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‘Unfair estate agent pricing costs sellers millions’ | The Times

A lack of transparency among estate agents is damaging competition and costing homesellers hundreds of millions of pounds a year, according to research.

Only one in every 50 estate agents list the commission they charge on their websites while nearly two thirds also fail to provide a quote over the phone, making it hard to compare prices, the study found. Most agents are willing to discuss commission only once they have visited a property, leaving sellers in the dark about what is a fair price and forcing them to negotiate face-to-face.

The study of 100 high street chains and independent agents across more than 1,500 branches also found that a significant minority were failing to be upfront about whether their commission included VAT. The sales tax adds 20 per cent to the cost.

A commission rate of 1.5 per cent on a £500,000 sale would see the buyer pay the agent £7,500 on completion. VAT would increase that bill by another £1,500.

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‘Unfair estate agent pricing costs sellers millions’ | News | The Times.