $10,000 so all was well.

The Real Estate system here in the States is indeed ludicrous.

When we bought we used a discount buyer's agent who refunded us $5K at closing (offset).

All our local realtors were slavering for our business ie: to act as our "buyer's agent" but none were prepared to rebate commission, even though we had already found the property we wanted and there was little for them to do but submit our offer and counter offers and prepare some very standard paperwork.

I pity the poor sellers who have to cough up 6% or at the very least 3% to "pay' the buyer's agent.

When we sell it will be FSBO and a good RE attorney for us.

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