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The seller's team

It would be a very foolish and desperate person who would knowingly sell something for far less than it is worth, and given the value of a home is often a significant multiple of someone's annual income, it clearly is in the seller's best interest to command as high a price as can be achieved. 

Estate Agents

 In most cases the convention is that a seller will contact an estate agent or valuer to give an opinion on the price that the property could achieve if put on the market immediately.  If this is far below expectations and the seller has time and other resources, the property might be given some maintenance, embellishment or decoration to raise the bar a little higher.  The seller may then engage that estate agent, or another one or even two or more to market the property, or the seller may even go it alone and advertise the property via the modern media methods.

If the seller is using one or more estate agents then they will use their charm and skill to promote the home to potential buyers and encourage them to put in a high offer to secure the home.  There is nothing wrong with that, and this is what they must do otherwise the seller would not use them in the first place. Once they have joined the buyer to the seller they tend only then to be interested in getting the sale completed so they can collect their fee from the seller.  This interest can often be mistaken by the buyer as help to them to get things moving, but it is not the case.  The agent is only in a hurry to collect the fee and owes no duty of care to the buyer other than not to mis-describe the property to the buyer.

The Conveyancer or Solicitor

The seller's conveyancer or solicitor has a fairly easy time of it.  Unless he or she is also helping to buy another property for the seller, then all that is really required of the duty holder is to act as gatekeeper in respect of information being sought from the buyer about such matters as proof of ownership (otherwise known as proof of title) and supervising the exchange of information requested by the buyer of the seller's property and circumstances.

The Energy Assessor

As a result of recent European Directives every home has to have a current energy assessment as part of the particulars of the sale.  The idea is that a buyer has a choice of rejecting properties that are energy inefficient although just how much influence on a sale is rendered by a poor energy performance certificate is difficult to determine.  People don't buy homes quite the way they would buy a car or a refrigerator, where they might consider the running costs as a very key component in the desirability of a particular model.  The key difference being that most cars have suitable alternatives, and refrigerators are easily sourced, but houses are often very individual and other factors will influence the buyer, such as location, size, facilities and condition.

In any event, the seller is obliged to obtain an assessment and show it to all potential buyers.  An annoying little extra charge that the seller has to pay before the sale can proceed.

The cost of the team

The costs for the agents, the solicitor and the energy assessor will all be carried by the seller, so they are hidden from the buyer but in the end the buyer covers these costs in the total sum paid for the property to the buyer.  As a worked, yet fictitious example, imagine that a house is being sold at an agreed price of 349,995.  The buyer may have spent around 150 on the energy assessment, and 350 on the legal fees, thereby deducting 500 from the sale.  However, the ever so helpful estate agent's fee is based on the  agreed price so if the agent is charging 0.5% then the fee is the not so insignificant sum of 1,749.98 plus VAT at a further 20% or 349.99, giving a deduction of 2,099.97.  Assuming the fees for the others also is net of VAT, then the total for them equals 600, meaning that the buyer actually received 347,295.03.  Looking at things another way, the buyer paid 347,295 to the seller, and nearly 2,700 extra to cover the costs of the buyer's team.

But for the buyer, the costs don't stop there.

The buyer's team

Did you know that most people spend more time selecting a new TV than choosing a new home?