Add Your Property
Simply enter a few details about your property – select “Get Quote” – we fly the nest and bring back quotes from the best local agent’s. Instantly!
No more frustrating ‘phone calls!
Review quotes from local agents and compare their fees and services. You will continue to receive quotes from agents for up to 72 hours. Relax!
Your personal details are still confidential!
With a single click, connect with the agents you like, and pass on the ones you don’t. Your selected agents will contact you, arrange a free valuation and confirm their quoted fees and services. When you are ready, instruct your preferred agent. Easy!
Using an estate agent: Selling
Selling a property can be a daunting and stressful experience. Estate agents are undoubtedly experts in the property sector. As part of their service they will conduct a valuation on your property, handle viewings and negotiations on your behalf. They will seek to achieve the optimum price for your property and the right buyer.
The estate agency sector is continually growing. Within the UK and Ireland, estate agents are expanding and developing, both on the high street and now online. With so much choice and competition, how do know which estate agent is right for you?
At Cucompare we have over 40 combined years in the financial and property sector. We continually listen to feedback from clients in relation to buying and selling property.
Of those surveyed in Northern Ireland:
68% said they contacted 3 or more estate agents before putting their property on the market.
58% said they valued “the estate agent’s reputation” as most important when selecting their desired estate agent.
39% said they valued the “estate agents fee” as most important when selecting their desired estate agent.
87% said they would be “very likely” to use an online comparison site to compare agents fee’s and services.
Reputation and fee’s are most important when choosing an estate agent but todays modern consumer demands choice and the ability to compare. At Cucompare we provide a simple, time saving and easy to use platform to compare the very best agents. We compare their fees, services and allow them to demonstrate why they are right for you. Like our little cucou bird logo, we fly the nest and bring all the agents to you!
An agent’s experience, combined with excellent local knowledge and being well connected to the local community is a very important talent.
Apart from the investment in high street premises, staff, IT, website and telephony, a traditional estate agent usually provides window displays and marketing literature – all designed to promote the sale of your property. They may also subscribe and be members of a regulatory organisation which provides additional security for any potential clients. In Northern Ireland, traditional estate agents generally offer excellent value for money. So how much do they charge and what for?
Estate agents charge two types of fee.
The marketing fee – which covers expenditure such as boards, brochure provision, photography, online advertising, traditional advertising as well as an Energy Performance certificate (sometimes charged separately)
A Commission or Sale Fee (usually expressed as either a percentage of the final sale price of your property or a fixed fee)
The marketing fee is not generally providing any profit; it merely covers the expenses an agent will incur on behalf of a new client. The commission or sale fee is how an agent makes a living. Agents may also have to charge you VAT on top, not his idea but its the law and he sends that to the tax man!
The following is generally what you get for services provided for selling your property.
2. Evidenced and documented comparisons of similar local sales produced
3. Marketing assessment and strategy
4. Listing online (e.g Propertynews/ Propertypal)
5. Brochure design
8. Introduce potential buyers and organise and maintain records of viewings
9. Accompanied viewings until property is sold
10. Confirmation and documentation of all offers
11. Sale negotiation
12. Sale agreement
13. Communication with purchasers solicitor
14. Communication with your solicitor
15. Communication with mortgage provider
16. Key handover and completion.
Depending on the type of contract you have signed, more often through points 1-15 the agent receives nothing if the sale does not proceed. Only at completion is the agent entitled to his fee for the services and sale provided. And if the sale falls through? He has to start all over again (and that’s a very common issue)! Compared with an online agent (who would usually charge you up front to cover some or all of the above points) it doesn’t seem so bad really!
So how much do they actually charge? Just click here and we will get you some quotes in minutes! Or go to the top of the page!!
Buying or selling a home normally takes 2 to 3 months. The process can take longer if you’re part of a chain of buyers and sellers.
There are several steps you’ll need to follow:
- sellers must provide an Energy Performance Certificate for the property
- if a seller is using an estate agent, potential buyers must make any offers through the agent
- once a buyer’s offer has been accepted, the seller’s responsible for drawing up a legal contract to transfer ownership
- an offer isn’t legally binding until contracts are exchanged
- depending on the amount given for property, the buyer may have to pay Stamp Duty Land Tax
Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) are needed whenever a property is:
You must order an EPC for potential buyers and tenants before you market your property to sell or rent.
In Scotland, you must display the EPC somewhere in the property, eg in the meter cupboard or next to the boiler.
An EPC contains:
- information about a property’s energy use and typical energy costs
- recommendations about how to reduce energy use and save money
An EPC gives a property an energy efficiency rating from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient) and is valid for 10 years.
Check how you could make your home more energy efficient using the EPC adviser.
How to get an EPC
You’ll need to find an accredited assessor if you’re selling or renting out your home in:
- England, Wales and Northern Ireland
They’ll assess your property and produce the certificate.
You can be fined if you don’t get an EPC when you need one.
The person selling the house, the landlord or the letting agent must show you the EPC if you’re buying or renting.
Buildings that don’t need an EPC
- places of worship
- temporary buildings that will be used for less than 2 years
- stand-alone buildings with total useful floor space of less than 50 square metres
- industrial sites, workshops and non-residential agricultural buildings that don’t use a lot of energy
- some buildings that are due to be demolished
- holiday accommodation that’s rented out for less than 4 months a year or is let under a licence to occupy
- listed buildings – you should get advice from your local authority conservation officer if the work would alter the building’s character
- residential buildings intended to be used less than 4 months a year
You must sign a legally binding contract with an estate agent if you use one to sell your home.
You must stick to the terms of the contract or you could be taken to court.
Estate agents must also treat buyers fairly. They must show any offers promptly and in writing to the person selling the house.
Estate agents are also legally obliged to pass on any other offers for the property right up to when contracts are exchanged.
A buyer must make an offer through the estate agent if a home is sold through one.
A buyer can make their offer directly to the seller for a private sale.
Buyers can make offers verbally (over the phone or in person) or in writing.
An offer isn’t legally binding in Northern Ireland, England and Wales until contracts are exchanged.
If a buyer makes an offer ‘subject to contract’, this means the price can still be negotiated (eg if a survey finds a problem with the property).
Transferring ownership (conveyancing)
Once the offer is accepted
The seller is responsible for drawing up a legal contract to transfer ownership.
The contract contains details about:
- the sale price
- the property boundaries
- which fixtures and fittings (like carpets and kitchen units) are included
- any legal restrictions or rights, like public footpaths or rules about using the property
- any planning restrictions
- services to the property, like drainage and gas
- when the sale will complete
If the seller has hired a solicitor or conveyancer, they will:
- draft the initial contract
- answer questions from the buyer’s solicitor or conveyancer (with the seller’s help)
- negotiate the details of the contract if necessary
When the buyer and seller are happy with the contract, both sides sign final copies and send them to each other.
The agreement to sell and buy is legally binding once this happens. Usually neither party can pull out without paying compensation.
Once you exchange contracts and deal with any remaining checks the buyer has asked for:
- The money is transferred from the buyer to the seller.
- The legal documents needed to transfer ownership are handed over to the buyer.
- The seller moves out and leaves the property in the state agreed in the contract.
- The seller hands over the keys to the buyer.
- The property now belongs to the buyer.
You may need to pay:
- Stamp Duty Land Tax when you buy a home
- Capital Gains Tax when you sell a home
Stamp Duty Land Tax
If you buy property for more than £125,000, you pay Stamp Duty Land Tax.
The rate you pay depends on the purchase price of the property.
You still have to pay if you swap something of economic value for a property, eg shares or another property.
Freehold sales and transfers
|Property or lease premium or transfer value||SDLT rate|
|Up to £125,000||Zero|
|The next £125,000 (the portion from £125,001 to £250,000)||2%|
|The next £675,000 (the portion from £250,001 to £925,000)||5%|
|The next £575,000 (the portion from £925,001 to £1.5 million)||10%|
|The remaining amount (the portion above £1.5 million)||12%|
ExampleIf you buy a house for £275,000, the SDLT you owe is calculated as follows:
- 0% on the first £125,000 = £0
- 2% on the next £125,000 = £2,500
- 5% on the final £25,000 = £1,250
- Total SDLT = £3,750
Higher rates for additional properties
You’ll usually have to pay 3% on top of the normal SDLT rates if buying a new residential property means you’ll own more than one.
Use the SDLT calculator to work out how much tax you’ll pay.
You may not have to pay the higher rates if you exchanged contracts before 26 November 2015.
If you’re replacing your main residence
You won’t pay the extra 3% SDLT if the property you’re buying is replacing your main residence and that has already been sold.
If there’s a delay selling your main residence and it hasn’t been sold on the day you complete your new purchase:
- you’ll have to pay higher rates because you own 2 properties
- you may be able to get a refund if you sell your previous main home within 36 months
There are special rules if you own property with someone else or already own a property outside England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Capital Gains Tax
You don’t pay Capital Gains Tax when you sell (or ‘dispose of’) your home if all of the following apply:
- you’ve lived in it as your main home for all the time you’ve owned it
- you haven’t let part of it out or used part of it for business only
- the grounds, including the buildings, are smaller than 5,000 square metres (just over an acre)
This is because you automatically get a tax relief called Private Residence Relief. You don’t need to do anything.
If you don’t meet all these criteria you may have to pay some Capital Gains Tax.