Posts with tag: estate agents

New Tool Helps Homeowners Find the Right Estate Agent

Published On: June 18, 2016 at 8:08 am


Categories: Property News

Tags: ,,

A new tool has been launched to help homeowners find the right estate agent based on their performance, such as sales time and price achieved.

The HomeOwners Alliance, the UK’s leading property advice website, launched the new service on Tuesday (14th June) to help its 3m visitors make an informed decision about which estate agent to instruct, based on hard data, rather than relying on chance and sales patter.

The organisation reports that problems with estate agents often lead to excessive costs, delays and stress, and is one of the main reasons that people contact and join the HomeOwners Alliance.

The free tool,, allows vendors to find local estate agents and ranks them according to:

  • New Tool Helps Homeowners Find the Right Estate Agent

    New Tool Helps Homeowners Find the Right Estate Agent

    How likely they are to sell the property – based on the percentage of properties that the agent has sold compared to the total number of properties listed with the agent.

  • The speed at which they are likely to sell it – based on the average time it takes for a property to go from estate agent instruction to Sold Subject to Contract.
  • How close they get to the asking price – based on the percentage of the asking price achieved on average.
  • How much they charge

The HomeOwners Alliance believes that homeowners typically start their search for an estate agent by looking out for For Sale boards in their local area, speaking to friends or popping into their local high street branch.

In making the final decision, sellers tend to fall into two camps – they will either take the view that all agents are the same, so opt for the cheapest one, or pay over the odds, wooed by the offer of a high sale price.

The group hopes to help people find the right agent for them based on the things that matter, rather than For Sale boards and sales patter. is free to use and allows homeowners to view all of this impartial information on estate agents’ performance instantly. The data is updated on a daily basis from over 18,000 estate agents across thousands of different websites to provide accurate comparison information.

Homeowners also have the option of contacting the agents directly from the platform. Using, they can ask their preferred agents to get in touch, taking the hassle out of phoning around.

The CEO of HomeOwners Alliance, Paula Higgins, explains: “We want to take the chance and risk out of choosing an estate agent, and help homeowners choose one that is best suited for them based on hard data about the agent’s local performance. For the first time, homesellers can take an informed decision, whether it’s based on getting the highest asking price, selling quickest or how much they pay in fees. They will be able to tell which agents try and win business by promising unrealistic asking prices, which ones have high fees, and which ones take ages to sell.

“We hope this will lead to a homeselling revolution, getting estate agents to move away from the hard sell, and instead compete on how well they serve homeowners.

“Sadly, one of the main reasons homeowners get in touch with us is because they get into problems with their estate agent. We hope this tool will get homeowners asking the right questions from the start. Our free guide, exclusive for users, advises how to then appoint and work with an estate agent for a stress-free sale.”

Higgins adds: “We know that estate agents are a critical part of the homeselling process, so we’re pleased to be able to showcase the best ones, and in a way that allows people to properly research agents outside of office hours and from the comfort of their own sofa.”

Relationship with estate agent important to househunters

Published On: May 27, 2016 at 1:28 pm


Categories: Property News

Tags: ,,,,

Interesting new research has indicated that 58% of would-be homeowners in Britain are searching for personal relationships with their estate agent.

In addition, house hunters want their agent to have a sound understanding of their property requirements.

Estate agent relationship expectations 

The survey was conducted by estate agency software provider Dezrez and looked at key attitudes and perceptions that UK property have towards estate agents.

Results indicated that a huge 93% of potential British home-buyers looked for a property online. 54% said they utilise a mixture of online facilities and estate agents to complete the buying process.

However, some potential homeowners said they would prefer to have a personal agent that can deal with the entire home buying process.


In addition, those surveyed said that they rely heavily on estate agents’ expertise for key parts of the process. These were found to be:

  • 72% for conveyancing
  • 62% to arrange viewings and insepctions
  • 53% for making offers
  • 42% for financial negotiations

Justin Morris, chief executive officer of Dezrez, said: ‘buying and selling a home can be an extremely stressful and daunting process and good quality customer service still carries a huge amount of weight. Estate agents are well placed to offer sound, expert advice. They can help to alleviate some of the pressures and concerns that consumers have with managing the process themselves.’[1]

‘What we are experiencing in the property market is some interesting trends that are mirroring consumer activity on the high street. Whilst many people like to be able to search online, they clearly value the customer experience and human touch of face to face interactions. However, without the personal touch online only services aren’t necessarily going to be in the position to replace traditional agents,’ Morris continued.[1]

Relationship with estate agent important to househunters

Relationship with estate agent important to househunters

Technological frustrations

The study also showed that many customers are frustrated with agents who are slower to adapt to using newer digital technologies. 67% of respondents feel that estate agents are not fully utilising technology to it’s full benefit. 44% said that agents must embrace technology in order to be successful in the future.

‘There is a real appetite for change from both estate agents and consumers, especially when it comes to the use of technology,’ Morris continued. ‘Advancements in technology, from mobile devices to cloud based software offer some amazing opportunities for the estate agent of the future. It gives them greater accessibility and freedom and helps them to alleviate some of the pressures experienced by home buyers and sellers.’[1]

Concluding, Morris said, ‘there’s a breadth of technology that can help transform the property industry and enable agents to deliver a professional and personal service across human and digital touchpoints. In order to survive, and thrive, estate agents must recognise and remain confident that they too have the tools available to remain competitive and keep customers satisfied.’[1]


How much does it cost to sell a property in the UK?

Published On: May 18, 2016 at 10:53 am


Categories: Property News

Tags: ,,,,, an estate agent comparison site, has provided a new online map to give property owners a better picture of the cost of selling of house in Britain.

This new map gives homeowners in the UK quick and easy access in assessing the cost of putting a house on the market.


According to the report, Hexham, a village in the Tyne Valley, is the cheapest place to market a property in Britain. On the flip side, Kensington in London was found to be the most expensive place to sell.

In addition, the map uncovers the differences in price being paid to move home in Britain. Unsurprisingly, London made up six of the top ten fee hotspots.

The 10 most expensive areas for estate agent fees were found to be:

  • Kensington-1.63%
  • Walsall North-1.60%
  • Cities of London and Westminster-1.58%
  • Preseli Pembrokeshire-1.56%
  • Chelsea and Fulham-1.54%
  • Putney-1.5%
  • Hammersmith 1.5%
  • Banff and Buchan, Scotland-1.5%
  • Holborn and St Pancraas-1.5%
  • Ynys Mon (Anglesey), Wales-1.5%   [1]

On the other hand, the 10 cheapest regions for estate agent fees were found to be:

  • Hexham-0.72%
  • Newcastle upon Tyne North-0.80%
  • Cannock Chase-0.82%
  • East Renfrewshire-0.84%
  • East Dumbartonshire-0.86%
  • Shrewsbury and Atcham-0.86%
  • Glasgow North-0.87%
  • Glasgow Central-0.87%
  • Glasgow South-0.88%
  • South Derbyshire-0.88%             [1]

The average nationwide fee was found to be 1.10%.

How much does it cost to sell a property in the UK?

How much does it cost to sell a property in the UK?


Alex Thorpe, managing director, observed: ‘No-one will be surprised to hear that London is the most expensive area to sell, but they may raise an eyebrow at two remote spots in Wales and Scotland hitting the top ten.’[1]

‘The costs are easily explained though and this is something that estate agents often struggle to get across-remote locations can mean a huge geographical area to cover, with increased overheads and a genuine lack of buyers. All of this can equate to a larger workload for an agent, justifying a slightly higher fee. Equally, in London, selling property isn’t just about listing a property on Rightmove and sitting back: we’re talking about vast sums of money, requiring agents to stay closely involved at all points and delivering the sort of high end service you expect to pay for,’ Thorpe continued.[1]


The online map covers the year between April 2015 and April 2016, drawing an average of property fee quotes from this period. This then gives a typical figure from sales of property of all different values.

In context, a property priced at the current UK average of £307,033 will cost £2,210 to sell in Hexham. However in Kensington, this will cost a fee of £5,004.

‘Whilst even the lowest fee may seem expensive to some homeowners, when selling a property the work that goes on behind the scenes is a lot more extensive than agents often talk about, especially post offer. Agents are the go-between in one of the most stressful processes we go through in life and they often become the main point of contact for a vendor, offering advice, support and hopefully peace of mind right up until completion,’ Mr Thorpe concluded


Agency cuts fees to 0.5% ahead of Brexit vote

Published On: April 27, 2016 at 2:02 pm


Categories: Finance News

Tags: ,,,

A top City investment consultancy has said that one leading private agency chain has cut fees to 0.5%, ahead of the upcoming EU referendum.

Despite not revealing the name of the agency, Jeffries said that it had slashed fees in order to build up instructions before the vote in June.


Jefferies made the reference to the unknown agency following the bullish trading statement released by Countrywide yesterday.

Countrywide stated that house sales were up by 30% during the first quarter of this year. This was not unique however, with many agents reporting similar rises, as investors rushed to beat the additional stamp duty deadline on April 1st.

In both Jeffries note to investment clients and in the Countrywide statement, concerns are raised about the economic impact of the Brexit vote.

Agency cuts fees to 0.5% ahead of Brexit vote

Agency cuts fees to 0.5% ahead of Brexit vote


Anthony Codling, Jefferies’ analyst Anthony Codling noted, ‘price competition remains strong and we are aware that one of the private majors has been cutting fee rates to around 0.5% in order to firm up a pipeline ahead of the EU referendum.’[1]

Noting that Countrywides’ trading statement yesterday was shorter than in previous months, Mr Codling also said that this was a hint of falls in trade.

Codling observed, ‘we would not be surprised to learn that one of the reasons Countrywide has trimmed it’s trading update disclosures is to reduce the risks of analysts extrapolating Q1 performance across the full year. We did find the trading update somewhat brief and somewhat short on numbers, although Countrywide disclosures are in-line with their peers.’[1]



RICS calls for mandatory licensing for agents

Published On: April 8, 2016 at 11:53 am


Categories: Property News

Tags: ,,,

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors has called for the introduction of a mandatory, legally recognised licensing scheme for all estate agents in Britain.

This call was prompted after anti-money laundering campaigners proposed harder sanctions against estate agents who assist rogues to hide their assets.


Transparency International said that all professional bodies should remove licences from individuals and companies found to be aiding corruption.

However presently, agents do not have to be a member of any professional body and could theoretically continue to practice following expulsion. Currently, The National Trading Standards Estate Agency Team are only allowed to ban estate agents.

In the wake of the leak of millions of documents detailing over 200,000 offshore entities set up by Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca, Transparency International has called for stronger action.

‘The Government should establish more effective administrative sanctions on professional enablers by encouraging professional bodies to withdraw licences from those implicated in such cases, in addition to prosecuting those who are personally involved,’ the firm stated.[1]


Head of advocacy and research for Transparency International, Rachel Davies, said, ‘if corrupt individuals are allowed to continue to buy up luxury property and enjoy life in the UK, then the Government risks its credibility in leading efforts to tackle corruption on the global stage.’[1]

In the wake of a television programme entitled From Russia With Cash, which showed estate agents dealing with an apparent corrupt Russian buyer, the NAEA and RICS called for an investigation into the findings.

RICS calls for mandatory licensing for agents

RICS calls for mandatory licensing for agents


Members of both firms were involved in the dealings, with an actor playing the part of the ‘businessman.’ After the calls from Transparency International, a spokesperson for RICS said, ‘RICS demands the highest standards from our members and where those high standards fall short, we will use the full weight of our regulatory powers to take action.’[1]

‘A full and thorough investigation into those named by the From Russia With Cash programme is currently ongoing. While it would be inappropriate to comment on an ongoing case, we will be making a full statement once our investigation has concluded. RICS will always take stringent action against our own members that are found guilty of wrong-doing.’

‘However at this present time, UK estate agents are not legally required to be licensed and many are not members of a professional body. We are calling for the introduction of a mandatory recognised licence for all estate agents,’ the report concluded.[1]


Buy-to-let investors surge ahead of SDLT changes

Published On: March 29, 2016 at 9:50 am


Categories: Finance News

Tags: ,,,,

Data from a new report by the National Association of Estate Agents showed that buy-to-let investors saturated the market during February.

According to the figures, 85% of estate agents saw a rise in the number of investors coming into the market in the last month. This was due to savvy investors looking to beat the additional stamp duty charges on buy-to-let and second homes, which come into force this Friday (April 1st).


The Chancellor made the announcement for stamp duty on additional homes and buy-to-let purchases in last year’s Autumn Statement. As a result, 72% and 85% of agents respectively recorded an increase in activity during January and February.

This surge from buy-to-let investors saw housing demand rise to its highest level for 12 years in the last month. On average, there were 463 house hunters registered per member branch, a rise from the 453 recorded in January.

Encouragingly, the number of properties available per branch increased from 33 in January to 35 in February.

Buy-to-let investors surge ahead of SDLT changes

Buy-to-let investors surge ahead of SDLT changes



Mark Hayward, managing director at the National Association of Estate Agents, notes that, ‘it is evident from February’s report findings that we’ve seen a real sense of urgency from landlords trying to complete on sales ahead of the stamp duty reforms-which now come into force next week. However, the mounting pressure and increased demand for housing has meant that first time buyers have had to compete with landlords for property and as a result they have lost out.’[1]

‘The number of properties available per branch increased marginally from 33 in January to 35 in February, as the number of sales agreed per branch in February increased too. There were an average nine sales completed in February, back to the level seen in October 2015 and a rise from eight sales agreed per branch in January,’ Hayward added.[1]