“How much are your fees?” “What do you charge to find a Tenant?” are two of the most common questions we get asked every day, and of course we understand that how much a landlord has to pay is very important. Most landlords want to try and minimise their outgoings and maximise their income, and who can blame them?
Naturally an agent who charges a low fee is going to be attractive to a prospective landlord. But, does a low fee actually mean the agent is the cheapest?
Not to us it doesn’t. To us, the cheapest agent is the one who puts more money into the client’s back pocket. Surely, that’s the cheapest agent with the lowest fee we hear you say again! What needs to be considered is if that agent finds you the wrong tenant then the fee they charged you suddenly does not look so attractive.
Let me explain...
You have two agents wishing to let your property. One is offering 7% plus Vat Let Only, the other 10% plus Vat Let Only. Naturally the agent offering to charge you less seems more attractive, but can they do the job correctly at such a low rate? How robust is their referencing? Can they afford to use the best referencing companies?
If they are prepared to negotiate on their fee so quickly, what else will they negotiate on? The rent? The quality of the tenant? If an agent allows you to out negotiate them then they’re not a very good negotiator are they!?!
Also, if that agent with the lower fee negotiates on the quality of tenant and quality of references resulting in the tenant not paying the rent, or don’t treat the property and contents with respect, then suddenly you as the landlord are out of pocket and the low fee the agent has charged becomes irrelevant. Especially if you then have to start incurring extra maintenance fees or even property legal expenses.
That cheap agent now is not so cheap and the agent who charged more, did better references, had better processes in place and the ability to look for a good quality tenant now seems a better proposition.
Sadly, this is a situation we see all too often and we cannot stress the importance of choosing the right agent with the right referencing processes.
Truth be told in the current climate asking what an agent charges should actually be the last question not the first. Finding out how they do their references, how they find suitable tenants, what experience the staff have, how they deal with a difficult situation, etc should be the first questions that are asked.
So, the next time you are considering letting your property please give us a call on 020 8958 1118 and let us show you how we can help to put more money in your pocket.