Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Thoughts on moving house

People spend so much time and effort moaning about stamp duty, even though the money goes to government to pay for valuable public goods (such as health, defence, roads, infrastructure etc).

Meanwhile moving house involves other hefty costs, the worst one of which is paying the estate agent's fee when selling, which is usually 1% of the selling price (though some agents will negotiate a flat fee). In London this is as much as 2.5% of selling price. I have very little sympathy for estate agents saying that the government package "isn't enough". If they want sales, they should slash their fees.

It's weird we've got into a situation where people think paying 1% in stamp duty which goes to govt to purchase valuable public goods = bad, but paying 1% of selling price to rip off estate agent = good. It should be the other way round, as you don't get similar value for money from the estate agent fee - all they do is take some people round your home (and nine times out of ten you have to do this yourself).

My advice to home movers - if you want to cut your costs, bargain mercilessly with the estate agent over their fees. You can also use the online DIY sites such as, where you list your home for £99, and arrange your sale privately.


Anonymous said...

Don't know where you get the 2.5% Estate Agents fees for London,I have lived here for many years both in the centre and suburbs and never paid more than 1%,there are simply too many Estate Agents and too much competition for them to charge that level of fees.

By the way the stamp duty reduction is totally useless for the 8 million or so people that live in London since you can't find a hosue for £ 175,000.Useless in fact for virtually anywhere in the south east,just another of Gordo's gimmicks.

snowflake5 said...

Some of the higher end estate agents in London charge 2.5%

But even 1% is too much given what estate agents do. Definitely not value for money - and isn't it interesting that people like yourself just cough up without complaining? And spend all your time complaining about stamp duty instead?

When I last moved, I arranged the sale of my house privately. Am not sure why more people don't do this.

Regarding your claim that you can't find a house in the south for £175k - I'm on the south coast and you can get two-bedroom houses for less than that, and three-beds in the less salubrious regions. There are 62 million people in the UK - the 87% of the population who don't live in London will benefit from this.

Old Holborn said...

I have been sent here to witness, first hand, utter stupidity.

Well done. You have won first prize

Jose said...

Long time no read, Snowflake. I've had several problems with my PC and some addresses went astray.

You are right in my opinion. The world has reached such levels in the modern times that we are left no other option than do ourselves what it was others' task so far. Reducing costs by all means is as much our job as it is any Company's CEO's.

snowflake5 said...

old holborn - LOL. Methinks you are the stupid one if you think you shouldn't negotiate estate agents fees