Estate agent (United Kingdom)

From ArticleWorld

Estate Agent is the term used to describe real estate agents in Britain. Estate agents act on behalf of the seller to sell the property. An estate agent prepares a detailed account of the property to be sold. The law requires this account to be accurate. The agent negotiates the sale between the buyer and seller on specific terms and then prepares a Memorandum of Sale giving details of the buyer, the seller, their conveyancers, the price and any specific terms which is sent to all parties of the transaction. They are also referred to as land agents.

The root

During the nineteenth century, the people who dealt with buying and selling of houses were referred to as house agents, those involved in selling land were called land agents and only those people who were solely engaged in the management of estates were called estate agents. Somewhere along the way the meanings got mixed up and the term estate agent began to be used to refer to all three, not least because it seemed the most impressive of the three.

Kinds of estate agents

There are typically two kinds of estate agents – agents for commercial property and agents for residential property. The former usually belong to a regulatory body called Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors but there is no legal provision to make the membership binding in order to be able to practice as an agent.

Some estate agents who are involved in buying and selling of residential property belong to the National Association of Estate Agents but since this is a non-professional organization, it does not have any disciplining authority over its members.

Commercial property estate agents usually charge a commission of 7% to 10% of the first year’s rent or alternatively they charge a commission of 1% of the sale price (in case of larger properties).