Alex Broadfoot is co-founder of Sans Pere estate agents
I’ve been calling for a ban on letting fees for a long time now, much to the surprise and disbelief of the wider agent community, so it’s great to see plans for the ban finally announced.
We fundamentally believe in charging clients and customers for the service we provide, not for fabricated costs simply because they are the industry standard. We are doing that in a number of ways but crucially one of them is that we do not charge tenant fees.
For the larger fees, selling someone’s home can be, and usually is, a life changing moment for both the buyer and seller. It is the single most important transaction in a person’s life and your home will underpin the majority of the key decisions you make. A decision like that shouldn’t be made based upon how cheap you can make the transaction, it should be who can achieve the best results. Ultimately, we believe the cheapest agent is the one that sells your home for the most money and this needs to change.
When I’ve expressed my opinions around letting fees and our company values in the wider community of estate agents, the feedback I get the most is: “If you want to stay in business you need to make a profit”. We are not averse to making a profit of course, it would be a poor agent that is. However, what we are doing is finding ways of reducing that cost without reducing the quality. We’re looking for ways to spread the cost to us, and to remove it entirely from the applicant. Of course there are risks involved, but there are already risks for the current system too, and with the news it appears that our model will be one that the rest of the industry will have to now get on board with.