Engel & Völkers Licence Partner Kreuzlingen > Blog > Finding the right estate agent: fixed price or commission?

Finding the right estate agent: fixed price or commission?

Do you want to sell your house or apartment? Would you rather work with an estate agency but don’t know what you need to be aware of? There are a lot of estate agents out there, so how can you find the right one for you?

Selling a property can take a lot of time and energy: sourcing the right documents for a professional appraisal, creating detailed sales documentation, arranging and conducting viewings, drawing up the reservation agreement, clarifying legal queries – the list goes on. For this reason, many property owners opt to hand over their sale to an estate agent. But how do you find out whether an agent covers all of your requirements and can sell your property for the best price?

1. Expertise and experience

The most important consideration is the experience of your potential estate agent. How well-known is the agency? How familiar are they with the local area? What are their reviews like? Then there’s the expertise of the staff – after all, they are the ones who will have direct contact with prospective buyers. Do they know the market value of my property? And are they able to respond professionally to legal queries or queries regarding new builds or renovations? Nothing can do more damage to a property sale than a representative that doesn’t have sufficient expert knowledge. That’s why it’s worth doing plenty of research in advance.

2. Service: all-inclusive or a fixed price?

These days, many estate agents advertise fixed prices in order to gain a competitive advantage over other agents. But is that more cost-effective, just the same or even better? Not normally, because what’s often hidden is the lack of service.

Fixed-price estate agents agree a fixed price for negotiating with buyers that can afford the asking price – and that’s where their support ends. Property owners need to carry out the viewings themselves, open questions relating to contracts, renovations or new build plans often remain unanswered and you have to deal with that as well. This is another of the biggest disadvantages of fixed-price estate agents: they lack the incentive to sell your property for the best possible price because the commission will be earned one way or another. If your apartment has a market value of CHF 1 million but the fixed price agent pushes you to sell for CHF 900,000, you’ll be losing more than if you were to use a normal agent. The calculation would look like this:


Recommended sales price CHF 1,000,000

1) Fixed-price agent

  • Pushes for a quick sale, agreed commission in any case is fixed at approx. CHF 10,000
  • Sales price achieved: CHF 900,000
  • Net proceeds for the owner: CHF 890,000

2) Normal estate agent

  • Commission  3% of the sales price* (in this case CHF 31,500)
  • Sales price achieved: CHF 1,050,000
  • Net proceeds for the owner: CHF 1,018,000

*The amount of commission charged by estate agents isn’t regulated by law, it’s a matter for negotiation and varies depending on the region.


Now, you might be wondering why there’s such a big price difference. The answer is simple – the fixed-price estate agent gets their CHF 10,000 regardless of how much they sell the property for. That means they have a strong interest in selling the property as quickly as possible. This is usually for a price that’s lower than the actual market value.

In contrast, a normal estate agent wants to get the best price, knows the market value and in doing so can increase their own commission. 

With agents on commission, you’ll also get an all-round service and don’t need to worry about anything until you hand over the keys. Only highly qualified employees work at Engel & Völkers, having been trained at the company’s own academy. You’ll also benefit from our international customer search database and networking within each individual Engel & Völkers shop. This guarantees you a professional, swift sale at the best market price.

Do you have any further queries? We’ll be happy to answer them. You can contact us by phone, in writing or in person at your local Engel & Völkers shop. We’re here to help!

- Beratung Engel & Völkers Wohnen Schweiz
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Engel & Völkers
Licence Partner Kreuzlingen

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