When it comes to selling your home, there is plenty to be excited about. It’s an opportunity for change, bringing with it a new house, a new neighbourhood, and a new start. However, estate agent fees are one aspect of the house sale that nobody is looking forward to. Selling your house and then being lumped with a hefty estate agent fee is a situation that nobody wants to find themselves in, however, it happens all too often. This is made even worse if your house sale should fall through and you are left paying the fees for a house sale that never occurred.
This is where no sale no fee agents come in. But how exactly do no sale no fee agents work?
In this blog we post we will be looking at what a no sale no fee estate agent is, how they compare to online agents and other house-selling options, and if they are a cost-effective option.
- What is a no sale no fee agent?
- Who offers no sale no fee service?
- How much are average estate agent fees?
- Which estate agents offer no sale no fee service?
- No win no fee agents vs traditional high street estate agents
- No win no fee agents vs online estate agents
- The catch with no sale no fee agents
- Should I use a no sale no fee agent?
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What is a no sale no fee estate agent?
A no sale no fee agent is exactly what it sounds like. It is an agent who you pay only once your home is sold, and if your property does not sell, then you will have nothing to pay. What this means is that you will only pay your estate agent a percentage of the sale price on completion. This is known as a commission fee.
One of the main reasons why people sell through a no sale no fee agent is that it protects them in the event of a no sale. According to Movewise, estate agents sell only around 50% of the properties on their books. It also means that your agent will be incentivised to sell your property as they won’t get a commission if the property does not sell.
Who offers no sale no fee service?
Both online agencies and high-street agencies offer a no sale no fee service, however not every agency will offer this. Online agencies such as PurpleBricks will offer a fixed upfront fee instead. This way of selling can work out as being cheaper than paying a percentage of the sale price, if your home doesn’t sell in the allocated time, you will still have to pay regardless.
How much are average estate agent fees?
Now we know what no sale no fee estate agents are, we can look at what estate agent fees are. An estate agent fee is a sum of money that you pay your estate agent in exchange for undertaking the sale of your property. Also referred to as a ‘commission fee’ this amount is a percentage of the final sale price which you will need to pay upon completion of the sale.
The Property Buying Company reported that the average commission fee paid to your estate agent is 1.23% of the sale price but some estate agents will charge up to 3%!
Which estate agents offer no sale no fee service?
With both online and traditional high street agents offering a no sale no fee option, you can be left spoilt for choice. Some of the most popular online estate agencies that offer a ‘no sale no fee’ option are Yopa, 99Homes, Strike, and eSale. For more information about how these agencies work, read on.
Yopa is probably one of the most popular no sale no fee online estate agents in the game. They offer a complete service, much like local estate agents and traditional estate agents would. They will send an agent to visit your property to give you a valuation. If you agree to the valuation price then your agent will then draw up floor plans, arrange photographs, and list you on property portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla. They are a popular choice not just because of their big name, but also because they give you flexibility over how you can pay. They offer you either no sale no fee, pay now or pay later.
However, on the downside with selling through Yopa, you will be tied into a 10-month minimum contract with them. This means if you change your mind you will either have to pay the cancellation fees, even if you chose the no sale no fee option, or you will have to stick it out and move agencies once the 10 months are up. Another downside is that if you want a Yopa agent to assist you with the viewings and help with potential buyers then you will need to pay extra.
99 Homes are another popular choice when it comes to no sale no fee online estate agencies. Much like Yopa, they are there to support you from start to finish. They also offer different packages, at varying prices, allowing you to pick the best option for you.
With the most basic option available on 99 homes you are able to advertise your property for you on Rightmove, Prime Location, and Zoopla. The rest of the house sale process then falls on your shoulders. This means if you want professional photos of your property, a ‘for sale’ sign, or help with sales negotiations and progression then you will need to be willing to pay extra.
Another downside is that even with the most expensive package, you are only entitled to 10 accompanied viewings. You will also need to pay extra if you wish to have a premium listing on Rightmove or Zoopla, an EPC, or virtual tours of your property.
Strike takes a different approach to no sale no fee conveyancing than we have previously seen. They advertise themselves as being the free way to sell your property. They will send an agent round to provide an in-person valuation, a floorplan, photos, a ‘for sale’ sign, adverts on Rightmove and Zoopla, and support on negotiation all the way through to completion.
At first glance this can seem like a very appealing avenue to sell your property however it means as a result you will have to host viewings yourself unless you are willing to pay extra for the hosted viewings option. You will also be required to pay extra if you wish to upgrade your online listing.
eSale is an online agent that offers a customisable approach to selling your home. Whilst the service they offer is not strictly a no sale no fee service they offer a £99 upfront fee and charge you the rest on completion. Through their website, you can pick the features you require for your sale and add them to your basket.
The standard price will cover you for valuations, photos, floorplans, and a property description. However, extras such as accompanied viewings, an EPC, videos on Rightmove, or virtual tours will cost you extra.
No win no fee agents vs traditional high street estate agents
Whilst no sale no fee agents and traditional agents both do the same job, there are critical differences between the two. Unlike with a traditional high street agent, if your property doesn’t sell then you won’t be forced to pay the fees. With a traditional agent, regardless of whether your home sells you will have fees to pay.
However, whilst no sale no fee agencies offer a level of security that selling through a traditional agent cannot, it is worth bearing in mind they can sometimes work out as much more expensive as if your property sells for a high price, then even a commission of 1% can work out as a hefty charge.
No win no fee agents vs online estate agents
Online agents also offer an alternative setup to both high street agents and no sale no fee agencies. Rather than getting a percentage of the final sale price, online agents offer a cheaper alternative with a fee upfront. This can be an advantage as rather than being forced to pay extras for things you would expect as standard, you are able to receive everything a local agent would provide but at a reduced price.
The catch with no sale no fee agents
Whilst there are many positives to selling through a no sale no fee agent, such as the potential savings and the customisable service many no sale no fee services offer, there are unfortunately downsides to this method of selling. Many no sale no fee agencies will often charge extra for paying on completion of the house sale. Some no sale no fee agencies will charge double when you use no sale no fee instead of an upfront fee.
Below is a graph with data from HomeOwners Alliance which compares the basic upfront fees you can pay with different agencies compared with the no sale no fee pricing.
|Online estate agent
|Basic pay upfront pricing
|No sale no fee pricing
|£999 or 1% with viewings
Another catch to selling this way is that even though you won’t be charged if you do not sell the property, you may be tied into selling with that particular agency for a minimum number of months. This can lead to your property sitting stagnant on the market and if you are looking to move quickly, this is less than ideal.
Should I use a no sale no fee agent?
Whether or not you decide to sell through a no sale no fee agent is completely down to you. Whilst a no sale no fee estate agent may be the right choice for one person, it may be the wrong choice for another.
The only way you can decide if this is the right avenue for you, is to carefully weigh up the pros and cons of using this kind of agent alongside reviews of the agents you are considering using. If you decide that it is not for you then don’t give up hope as there are plenty of other selling options out there, from traditional and online agents, cash buyers, auction houses, and more!
This covers everything you need to know about no win no fee agents. If you have any questions, queries, or insight into the matter, feel free to get in touch!