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Selling your home can be costly, whether you’re moving away or due to life-changing circumstances. Many people sell a home because of downsizing, inheritance or a marital split. When selling your home, the most common and traditional route is an estate agent. 

If you’re considering selling with an estate agent, here’s our guide to everything you need to know about the process and the top cheap estate agents.  

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How does an estate agent work? 

An estate agent leads the way in valuing and marketing your home and is responsible for managing viewings, dealing with negotiations and completing the sale. They represent the home seller in buying and selling a property. 

Valuing your property and offering advice 

There are various steps to working with an estate agent, and the first is valuing a property. They’ll use their expertise and experience in selling similar properties and market data to decide on a suitable price. 

We’d advise doing your research first to give you a rough figure of what you expect the price to be and help you choose which estate agent to go for. You can get a free valuation online for an estimated number and by checking Land Registry figures.  

After you’ve gone through the valuation stage and chosen an estate agent, they’ll be your representative and sounding board for advice. They’ll explain the sales process and legal steps and answer any questions you have. Estate agents can share the types of potential buyers, what they’re looking for, what features they like and what you should improve on the property to achieve a higher price.   

Market your home 

Marketing your property is one of the most considerable roles of an estate agent and is included in the fees you pay. They’ll arrange photographs for the property, a description and a floor plan created for shop windows, brochures and property portals. Some local estate agents will also push your property in local press and newspapers. Online estate agents rely on marketing your property via their websites, such as Zoopla or Rightmove.  

Online estate agents can alter to local agents because they may not include the marketing commitments, such as photographs and floor plans, as standard, and you may have to pay more fees for these services. 

Another step included before the successful start of marketing your home is having an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). This certificate explains the property’s energy use and typical costs for potential buyers. The energy efficiency ranges from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient), and its certificate is valid for ten years. 

Arrange viewings and checks on buyers 

Selling your home can come with risks, such as potential buyers pulling out at the last minute. Estate agents help with this by offering checks on buyers, ensuring they’re committed and comply with money laundering regulations. 

Aside from checks, estate agents also guide the process by arranging viewings of your home and answering any queries of potential buyers. Buyers want to look around a property before considering an offer, whether that’s an open house or private viewing. Estate agents show the potential buyers around the property, pointing out the features and secure the home after they leave. 

Having an estate agent conducting the viewings gives a more neutral party for potential buyers interested in the property and takes the hassle out of showing people around the home. It also helps gain more traction for the property, increasing the viewings. 

Negotiate the best-selling price   

Finding the best possible price suiting you, the estate agent and the potential buyer plays a role in the estate agent’s job. They’ll manage the property negotiations, passing the offer to the seller and relaying the seller’s response. They can accept or reject offers that meet or don’t meet your expectations. Potential buyers can ask the estate agent for more information about the owners and whether they’d like a quick sale.  

Manage and finalise the sale  

When the offer is accepted, the estate agent issues a Memorandum of Sale to the buyer, seller and both party’s solicitors, which is evidence of the offer and how much the buyer pays. 

They’ll then manage moving forward, working through any issues in the chain, exchanging contracts and organising a completion date. The estate agent is your adviser during the finalisation process, facilitating the conversation between everyone, including the conveyancers and reassuring you every step of the way. They’ll want to push the finalisation to make the sale swift. 

Forget estate agent fees

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What fees do I pay when selling my house with an estate agent? 

Estate agent fees generally range from 0.75% - 3.5% of the final property sale, depending on the estate agents, negotiation and location. You can choose from two types of agreements which alter the price - a sole agency agreement and a multiple agency agreement.  

A sole agency agreement uses one estate agent, and fees range from 1.2%-1.8%. A multiple-agency agreement uses two or more agents with fees ranging from 3-3.6%. Estate agents are likely to push towards the higher end of the scale, and it’s up to you to negotiate them down to the lowest estate agent fees. 

When you complete the sale, you pay estate agent fees that cover their representative role when selling your home, from property valuations, marketing, and arranging property viewings to facilitating communication between all parties.  

Cheap estate agents to sell your home 

Searching for the cheapest estate agents can be challenging as most charge similar fees and are usually the pricier way of selling your home. However, despite the price, many choose this route as it helps with guidance and is more accurate with pricing.  

Online estate agents 

Working with an online estate agent is a way to stay current, gain traction for the property and pay the cheapest estate agent rates. Online estate agents such as Rightmove and Zoopla have over 180 million searches a month, and you’ll gain a large market of potential buyers. The difference between a local agent and an online agent is you can save a lot of money because there are no overheads to pay. Generally, online estate agents only charge a flat fee (and sometimes some hidden costs) to make the process as swift as possible. 

Although you’ll need to consider that you will pay the fee with an online estate agent whether you sell or not, a traditional estate agent only charges if you sell.  

Traditional and online estate agents - top to choose  

There are many to choose from if you want the cheapest estate agent fees uk, including: 

  • -  £0 base fee to pay (includes photos/floorplan and viewings) 

  • 99 Home - £99 base fee to pay (DIY package and advertising on some property portals) 

  • Griffin Property - £249 base fee to pay (DIY service to sell your home) 

  • Purple Bricks - £899 base fee to pay (includes property valuation, negotiation, marketing etc) 

  • - £995 ( includes photos, advertising on some property portals and sales assistance)

Researching each estate agent can help you choose the most appropriate option for your requirements and budget. 

Other cheap ways to sell your home  

Cash home buyer 

If you’re looking for the cheapest way to sell a home on a budget and quickly, a cash home buyer may be the answer. As cash home buyers, we purchase properties of all types for cash, providing a suitable price.  

Our process is simple; firstly, enter your property’s postcode on our website and answer all questions related to the home, such as location and its condition. Our expert team will be in touch, sending over a free, no-obligation offer utilising local data and current market conditions.  

When you agree on an offer, one of our regional managers will inspect the property and see if it’s up to the standard. If the inspection is successful, we’ll agree on a timeline suited to you, including the completion date. We sell our homes in seven days minimum, and the price we offer you is the cash you’ll receive. And as an additional bonus, you won’t need to worry about finding the cheapest estate agent fees, as our process is entirely free!  

Would you prefer to sell your home fast? We’re expert property buyers, purchasing your properties for cash and handling the entire process from start to completion, including the solicitor costs. 

We have a flexible approach in choosing a completion date for you, selling in seven days minimum. Contact our team today, and we can advise you on how to sell your property, the process and the considerations to make before working with us. 

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Alexandra Ventress

Alexandra is a Content Producer who enjoys writing articles, finding out about the property market, keeping you up to date with the latest trends.