An Estate agent is a term used for an individual or a business that offer the services of purchasing, selling, renting, and promoting of a property. However, in the UK, the companies or individuals who deal with renting of private properties are known as ‘Letting agents’.
There are a myriad of estate agents in the UK. However, not all of them are reliable, so make sure you choose wisely. An estate agent, in the UK, is usually successful through their reputation so reading some online reviews about them is a sensible strategy.
The estate agent assists individuals and house builders to sell their properties.
The estate agent analyzes a property and estimates a cost on it. He/she then lets the property owner know the approximate price that can be obtained by selling the property. After that, they inform the seller with the commissions at which they shall be ready to handle the sale of the property.
If you want to get your house assessed by a registered surveyor, you need to use the services of a registered estate agent. The UK government has made many laws to protect the customers from fraudulent estate agents. Still, there are various unregistered estate agents. Specific legal documents are required while selling or purchasing a property and the estate agent organizes these documents.
In United Kingdom, different estate agents play different roles. Some of them deal with the sale and purchase of industrial properties and some in private properties like homes and compartments. Moreover, estate agents’ functions are limited to the area they work in. For instance, an estate who is working in the outskirts of London will likely to be unaware of the property prices in the inner areas of the city. You should be careful while selecting an estate agent as they earn their livelihood through commissions and they try to charge as much commission as possible. If you are in need of the services of an estate agent, verify their track record and see how successful they are so far.
Estate agent commissions are different. Some estate agents charge more and some charge less. They charge commission on the percentage of the selling price of the house. Usually, they charge a commission of 1-3%. For instance, the selling price of a house is £100,000. Now, the commission of the estate agent would be £1000.
These days, estate agents are going through bad time, as property sale and purchase volume has gone down due to the bad financial circumstances affecting the UK and indeed the rest of the world. It is very much a buyer’s market (if they can get a mortgage of course) so be aware of that and if you are looking to sell your home, choose your estate agent wisely. Sites like this can help, its also good to help other and put your experience of both good and bad estate agents on review sites also.