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  1. Blog
  2. How much are estate agent fees in your city?
Research & Insights
15 November 2021

How much are estate agent fees in your city?

Sam Edwards
Writer

The last 18 months have seen unprecedented government action to save the property market from the devastating effects of the Coronavirus Pandemic - and the market’s done more than rebound.

In June 2020, a Stamp Duty Holiday was introduced to galvanise the property market and incentivise first time home buyers to continue spending. Meanwhile, lockdown-induced mortgage payment holidays and low mortgage approval ratings saw the monetary gap between homeowners and renters widen. Combined with an acute shortage of housing, these actions have set the property market ablaze, with house prices soaring across the country.

While the boom means it’s a good time to be a homeowner (and even better, a home seller), it’s important to remember its effect on other areas within the industry, especially where estate agents are concerned.

Are estate agent’s fees on the rise?

Estate agent’s fees have risen due to an increase in the value of property. Most high street agents earn a percentage cut from the sale of properties. Average rates usually range from 0.75 to 3% (including VAT) based on the following factors:

  • Location
  • Property type
  • Property value

While location and property type often dictate property value, it’s also affected by the state of the housing market. During the Great Recession for example, house prices dropped by nearly 19% between the third quarter of 2007 and the first quarter of 2009. In other words, the market became what’s known as a ‘buyer’s market’.

What is a buyer’s market?

A buyer’s market describes conditions where purchasers have distinct advantages over sellers. In the Great Recession, house prices plummeted. This meant that while it was theoretically easier than ever to buy property, it was a lot harder to sell because less people could afford to buy. In a recession, people are much more likely to be frugal with their money than invest in property.

In a buyer’s market, estate agent fees usually decrease because the industry is suffering from a lack of sales.

Why have estate agent fees risen now?

Currently, the property market is a ‘seller’s market’ - meaning that it’s a very good time to be a home seller, but not so much a buyer. House prices are on the rise, meaning that agents can not only earn more from their commission, but they can adjust their rates accordingly to boost their earnings.

How much do estate agents charge in your city?

Using our handy Estate Agent Fees Tool, we looked at agent rates across the most popular cities in the UK, and how they equate to current house prices:

How much are estate agents in your city?

See the full table of data below

What do the results show?

To help you decipher our findings, we’ve picked out some juicy snippets:

Cities with the most expensive agent fees

  • London is still by large, the most expensive city in terms of property price and estate agent fees. At 1.7%, with an average property price of £525,893, the average agent fee is £8,940, just shy of £10,000.
  • The second-highest cost to sell is found in Cambridge and Oxford. Despite charging just a 1.1% fee, estate agents take home £5,426 and £4,711 due to the higher value of properties.
  • Bournemouth also ranks within the top five, where the average agent earns £3,768 from an average fee of 1.2%. Meanwhile, the same percentage fee in Bristol equates to a cost of £3,690.

Cities with the least expensive agent fees

  • On the other end of the table, Glasgow is currently the most affordable city to sell your home with an estate agent. Their 1.1% fee charged on an average property price of £162,081 equates to just £1,783.
  • Bradford (£1,873), Newcastle (£1,957), Nottingham (£2,233) and Liverpool (£2,304) also rank amongst the most affordable cities to sell in the current market.

Do estate agent fees matter?

While it might be tempting to view agent fees as a major consideration when selling your home, it’s important to remember that fees don't matter as much as you think.

Our research shows that agent rates often vary without relation to average house price. Residents in Liverpool are charged an average rate of 1.4% to sell their homes. This is the second highest agent rate from our data, despite Liverpool being a city with historically low house prices.

However, our research also shows that Liverpool ranks among the most affordable cities to sell in the current market, despite high agent rates. This is because agents charge a proportional cut from property sales. The 0.7% difference between the lowest agent rates (Glasgow, Newcastle, Edinburgh) and the highest rates (London, Liverpool) is negligible in comparison to the £363,812 disparity between properties in London and Glasgow. Ultimately, you can still pay higher agent rates without truly impacting your sale.

What’s more, quality high street agents view their commission as an incentive to get your property sold. This means it’s in their best interests to achieve the best final sale price for your property.

However, this doesn’t mean you should get complacent. Estate agents handle the most important transactions of our lives. Their level of expertise could result in a sale well above asking price, or a bungled opportunity. Although fees shouldn’t be a primary consideration, you should still get your money’s worth.

The main thing you should take into account is agent performance.

Why agent performance matters

Like any type of service we purchase (insurance packages, phone contracts), estate agents should be compared. Although an agent’s marketing and negotiation abilities may vary considerably, home sellers often mistake fees as the main indication of an agent’s reliability. This is because many people find agents difficult to distinguish from one another at face value.

So how do you find the right estate agent for your property sale? Our free Agent Comparison Tool uses data from the Land Registry and property portals to rank local estate agents according to:

  • Their expertise in selling your property type
  • How likely they are to achieve your asking price
  • How fast they sell properties in your area

Everyone has different motivations for selling their property. Whether you’re after a quick sale or the most money possible, hard data allows you to easily distinguish which agents perform best in your local area.

Average estate agent fee by UK city

LocationAverage estate agent fee %Average house priceAverage 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

FAQs

What is the average estate agent fee?

The average rate for estate agents is 1.9% (0.75 - 3%) in the UK. For a £268,000 property, an average agent fee would be £5092.

What’s included in estate agent fees?

You can expect your estate agent to take care of a number of things in your sale, including:

  1. Evaluating your property
  2. Help and advice on cleaning and decor
  3. Marketing your home (including floorplan and photos)
  4. Vetting potential buyers
  5. Handling house viewings
  6. Managing the admin of the sale
  7. Keeping things moving during exchange and completion

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