As Jayne rightly says in the article, the fees which Proper Local charge (£1,500+VAT to let, £5,000+VAT to sell) are based on the average property values in a defined geographical area. These fees are very good value here in E14, but they would be too cheap (insert chuckle) in W1 and too expensive in E17. And that point is what really underpins the ethos of Proper Local – it’s all been a bit ‘one-size fits all’ up until the time online agents started to change the conversation.
Doesn’t it just feel inherently more ‘sensible’ to charge a fixed fee for a service? After all that’s what estate agents are – service providers. Selling or renting a home is a transactional thing.
Your estate agent was not part of the reason why you have a more expensive home. They didn’t help you at work, they didn’t insist you shopped at Asda and not Waitrose to get you on the property ladder, they didn’t help you find a good ISA. So why should they be entitled to anything more than just a fair, flat fee for the service they provide?
What your estate agent does for you (and it’s a longer list than perhaps is perceived), is what he or she does for everyone, regardless of whether you own a 350 sq ft studio suite or six bedroom castle (admittedly not many of those in E14).
So, if he or she is happy with the £5,000-odd commission they get for selling the studio, by what measure should they be entitled to £20,000-odd for selling the castle if the transactional elements were just the same?
What, they’re charging you four times as much because there’s a few more photos to pay for and the viewings take 15 minutes longer?
Read more about future of estate agency in my previous posts:
To be continued…