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Estate agent launches 0% commission deal meaning it's selling homes 'for free'On average, estate agents charge between 0.75% and 3% of the final price when you sell a home. That means theyre taking in around 2,000 per sale, and sometimes much more than that amount. Except, now, one agent has decided to scrap fees to some house sellers entirely. Online agent Housesimple began trialling the 0% commission scheme in Yorkshire and the North West earlier this year, and has now said it will be rolled

out permanently across these markets. More than that, there are plans to take it nationwide - with the free service soon arriving in other towns and cities across the UK. Sam Mitchell, chief executive officer at Housesimple, said: This is a bold move but one that has been tested. Within just six months of trialling this offer weve increased our property listings five-fold. Surely its a trick? Whats in the small print? (Image: Getty Images/Westend61) Its hard to argue that estate agent fees are fair - with the standard commission-based model seeing high street house sellers make three times as much selling an expensive home as an affordable one despite doing the same work. You dont have to pay full fees - these are often negotiable - and there are several agents that charge a flat fee for the work rather than a percentage commission too. Online agent Purplebricks - for example - has a fixed fee of 899, rising to 1,399 in London and surrounding postcodes. But a lot of the costs are simply inescapable too. It costs money to list a home on a site like Zoopla or Rightmove, then you need a photographer to take pictures, someone to measure the flat to and make floorplans as well as write a description of the property. And all thats before the time it takes to have someone show people around your home and negotiate or manage a sale after an offer comes in. All of that costs money, time and a lot of it requires expertise. So the question is how are HouseSimple managing to offer a service for 0% commission despi小罗原创解跑狗图57期 te these costs? Simple, kick-backs from other providers. Is that even legal? (Image: Getty) Read MoreRelated Articles575 days to sell a home – the brutal reality of todays housing market Yes. Not only are kick backs - or referral fees as they are officially called - legal, the odds are any estate agent you use already takes advantage of them when they can. Put simply, youre a valuable customer to everyone from mortgage brokers to conveyancers to insurance providers - and that means these firms are willing to pay an introduction bonus to companies that provide them w

ith new customers. Mirror Money has seen referral fees of more than 600 paid to property lawyers by estate agents, and fees of hundreds paid for signing people up to a mortgage or life insurance policy. Its why agents are sometimes so keen that you use their in-house mortgage broker or sign up with a

particular conveyancer. As an online agent, with no high stree

t branches to maintain, HouseSimple thinks it will make enough from these referral fees to

cover its costs. It even says it plans to roll the free service out nationwide in the long term. What does it cost to sell a home? (Image: PA) Read MoreRelated ArticlesNew rules to crack down on estate agents hidden charges - and protect the buyers left gazumped and out of pocket “Like most estate agents, we are generating revenue from ancillary services, but as we don’t have expensive branches and we use technology to make us more efficient, we can pass on these savings to our customers by not charging fees to sellers or buyers, Mitchell said. Th

e firm added that they can get these commissions from more than just the seller too. For every property we list, we generate 15 buyers. We can help them too, whether it be with mortgages or a concierge service to help switching over the utilities, HouseSimple told Mirror Money. The firm declined to say how much they made from these deals other than that they were in-line with industry norms. HouseSimple added that theres no obligation to use the services that it gets these bonuses from, and that they are fully disclosed. If you dont fancy using their services, there are several free, independent, mortgage brokers including Trussle , Habito and LC . You can compare conveyancers online too, as well as search for insurance using a comparison site. However, make sure you read reviews carefully before picking a conveyancer as service levels and whats on offer can vary greatly between firms - running from small high-street operations to big nationwide and online only brands. Will it work and will it be any good? A woman looking at houses for sale in an estate agents (Image: PA) Read MoreRelated ArticlesAbsolute carnage: the home-buying revolution that could destroy estate agents Its fair to say people are sceptical about the project. Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman, is dubious about whether people would choose an agent that wasnt motivated by a commission to get the best price. If you are t

hinking about selling your home, surely you would want to deal with an agent whose prime function is to sell your property at the highest possible price in the quickest possible time, he told Mirror Money. The prime reason for instructing an estate agent should be to get them to sell your property rather than the cost, or lack of one. He also wondered how the public would receive the of

fer of a free home sale. It looks like a gimmick and smacks of desperation, he said. People don’t usually value something they don’t pay for and this is almost certainly going to be a false economy. If you are selling your home and not getting the best advice, then you have plenty to lose. Buying agent and market commentator Henry Pryor agrees. “Pay peanuts, get monkeys goes the saying. Imagine what you get if you pay nothing. I’m not sure I would want to entrust the sale of my most valuable asset to someone who is being paid for recommending services to me and the eventual buyer. “The trend to lower fees based on clever technology has grown over recent years with brands like PurpleBricks and Emoov blazing a trail. Emoov went bust before Christmas and PurpleBricks shares are currently below their floatation price. Buying and selling is already one of the three most stressful things you can do. It’s right up there with bereavement and relationship breakdown for fun and excitement. Do you really want to be bombarded by firms offering you everything from removals to ch

ange of address cards? I don’t. Is the offer too good to be true? (Image: Moment RF) Read MoreRelated ArticlesOnline estate agents versus high street firms: The cheapest and most efficient way to sell your home for more Others were more positive. Paula Higgins, chief executive of the HomeOwners Alliance, told the Press Association: Its good to see innovation in the sector. Low

cost - or no cost - options like this can help with what is the very expensive task of selling a home in the UK. She added that consumers look

ing for an estate agent should generally check there are no hidden costs and shop around to get the best deals on other services regardless. Where the deal is being offered Who can take advantage (Image: Hero Images) If youre still interested, HouseSimple said the free service is available in postcode areas including: Lancaster Bradford Harrogate Ripon York Preston Blackpool Blackburn Halifax Leeds Hull Doncaster Wakefield Huddersfield Oldham Bury Wigan Manchester Salford Liverpool Sheffield Stockport Lincoln Warrington Chester Crewe Stoke-on-Trent Read MoreHousingMortgage Broker AdviceNo Deposit? No Problem.First House at 19How Shared Ownership WorksRightmove SecretsAdd Value to Your PropertySelf-employed MortgagesCan I get a First-time Buyer Mortgage?

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