Some Estate Agents Charging Buyers And Sellers
Some Estate Agents Guilty Of Double Fees
If you keep an eye on properties for sale in your area you may have noticed a slight difference in the way that some of them are being marketed. some adverts have appeared where they are suggesting that buyers must pay a fee to the estate agent as part of the offer. If the buyer doesn't agree to these terms then they will not be considered to buy the property.
This is highly unusual and to my knowledge is a very recent practice. Not only are buyers being asked to pay the agents fees but the vendor is also having to pay fees so the estate agent is actually being paid by both parties.
According to the National Association of Estate Agents there is nothing wrong with this practice as long as the agent is clear from the very outset what their fee structure is. As long as they tell all parties what their fee will be they can charge what they like.
Traditionally the estate agent would just charge the landlord a set fee but if they are able to get away with charging both parties then there is every possibility that this dodgy practice is likely to catch on.
Of course this is only possible because buyers are so desperate to buy a home that they are being manipulated ito paying these fees. This practice could be seen as acceptable if the agent were only charging the buyer a fee but the fact that some are charging both parties is seen as greedy and immoral. Complaints have already been made to the government who have said that they will have a look at whether or not this practice needs to be stamped out.
At a time when buyers are struggling to get a foot in the housing ladder this is not acceptable as these fees can be the biggest outlay a buyer may have to make. If an estate agent charges a buyer 2% of the purchase price this is going to have a massive impact on peoples budgets particularly across the London area where price are so high. An agent could be looking to charge a £10,000 fee to the buyers just for the privilege of buying a home through them.