Estate Agency Contracts

September, 2023

Are you planning to sell your property through an estate agent in England, UK? It's crucial to understand the different types of estate agency contracts and what to watch out for when signing one. In this quick guide, we'll break down the four main types of contracts and highlight some contract red flags to ensure you make an informed decision.

When it comes to estate agency contracts, knowledge is your best ally. Make sure you understand the terms and choose the one that aligns with your needs and expectations.

Types of Estate Agency Contracts

Sole Agency: You employ one agent exclusively for an agreed-upon period.Typically, the most cost-effective option.

Multiple Agency: You can engage multiple agents simultaneously and switch or terminate them based on notice periods.Often the most expensive choice due to multiple fees.

Sole Selling Rights: Like sole agency, but you can't sell the property privately without still paying the agent.Payment to the agent is required even if you sell to a relative, friend, or colleague.

Joint Agency: You employ two agents who share the commission, regardless of which agent sells the property.More expensive than sole agency, with minimum fees from both agents.

Contract Red Flags

Before signing an estate agency contract, keep an eye out for these red flags:

Length of Sole Agency/Selling Rights: The national average is 12 weeks. Longer periods may indicate overvaluation or a lack of confidence in selling your property.

Length of Notice Period: The national average is 14 days. Longer notice periods can lock you in for an extended period.

Multiple Agency Charges: Ensure all charges are disclosed, especially if they increase for multiple agency after the initial period.

Sole Selling Rights: Consider whether it's fair to pay the agent if they didn't introduce the buyer directly.

Fee Banding and Fixed Pricing: Be cautious of agents who base fees on a percentage of the sale price, as it might not align with your expectations.

VAT: Clarify whether fees are inclusive of VAT or not to avoid surprises.

Withdrawal Fees: Check for fees if you decide to withdraw from the contract.

The Get Out Clause: Know your rights to change agencies within the 14-day cooling-off period. 

**Important:** An honest and fair contract reflects the integrity of the estate agent. If you encounter any of these red flags, carefully consider whether you want to engage their services.

At Arlington Park in Norwich, we pride ourselves on providing fair and honest advice. We aim to change the perception of professional estate agents. For a free and no-obligation valuation, you can contact us at 01603 577255 or via email at

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