Cheap Agents

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    smile please

    Few months back i said an agent in town had opened up with a very low fee to sell property on ‘no sale, no fee’ I forget the exact figure but it was around £800 inclusive of VAT (I tried to find the original thread but could not).

    I said i would give them a year until i make an offer on their desks, well they closed after 9 months!

    You may think the £800 to sell your house was a bedroom agent, it was not. They had town center offices and employed seasoned estate agents.

    They lacked stock, obviously this meant less sales, led to less turnover and obviously no profit.

    I worked out with all associated costs the office would cost approximately 10k per month to run (give or take a grand).

    Over a year the running costs would be £120,000 at £800 per completion they would have had to completed on 150 properties. In our patch most agents sell 50% of their stock before it goes to another agent or comes off the market altogether. This means they would have had to list 300 properties a year or 25 a month from a new cold start office.

    Our average fee at the moment in £ is around 4k meaning to break even at an office the size above we would only need to complete on 30 a year or just 2.5 sales a month. And with a 50% sale rate only be instructed on 60 a year or just 5 per month.

    Why am i writing this? On a local scale the cheap agents cannot work. If you are worried about Tepilo, Emoov, Purplebricks do not be. They do not have the benefit of being local, they do not canvass, they do not have links to the local community. They are not referred instructions they buy them by way of media advertising and PPC – This costs them a fortune.

    The business model is not sustainable.

    If I am honest, our fee dipped from 1.5% in recent years to 1% this is down to us perceiving vendors will not pay a higher fee due to all our competitors (i do mean all) offering 1% or below.

    However, couple of months back i told the team to try for 1.25% And you know what we have only lost 2 instructions on fee, but listed countless others at a higher fee than 1% making it worthwhile.

    Moral of this story is there are always people looking for the cheapest deal but most people do value service and understand its what you walk away with that is important.

    In the lack of an industry voice, i challenge all independents to spend 5 extra minutes on a valuation emphasising the importance of service. And try for a higher fee. Even if it is going from 1% to 1.1% at the end of your year it makes a big difference to your balance sheet.




    smile please

    * On a side note, i would really like to develop this thread for independent estate agents. Lets use this as a best practise thread. Also offer advice.

    Lets not make it an online bashing thread, enough of them and we all know the pitfalls. Lets start something that all true independents can use as a tool.

    You maybe a neg, branch manager or owner. Lets develop this thread to help our industry.

    If you have some advice, share it. If you need help ask. Lets just be decent human beings and be excellent at what we do while earning a fair wage for us and our teams.


    smile please

    Here is a good basic tip,

    Soon as you have booked a valuation, hand deliver a letter confirming the appointment and email them a copy. Shows as you are local you have the resources to offer top service and the email in case they are at work shows you are efficient.

    Not earth shattering but do you do it every time?



    Hand delivery of appointment letters also allows you to check out kerb appeal and helps in comparable prep.



    A killer tip for appraisals is to put on overshoes when you first meet the vendor and explain that all prospective buyers viewing the property will be provided with same.


    smile please

    Great tip on the over shoes, we use to do but stopped when we ran out a couple of months back, thanks to your prompt will order some more up today 🙂



    In this game, you need to master the art of passive aggressive



    Forgive the gatecrash – but I’ve joined this thread because I was going to create another which in many ways would overlap with this one.

    I’ve been having a friendly chat over on the main site with poster ‘ARC’, and we’ve decided to bring ourselves – handbags and all – over to The Arena to continue the debate and expand it further.

    Although you can read our previous rantings here if you feel up to it:

    to be blunt the only real bits worth chewing over are the last couple of comments:

    (ARC) “I don’t agree with in my opinion lazy agents who have had it too easy for too long getting all bent out of shape because some of their potential vendors have chosen to instruct an agent that does less for less.”

    (moi) I’m with you 110% on that. We, as Agents, have to EARN our instructions – then PROVE our vendors right to instruct us.  We don’t have a ‘right’ to anything.

    If ‘Agent X’ can do the same job that I can… get the same result as I can… cheaper – then why should I expect to be given the job?

    HOWEVER… when the opportunity to EARN the instruction is removed by the hype… misinformation… downright LIES (if you want to be so bold as to call it just that) that are being pushed down the throats of the public by certain companies – and I’m not necessarily even referring exclusively to the suspects you suspect I am – then THAT is where my “problem” with all this kicks in.

    And I believe in the main I speak for the readership of EYE on that count.

    SO… can we discuss this as a ‘sub-thread’, please?  I would respectfully suggest that it’s 90-something% relevant to the whole “Cheap Agents” theme and needs to be readily accessible.

    Thank you in anticipation of some good stuff flowing forth!

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 3 months ago by PeeBee.
    • This reply was modified 2 years, 3 months ago by PeeBee.

    undercover agent

    Sounds like you’re saying that some cheap agents exaggerate and make misleading clames. Well so do some expensive agents. If both the cheap agent and the expensive agent are going to exaggerate, then I’m more inclined to believe the expensive agent. After all, everyone knows that you get what you pay for, and if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

    Besides, given the bad service and bad advice I’ve seen given out by cheap agents, and shockingly bad vendor viewings, I have no doubt that a good agent, who understands the market and the buyers  motivations, can achieve a better outcome for the vendor, easily covering the higher fee, while also creating a more stable and certain transaction, with better overall service. From the vendors point of view, it’s almost like beings paid to use them.

    the problem is bad agents pretending to be expensive agents, they are the real issue as far as I can tell.

    Would love to here your thoughts on it.


    Like Button

    I’m sorry that no-one can ‘Like’ this thread…

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 3 months ago by Like Button.
    • This reply was modified 2 years, 3 months ago by Like Button.
    • This reply was modified 2 years, 3 months ago by Like Button.


    Hi, undercover agent.  Thanks for joining (OPENING, if truth be told…) the debate.

    “Sounds like you’re saying that some cheap agents exaggerate and make misleading clames. Well so do some expensive agents.”

    Yup – unfortunately they do.  But this really isn’t about “cheap” agents – and that’s why I almost started a new thread with a different title.

    The original thrust of this thread started by ‘smile please’ is that the ‘cheap’ model in the vast majority of cases simply doesn’t work – that the fees they charge can not and will not sustain them and invariably fail – leaving behind problems of several varieties (which having seen it many times I fully sympathise and agree with).

    But for me, I wanted to open this wider – and my contribution is to bring into the discussion those “Agents” who capture their business through false or misleading means – which only has a long-term negative impact on our industry.

    Whether an Agent is ‘cheap’ or ‘expensive’ depends on a myriad of factors.  As I have stated ad nauseum in past, it is actually more about value.  The Agent who can achieve the vendor the best result is invariably the ‘Best Value’ Agent – even if their actual Fee is the highest in the town.

    Problem is that the Vendor doesn’t know for certain which Agent that will be.  In fairness same Vendor should be able to expect us all to be the same; do the same job… to the same standard… and get the same result in every case – but of course that is far from the case.  Your two very valid statements in relation to what you pay is what you get are invariably true – but they shouldn’t be.

    Hence opening up the debate.

    SO… your point – mangy corner shop pretending to be every bit as posh as ‘arrods.

    Everyone loves a trier.  We all have to fluff our own feathers from time to time.  But a wren ain’t gonna be able to soar above the oceans for days weeks or months at a time the same way that an albatross can.

    Self-belief is a wonderful quality and should be applauded and encouraged.

    But when it is simply bluff and bluster wrapped in unashamed f*ckwittery (credit: Jonnie) for the single aim of self-interest it is to be stamped out.

    I’m looking forward to continuing this with you.

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 3 months ago by PeeBee.

    smile please

    Looks like somebody is spamming the arena!


    However was interesting to read over previous comments and also the original post. I said back in August last year do not worry about Tepilo (Gone), Emoov (Gone, back and will probably go again!) and Purplebricks (Share price down from £3 to £1.20)


    We have also maintained our fee of 1.25% (well in most cases)


    Keep at it, 2019 will hold lots of opportunities for well run agents.


    smile please

    A timely update, looks like OZ and USA PB have gone or going.






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