A Guide to Estate Agent Fees in South London


If you’re thinking of selling your home in Wandsworth, Tooting or Balham, you’re probably working out how much the move will cost – and wondering how much you’ll need to budget for London estate agent fees in 2023.

While every estate agent is different, and fees can vary, there are a few things you need to remember. It’s a good idea to shop around but don’t base your decision on the lowest commission percentage – your aim is to sell your home for the best price and to the right buyer so you need the agent who can ensure you do this. To help you get started, here are some of the questions which sellers frequently ask about how much they should expect to pay in estate agent fees in London.

How much are estate agent fees in south west London?

Each estate agent will set their own commission, which is usually a percentage fee based on the sale price. Across the UK fees vary from 1% to 3%. In south west London, the average is around 1.4%. By law, VAT at 20% should be included in the fee – but it is always worth checking if your contract doesn’t say this explicitly. You will pay a higher fee if you use more than one agent to sell your home – around 2% for a joint agency arrangement or 3% for a multi-agent one.

In most cases, traditional high street estate agents will operate on a no-sale-no-fee arrangement – but always check this first. Make sure that the no fee applies if you decide not to sell. Be wary of ‘ready, willing and able buyer’ clauses, which mean you still pay the fee if you decline to sell to someone who is in a position to buy.

Some agents, most often online firms, will offer a fixed fee rather than a percentage. In the case of online agents these may be much cheaper than a high street firm’s percentage figure but often apply regardless of whether the sale happens or not and need to be paid upfront.

What is usually included in estate agent fees?

This is what you should be expecting from your agent – if any of these services are missing from your contract, you need to ask why:

Advice about your marketing strategy and pricing based on detailed knowledge of the current market in south west London.

Floorplans and professional photos that present your home in the best light, along with a well-written description focussing on key features and benefits.

A sale board.

Calling their existing list of suitable clients – creating interest among serious buyers.

Listing your property on the main portals – Rightmove and Zoopla, as well as their own website.

Using offline methods including their shop window and possibly leafleting or advertisements.

Organising and leading viewings as well as providing you with feedback.

Carrying out negotiations on your behalf when offers are received.

Hidden costs – what to look out for

You need to be careful about any hidden extras – agents who quote you a low initial fee then add items that you’d expect to see included. We’ve already mentioned VAT as one example, but some agents may add floorplans or photography as an extra cost. This may be the case if you opt for the most basic level of service – often from an online agent. In some cases, you may only be paying for the agent to list your property on the portals – something you can’t do as a private individual – with other tasks such as viewings left to you. Be careful too about notice periods or clauses in your contract that tie you in for longer than necessary – four weeks is standard – and for cancellation fees if you change agent.

What about EPC costs?

As a seller you are required to have an up-to-date energy performance certificate (EPC) for the property. If you’ve had an EPC inspection carried out within 10 years, this is still valid and you don’t need to repeat it – unless you want to because you have done work on the house which has boosted its energy efficiency. Some agents will organise the EPC inspection for you but you don’t have to use this service. You should expect to pay between £60 and £120

Are more expensive south London estate agents better?

Possibly, but not necessarily. In some cases, you will be paying more for greater experience, additional services or access to a good network of high-income buyers. The important thing is to do plenty of research and choose the agent that has the best chance of achieving the sale price you want in the shortest time. Be wary of anyone quoting very low fees, however. This could be a sign of inexperience, desperation or that they with hit you with further charges later on.

How should I choose a south west London estate agent?

Definitely get three valuations from agents and quotations for their services. Ask plenty of questions to find out how effective they are at selling homes like yours, how long properties stay on the market and what strategies they are using right now. Read reviews and get recommendations if you can. Also, look at their websites, weighing up the quality of their written listing and photos and check out the extent of their local presence.

Are estate agent fees negotiable in London?

Negotiating on fees is pretty standard and something agents will expect – so it’s always worth asking them to lower their fees. If you’ve been quoted a good rate but wish to use another agent, you could use this as a bargaining tactic. If they won’t reduce their fees, you could suggest other benefits instead – such as a shorter tie in period – or offer a sliding scale with a bonus payment if they achieve a certain price. Be careful of anyone who is too quick to drop their prices – this also suggest inexperience.

When do I pay estate agent fees?

If you’ve used a high street estate agent, your conveyancer will pay the fee after the property has sold using the proceeds of the sale. Online estate agents usually ask for your fee upfront, or at a certain point, regardless of whether the property has sold or not.

If you’re looking to sell in south west London, we have plenty of experience of selling homes in Wandsworth, Tooting, Clapham, Battersea, or Balham. Talk to us today about our fees or any other aspect of our service. We’d be delighted to offer you a valuation of your home.