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Estate Agent Contracts

Below is an explanation of the different types of estate agent contracts most commonly used in the UK

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When it comes to estate agent contracts its important to know the difference between the most common types. Ask about them at the first opportunity and check all the terms and conditions before you sign. Not all estate agent contracts are the same!

 

  • Sole selling rights – If your contract gives the agent “sole selling rights” the estate agent in the contract is the only one allowed to sell your home during the period stipulated. You will have to pay that estate agent, even if you find your own buyer.
  • Ready, willing and able purchaser –  This means you have to pay the agent for finding a buyer, even if you decide not to sell.
  • Sole agency– This is the same as sole selling rights but if you find your own buyer, you won’t have to pay anything to the estate agent. But if the contract is open-ended, the agent might be able to claim commission, even years after the contract is over, if the buyer was originally introduced by them (to be fair it’s rare that an agent would enforce this after a very long time but what if it was 3 weeks after you had decided to switch agents?).
  • Multi agency agreement – You can use as many agents as you like and only pay commission to the one who sells your property. The more agents you get working for you, the more potential buyers you will reach, and potentially the higher the offers you will get – but you will pay higher fees. Using this approach depends on what type of property you have, and the state of the market.

 

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  • Don’t forget to add VAT (as some agents will often not include it up front)
  • You can negotiate on the % fee. The agent wants your business so they may be flexible. A small lowering of the percentage might seem trivial but it can make a big difference and save you many hundreds of pounds. But remember, the agent is not a charity, they incur large overheads to ensure they sell your most valuable asset at the best price and they do work very hard!!
  • You may want to consider adjusting the amount of commission you give your estate agents depending on how good a job they do.. You could agree 1% if they reach asking price, 1.25% if the final price is above asking price, etc. Additional fees are definitely an incentive to get the best price for your property!

Tie-in periods

Its normal for estate agent to have a tie in period to the contract. They are going to spend a lot of time preparing the brochures and other marketing material, getting the property online and phoning lots of potential buyers. Not to mention the accompanied viewings and call backs. It would be rather unfair to have them do all that then cancel the contract after 3 weeks because you have no offers! It’s a hard market out there but good agents know it best. Give them time to deliver!

  • 8 to 12 weeks are the most common terms but depending on your property type or location longer periods of between 3 and 6 months can be appropriate, provided you are getting the service of course and both you and the agent are happy with this.

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Sample Email Received


Hi Jane Doe,


Thank you for updating your details. This email is just to confirm those changes.


Instant Quote Details


Commission Percentage / Fee
1.2%


Where will you advertise for customers? (Online)
Agent website, Rightmove, On the Market


Where will you advertise for customers? (Offline)
Shop window, Local press


Whats included?
Photos, Plans, Details, Video


Do you handle viewings?
Yes


Agent Information
We have a number of people on our mailing list looking to buy. We offer…


Your Selected Areas


Postcodes
BT8, BT9, BT10


Towns
Bangor, Belfast


Counties
Antrim

Your Business Details


Business Name
Templeton Robinson


Contact Name
Jane Doe


Business Email
demo@templetonrobinson.com


Business Address
326 Upper Newtownards Rd


Business Contact Number
+44 28 9065 0000


Business Logo

Many thanks,

The CuCompare.co.uk Team


P: +44(0) 28 9065 5999
E: info@cucompare.co.uk
A: 16–18 Belmont Road, Belfast, BT4 2AN


This e-mail was email was generated automatically, please do not reply.

Sample Email Received


Hi Jane Doe,


You have received 2 new leads for properties in your areas. Please login if you wish to view more details about the property and send a custom quote.


You will be unable to quote for these properties in 33 hours as CuCompare allows each agent 48hours to send their custom quotes.




Business Name
Templeton Robinson


Contact Name
Jane Doe


Business Email
demo@templetonrobinson.com


Business Address
326 Upper Newtownards Rd


Business Contact Number
+44 28 9065 0000


Many thanks,

The CuCompare.co.uk Team


P: +44(0) 28 9065 5999
E: info@cucompare.co.uk
A: 16–18 Belmont Road, Belfast, BT4 2AN


This e-mail was email was generated automatically, please do not reply.

Sample Email Received


Hi Jane Doe,


You have just sent a custom quote the details are below. You will receive notification by email if a client chooses you to market their property.




Business Name
Templeton Robinson


Contact Name
Jane Doe


Business Email
demo@templetonrobinson.com


Business Address
326 Upper Newtownards Rd


Business Contact Number
+44 28 9065 0000


Many thanks,

The CuCompare.co.uk Team


P: +44(0) 28 9065 5999
E: info@cucompare.co.uk
A: 16–18 Belmont Road, Belfast, BT4 2AN


This e-mail was email was generated automatically, please do not reply.

Sample Email Received


Hi Jane Doe,


CONGRATULALTIONS!


you have been chosen to market 1 new property. You can now view the property owner’s personal contact details below.


Please note that in accordance with our terms and conditions you must log back into your account and let us know when the property has been sold or let.




Business Name
Templeton Robinson


Contact Name
Jane Doe


Business Email
demo@templetonrobinson.com


Business Address
326 Upper Newtownards Rd


Business Contact Number
+44 28 9065 0000


Many thanks,

The CuCompare.co.uk Team


P: +44(0) 28 9065 5999
E: info@cucompare.co.uk
A: 16–18 Belmont Road, Belfast, BT4 2AN


This e-mail was email was generated automatically, please do not reply.

Sample Email Received


Hi Jane Doe,


Thanks for signing up with us!


Your new login details can be found below: Use the login button below.


Email: agent


Password: agent1234




Business Name
Templeton Robinson


Contact Name
Jane Doe


Business Email
demo@templetonrobinson.com


Business Address
326 Upper Newtownards Rd


Business Contact Number
+44 28 9065 0000


Many thanks,

The CuCompare.co.uk Team


P: +44(0) 28 9065 5999
E: info@cucompare.co.uk
A: 16–18 Belmont Road, Belfast, BT4 2AN


This e-mail was email was generated automatically, please do not reply.

Important Fee Information

Agents charge a Sales Commission Fee (for the successful sale of your property) expressed either as a percentage (%) of the Sale Price Achieved or a Fixed Fee. They also may charge a Marketing Fee, which covers items such as Advertising (both online and local press), Professional Photography, For Sale or To Let signs, Brochure and Plan production.


All Fees may be subject to VAT so for the avoidance of doubt ALL FEES quoted EXCLUDE VAT so they are like for like comparisons.


Example: £140,000 sale price quoted at 1.5% is £2100.00 excluding VAT. With VAT added, the total cost would be £2520.00 (VAT quoted at 20%)

Important Fee Information

Agents charge a Letting (Tenant Finding) Commission or Fee for the successful letting of your property expressed either as a percentage (%) of the Annual Rent Achieved or a Fixed Fee. Sometimes they will charge the first months rent as a fee.


They also may charge a Marketing Fee, which covers items such as Advertising (both online and local press), Professional Photography, To Let signs, Brochure and Plan production.


If the Agent offers Management Services, they will indicate this and provide a more tailored bespoke quote for you depending on what services you require. We ask all agents that offer management services to provide you with a basic quote.


All Fees may be subject to VAT so for the avoidance of doubt ALL FEES quoted EXCLUDE VAT so they are like for like comparisons.


Example: A £500 per month rental property, with an Annual Rental of £6000 will quote as follows:


10% AR (meaning 10% of Annual Rent = £600)

£495 (meaning a Fixed Fee of £495)

FMR (meaning the First Months Rent is taken as the letting fee. This will be 1/12th of the Annual Rent, in this example = £500 )


Don’t forget to add VAT onto your costs at current rate of 20%

Important Info

Please note - An agent cannot increase the fee quoted unless you agree OR the approximate value of your property is outside the range of values you selected when requesting a quote.


When you meet the agent don’t forget to ask lots of questions and remember, cheapest may not be best. You will want an agent you can be confident with, who can demonstrate sales in your area, or if it’s a new company, one that can show you how their strategy is going to bring the result you want. Service is also very important. Don’t forget to check out the Agents Contracts area so you know what type you are signing.

What Now?

1. Start Clock! All Agents who have indicated their fees below have 72 hours to send you an additional revised quote. You will receive this notification in the form of an email from cucompare. Relax - it’s worthwhile doing nothing... yet! You can of course request a valuation and connect immediately with your preferred agent if you already like what you see!


2. Times up! Review all your quotes! Don’t forget to check your revised quotes!


3. Once you are happy to proceed you can click 'Connect' for the agents who have impressed you the most. This will send them a valuation request and they will get in touch with you.


(Through steps 1 and 2 your personal contact details are kept confidential. Please note that your personal contact details will be sent at step 3 to the selected agents you have connected with, who will contact you and arrange a valuation. We advise you connect with no more than 3 or 4 agents but there is no limit).


4. You've met the agents and you've decided who you are going with. Just click “instruct” on your dashboard and we will do the rest. We will even let the unsuccessful agents down so you don't have to. You can of course instruct the agent directly if you prefer.


Important Info

When you “Connect” the property status will change to “Valuation Requested”. All agents selected will contact you to arrange a more accurate valuation of your property and discuss the best marketing strategy for you. They will also confirm fees and services quoted. This service is free and without obligation.

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Instruct Your Chosen Agent

Your Name

Your Email

Your Contact Number (required)

Property Address

Assigned Agent