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© GetAgent Limited 2024
  1. Blog
  2. Estate agent costs: How much do they charge in 2024?
Estate agent help and guides
30 May 2024

Estate agent costs: How much do they charge in 2024?

Sam Edwards
Senior Writer & Researcher
A row of sold signs

Table of contents

  1. 1. How much are estate agent fees in 2024?
  2. 2. What do estate agent fees cover?
  3. 3. Selecting your selling strategy: sole agency vs. multi-agency
  4. 4. Percentage-based versus fixed fee costs
  5. 5. Online estate agents vs high street agent costs
  6. 6. Who pays estate agent fees and when?
  7. 7. Understanding your estate agent contract
  8. 8. Summary: An incentive for sale

For nearly all homesellers, finding an estate agent is a natural step in the selling journey. But as with most services in life, a big question that people ask is - how much? In 2024, the answer isn't straightforward, with estate agent fees ranging massively from region to region.

In this guide, we'll take you through the core things you need to know about estate agent costs. How much you should expect to pay in 2024, what these costs include, and how much agents cost by area.

How much are estate agent fees in 2024?

The UK property market has changed since 2019. Property prices have not only grown, but so have mortgage rates. Estate agents fees are no exception.

In 2024, estate agents charge rates typically ranging between 1.1% and 3.8% of the property sale price, with the average estate agent fee around 1.43% inclusive of VAT. As such, the necessary cost of hiring an estate agent can make a dent in your budget.

But there is a way you can ensure you get the best bang for your buck when you hire an estate agent. With the best able to secure a higher percentage of asking price, along with faster sale times, it's crucial to compare the estate agents local to your area.

With GetAgent's comparison service, you can easily compare the top performers in a radius of your property. And yes, you can even compare estate agent fees.

Not only is our tool super useful for those who want to find the fastest agent in town, but it means that when it's time to pay estate agent fees, you won't be blown over by their cost, and you can even factor them into your sale.

Can you negotiate estate agent fees?

Yes, most estate agents can be negotiated on price, but it depends which type of agent you're working with. Local estate agents are your typical type of estate agent, and it's with them homesellers can usually haggle on price. An online estate agent however, will not let you negotiate on fee.

What are the average estate agent fees in UK cities?

In December 2021, we used data from our Estate Agent Comparison service to carry out a study of estate agent fees by UK cities. Here's what we found…

CityAverage estate agent fee Average house price (£)Average fee (£)
London1.7%£525,893£8,940
Cambridge1.1%£493,297£5,426
Oxford1.1%£428,298£4,711
Bournemouth1.2%£313,983£3,768
Bristol1.2%£307,523£3,690
Edinburgh1.0%£314,042£3,140
Birmingham1.4%£209,176£2,928
Cardiff1.2%£241,321£2,896
Leeds1.3%£216,580£2,816
Portsmouth1.2%£227,590£2,731
Leicester1.3%£206,498£2,684
Southampton1.2%£220,826£2,650
Manchester1.3%£203,835£2,650
Plymouth1.3%£197,944£2,573
Sheffield1.2%£192,236£2,307
Liverpool1.4%£164,550£2,304
Nottingham1.3%£171,762£2,233
Newcastle1.1%£177,877£1,957
Bradford1.2%£156,076£1,873
Glasgow1.1%£162,081£1,783

What are the fees of the top estate agents in your area? Use our estate agent fee calculator!

What's changed since 2021?

In October 2022, a Budget devised by Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng and Prime Minister, Liz Truss, brought an early end to the decade-long period of low interest rates. Rates rose dramatically, the mortgage market plummeted and the finance industry teetered on knife’s edge.

Now, the property market has stabilised - some would even say, recovered. But the days of low interest rates are over. We are now in a buyer's market - but with inflation having made everything more expensive, we’re seeing less activity than in the seller's market of 2020-1.

But what does this mean for estate agent fees in 2024?

  • Unfortunately, thanks to the aftermath of the budget, fees are slightly more expensive across the UK.
  • The 'race for space' that accompanied Covid is over. Expensive southern parts of the country, such as Cornwall or Devon, are now seeing transactions and house prices fall, reducing the price of estate agent fees in these areas.
  • Conversely, parts of the UK that saw lower transactions during the Covid period, such as Manchester and parts of Scotland, are now seeing prices and their estate agent fees rise.

What do estate agent fees cover?

The fees cover a range of services beyond just selling, including the property's valuation, marketing, and post-sale support. Here's a definitive list:

  • Initial valuation with report on your home and market evaluation of nearby properties
  • Professional photographs and floor plan
  • Asking price recommendation
  • 'For sale' sign
  • Online marketing on Rightmove and Zoopla
  • Offline marketing
  • Arrange and lead viewings
  • Evaluate potential buyers
  • Offer progression
  • Post-sale care, with buyer-to-seller communication

Please note there may be additional costs for online agent premium services or multi-agency contracts.

Selecting your selling strategy: sole agency vs. multi-agency

When hiring an estate agent, one of the key decisions you’ll need to make is whether to go with a sole agency or multi-agency agreement.

A sole agency contract means that one firm has exclusive rights to market your property for a set period. The average fee for a sole agency agreement in the UK is 1.18% plus VAT, which can potentially be negotiated lower.

On the other hand, a multi-agency agreement involves multiple firms, offering broader exposure but commanding higher fees, averaging around 3%. The type of agreement you choose can significantly impact the sale process and the total costs involved.

Sole agency agreement

A ‘sole agency’ agreement means that the estate agent is the only one authorised to sell your property, but if you find your own buyer, you’re not obligated to pay the agent’s fee. This differs from ‘sole selling rights,’ where the estate agent is entitled to the fee for selling the property during the contract term, even if you find a buyer independently.

With a sole selling rights agreement, you must pay the estate agent’s fee irrespective of who finds the buyer. To prevent the need to pay the estate agent if you find a buyer independently, you may choose to avoid the ‘sole selling rights’ clause in your contract.

Multi-agency contract considerations

A multi-agency approach can increase your chances of finding a buyer, as the commission is only earned by the agent who successfully finalises the sale. You can hire multiple estate agents to sell your home and wait for the best one to agree to the sale.

However, multi-agency contracts come with higher fees, often due to the increased effort from multiple agents competing to sell the property, yet only the agent who secures the buyer receives payment.

The typical fee range for a multi-agency agreement is between 2% and 3.5%, with an average fee around 3%. So, while this approach may lead to a higher selling price and a potentially faster sale, it’s important to consider the higher fees before opting for a multi-agency contract.

Percentage-based versus fixed fee costs

With estate agent costs, there are two main pricing structures: fixed fees and percentage-based fees.

Percentage-based fees, the most common form of estate agent fee in the UK, provide a sliding scale motivation for agents. Their commission increases with the higher sale price they achieve for the property. Also, they tend to be accompanied by ‘No sale, no fee’ agreements, which is always helpful.

A fixed fee agreement however, involves a predetermined service fee, payable upfront, and independent of the sale price or outcome of the property. This arrangement offers certainty and simplicity - you know exactly how much you’ll pay from the outset.

Fixed fee agreements are most commonly associated with online estate agents, such as Purplebricks, the late Strike, and Yopa. Check out our 2024 review of Purplebricks for more information.

Online estate agents vs high street agent costs

The choice between online estate agents and traditional high street agencies is another crucial decision for sellers. Here are some key differences to consider:

  • High street agents may charge a commission of anywhere from 1.1% to 3.8% of the sale price. This is usually negotiable.
  • Online agents often charge a one-off fixed fee, which may be required upfront and can start at less than £100.

Cost-benefit analysis of online vs traditional agents

When it comes to cost, high street estate agents are undoubtedly more expensive than online estate agents, with an average fee of 1.43% inclusive of VAT. In contrast, online estate agents often offer a fixed fee service, sometimes starting at less than £100.

While online agents appear more affordable upfront, it’s important to consider what this fee covers and whether the level of service meets your needs. Most of the services you'd expect from a high street estate agent, such as professional photography, Rightmove and Zoopla listings, or hosted viewings, will come at an extra cost.

Service level differences

While cost is a significant factor, the level of service provided is equally important. High street agents offer a personalised approach to clients, often involving one-on-one communication and proactive property marketing strategies.

Their targeted, offline buyer database can be more effective than just listing on property portals, adding value to their personalised service. The difference in personalisation and proactive engagement between high street and online agents is often reflected in their fee structures.

Online estate agents, on the other hand, design their services for scale, which may result in a less personal experience for clients, as interactions are often handled by call centres.

'No sale, no fee' agreements

‘No sale, No fee’ agreements are commonly used by most high street estate agents and can be particularly beneficial for sellers. Under this type of agreement, the estate agent only receives payment after the successful sale of the property.

Most online agents skip 'No sale, no fee' agreements because their fees are fixed and charged upfront, and they want to ensure that they are paid.

Hidden costs and additional charges

While an online agent’s fee may seem straightforward, there can be hidden costs and additional charges to consider. Purplebricks for instance, advertises itself as free in 2024, but avoids mentioning its compulsory money laundering fee, as well as its optional costs for...

  • Viewings
  • Premium listings
  • Photography
  • For sale boards
  • Floor plans

Moreover, if you decide to cancel a contract or change agents, you may be charged withdrawal fees.

Withdrawal fees and cancellation rights

Some estate agents may charge a withdrawal fee if you decide to take your property off the market within a certain timeframe. If a ‘ready, willing and able purchaser’ clause is included in the contract, you could incur commission fees if you withdraw from a sale.

According to The Property Ombudsman’s guidance, estate agents should always clearly outline their fees, including withdrawal charges, in their contract.

Who pays estate agent fees and when?

Estate agent fees are typically paid by the seller upon completion of the sale, with payment managed by the seller’s conveyancing solicitor. There is usually a grace period of 5–10 days post-sale to pay the estate agent before interest charges commence on late payments.

Understanding your estate agent contract

Navigating the property market can sometimes feel like learning a new language! That's why it helps to know some of the basics when it comes to examining your contract with an estate agent.

We've discussed some of the key things you'll need to watch out for in your contract:

  • Estate agent fee: Your contract will include the rate or fixed fee you have been charged by your estate agent.
  • Sole agency or multi-agency: It will also explain whether you are part of a sole agency agreement or a multi agency agreement - this is the difference between being tied to a single agent for a period of time, or being able to use multiple agents to sell your home.
  • 'No sale, no fee': Most high street agents operate on a 'no sale, no fee' basis, meaning that if they don't successfully sell your home, you don't owe them a thing. Online agents however, expect a fixed fee paid at the start of your sale.
  • Withdrawal and cancellation fees: Some estate agents will charge you for withdrawing from your contract too early or cancelling their services too soon.

Understanding estate agent contracts is an important skill. Things like tie-in periods, notice periods, and types of agreements (sole agency vs. multi-agency) affect the whole selling process!

Summary: An incentive for sale

Estate agent fees can seem daunting, but with the knowledge we've armed you with in this article, you can ensure that you’re getting the best deal. But don't forget that agents contribute a lot to the success of home sale - their fees are worth a fast and lucrative sale.

Thinking about
selling your home?

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selling your home?

Picking the right estate agent is vital for a successful sale. GetAgent makes choosing simple. Discover the best performing agents in your area.

  • Free
  • Data-driven
  • No obligation

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