No sale no fee estate agents – do they really exist? Many homeowners misinterpret ‘no sale no fee’ to mean the estate agent’s service is free if your house doesn’t sell. This is generally not the case. What it refers to is that no commission is payable if your house fails to sell.
What is no sale no fee?
No sale no fee is a type of agreement offered by some estate agents. This type of arrangement is currently popular with homeowners who don’t want to dip into their pockets to get their property on the market. However, depending on the exact wording on the contract it is likely you will have fees to pay if you remove your house from the market. Why you remove your house from the market could be for various reasons. Perhaps you’ve given up trying to sell or it could mean you are changing agents.
The fee that you’re charged is typically called a marketing fee or withdrawl fee. This will cover the estate agents basic costs of putting your house on the market. Costs many include listing your house on portals, for sale boards, press advertising and any accompanied viewings. If you had paid a marketing fee up front – it is likely no withdrawl fee would be payable (but not always..)
Other no sale no fee estate agents operate in a slightly different way. They may limit the amount of marketing that’s included in the no sale no fee arrangement. For example, you may only get 4 accompanied viewings or 2 press advertisements. You pay extra up front to increase the level of marketing.
Disputing a no sale no fee agreement
Problems and disputes with this type of arrangement tend to arise where clients have not thoroughly reviewed the estate agents contract before signing. Or are possibly are not happy with the service that’s been provided.
If you have simply failed to read the contract then you only have yourself to blame. On the otherhand if you feel your agent has not perforned as you’d have wished or has failed to provide the service specified you should raise your queries with a senior member of staff. This will typically be the branch manager in a chain of estate agents or the owner/partner in an independent firm.
No sale no fee estate agents are going to become more rather than less common. But please don’t mistake this for a free service unless your house sells. Estate agency is a business like everything else, and agents must recover there costs.
Estate agents offering no sale no fee arrangements still have to cover their costs!