Two online agents claim high street agents earn more than any other profession

Two sets of online agents have claimed that high street agencies charge extraordinary amounts of money per hour.

Both say that high street agency businesses charge far more per hour than any other profession.

HouseSimple puts the figure at £691, while eMoov puts it at £922.

eMoov says this is based on time taken to sell a house being between five and 15 hours, and average high street commission at 1.6%.

It also factors in average house prices at £288,000 (ONS).

eMoov says that in London, the average hourly rate can be as high as £2,500.

eMoov founder Russell Quirk said: “This is the third year we have run this research now and it’s unbelievable that high street agents are still cashing in to such an amount, at the detriment of UK home sellers.

“This isn’t so much about the online offline debate but about the service provided to those selling and, quite frankly, the high street sector have been taking advantage of UK sellers for far too long now.

“The explosive growth of the online sector proves that it can be done differently and as we continue to grow, we promise to reverse this trend of overpaid, underperforming estate agents topping the list in terms of cost per hour.

“The cost per hour with an online agent is around eight times cheaper despite the service provided being consistently better, so hopefully it won’t be long before the commission fee structure becomes extinct altogether.”

In the first year that eMoov started making claims about agents’ hourly rates, it said it was £744; last year, it put the sum at £870, and this year at £920 – well over double what a lawyer charges, as you can see from the list eMoov issued yesterday.


Profession Cost Per Hour (£)
Estate Agent £920
Lawyer £409
Private Doctor £145
Hairdresser £79
Plumber £200
Electrician £200
Physiotherapist £60
Psychologist £60
Dentist £53
Personal trainer £30
Vet £46


HouseSimple, meanwhile, says it did its sums based on an average fee of 1.8%, and the same ONS figure of £288,000.

It claims that the average agent takes nine hours to sell a property, including valuation (one hour), listing on portals (two hours), an average of eight viewings (four hours) and sales progression (two hours).

HouseSimple CEO Alex Gosling said: “High street estate agents need no formal training and yet they charge vendors ridiculously large fees, for what in many cases is a few hours’ work.

“The truth is that it’s just as simple and quick to sell a property online now, and for a few hundred pounds. High street agents have been overcharging home sellers for years.”

* Stephen Hayter, of the country’s largest conveyance, says that the most common fee charged by high street agents is between 0.75% and 1%. He puts the average commission at just over £3,000.

Average fees: High street estate agents are charging less and less



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  1. Chri Wood

    Russell wouldn’t know an honest statement if it sat on his face and wriggled

    1. Robert May

      @codingdobby nip into PC world on your way in I need a new keyboard; I  just snorted tea down my nose and fair flooded the desk.

  2. MarkRowe

    Two things. In fact no, three:

    1. Russell please stop moaning, its getting childish.

    2. Roz, I’m shocked you allowed this on the site, because of No.3…

    3. The figure in the table Russell shows is the fee the entire agency receives. The service suppliers you list in comparison are the fees they receive individually as specialists in their areas. Trust me I would love to earn £920 p/h. A fairer way of displaying this would have been to work out an individual negotiator/manager or agency owners salary…

    Oh by the way… What’s your cut, Russell?

    1. PeeBee

      Oh by the wayWhat’s your cut, Russell?

      That’s an easy one, Mr Rowe…

      …’x’% of chuff-all

      He will change the ‘x’ on a daily basis to suit whatever agenda he is drumming up – but that’s okay…

      …it’s the chuff-all bit that tells the true story.

  3. Typhoon

    Of course they would say this. It is utter tosh. If Mr Q believes this to be the case will he be refunding all those thousands of vendors he robbed when was a “real” Real estate agent? Course he won’t.

    I wish him well in his business but he really should start to become less disingenuous. It could give our industry a bad name !!!

  4. Robert May

    How come passive intermediary Internet listing firms aren’t on the list? Thinking about it if you are losing money each year and are reliant on crowdfunding to bail you out it will be a negative figure.

    Lets estimate this; -£3,000,000 divide by 1950 =  minus £1538 per hour, no wonder he’s jealous!

    Fancy being sat there working out that for every single working hour of the week your contemporaries are making money at the rate of £2500 per hour more than you. That is enough to make anyone bitter and nasty.   To be sat there 3 years running trying to work out why you are losing money and are powerless to do anything other than whinge on and on? That is sole destroying, the sort of thing an egotist would really struggle with.

  5. Eric Walker

    There are many negs out there who don’t earn that in a fortnight.

    Anyone care to work out the hourly rate of those online agents who have recently floated for 40 times revenue?

    1. PeeBee

      Mr W

      I would add to that the fact that there are BRANCH MANAGERS who struggle to earn that figure or much more than it.

  6. Eric Walker

    House Simple, on their website, claim they save the average seller £5247. Their minimum charge is £495 so the average agent fee on which their saving is based is £5742. Here they say their figures are based on 1.8%  of £288,000 = £5184. Which is it?

    I would be very surprised if the overall average fee in the UK was much over £3000. This figure is also distorted by the heady London fees created through high house prices. One sale of a £6m house in Mayfair requires a lot of sales in the North East to balance the average. I think many agents would be very happy to average £2000 in commission.

    I absolutely agree with Stephen Hayter whose estimate is based on a far bigger sample of a broad spectrum of agents than anyone else. Surely the ASA need to looking in to such wild claims.

  7. ARC

    Mr Q is becoming the annoying child that continues to do more and more irritating things in order to get attention from anyone prepared to give a bit of it. The only way to deal with it is to ignore it and not give the little brat the attention he so badly desires (in both cases).

    1. PeeBee

      He’s not reading you comment.

      (he pays someone to do it for him, apparently…)

      1. ARC

        It’s amazing what you can get crowdfunding for these days PeeBee!!

        1. PeeBee


          Speaking of which, I seem to remember that in the most recent Numptyfunding exercise, The Quirkster crowed that the company WOULD increase their fees in order to ‘improve profitability’.

          Jeez! – that’ll be ONE CHUFF of an increase!

      2. Shaun77

        Perhaps he should pay himself to comment. He would clearly earn more than he is currently…

  8. inthefield

    morning Russell, isn’t it about time you asked a load of other people for some more money? Even though those figures in the article are wildly inaccurate at least whatever the real agents are charging they are earning. They don’t rely on crowd funding for their salary. You really are a joke. 


    1. PeeBee

      I strongly disagree with your last statement, inthefield.

      A joke is funny.  Even the corniest of them.

      The man, his claims and his agenda are plain and simply laughable.

  9. Romain

    The comparison is a bit misleading because whilst a lawyer indeed charges hourly just for his time, an estate agent charges for a service that includes more than just his own time, and entitlement to the full fee is not guarantee, though I’m sure that their margin is comfortable.

    I wouldn’t use an electrician or plumber who charges £200 an hour, by the way. Mine tend to charge closer to £200 a day! Where are those figures from?

  10. AgentProvocateur

    God I wish these idiots would shut up. Clearly taking a smaller sum upfront and ignoring the hours of back end work (20% to offer – 80% to get to exchange) has befuddled them. Peddling this trash over and over again makes us ALL (they ARE estate agents after all) look bad.

    SHUT UP and stop pretending we all get paid more than Harley Street doctors.

  11. jamesBee

    it  takes less than a second for emoov to be paid upfront  ,so if I’m generous to them they only earn a miserly £35,700 an hour (60 seconds in an hour @ £595 a second ) !

    1. observer

      60 seconds in an hour?
      You must be an estate agent

      1. PeeBee

        I don’t see your problem with the above – there ARE 60 seconds in EVERY hour.

        You can even take your pick – any 60 you like from the 3600 on offer.

        Choose wisely.  One second in time can change everything.

      2. jamesBee

        oh I’m sorry they only earn  £2,140,2000 per hour

        1. jamesBee

          oops £2,140,200 per hour

          1. observer

            smooth, well played

  12. Property Paddy

    Can I make a spurious claim too?

    On Line estate agents rip of unsuspecting vendors by charging hundreds of pounds to put their property in the internet and then throw their hands up and shrug if the vendor complains when they haven’t sold it.

    Can I justify this remark?

    I think those who throw stones shouldn’t live in glass houses.

  13. smile please

    How can people get away with these lies?

    How many agents do you know that are a one man band?

    How many agents are achieving 1.6% as an AVERAGE

    I am all for online agents but they lie and they are allowed to get away with it.

    ***** Newsflash ****** I have conducted my own poll and 100% have said online agents are not up to the job and are more likely to cost you more money in the long run

    1. Robert May

      Based on the  UK average transaction price to end January 2016  the calculated saving  against the cheapest of the cheap passive intermediary listing firms is £3312.96 including VAT (of which £552.16 is earned by HMRC not the agent).  However due to the reliance  on inaccurate internet valuation tools  by staff who don’t normally live within 15 miles of the property being sold, the average punter is net worse off by £8329.44  even with the fee saving.


  14. AgencyInsider

    A loud-mouthed billshutter spouting utter garbage in an effort to convince ill-informed people that he is the messiah who will destroy the old regime and make their lives SO much better.

    You never see that Donald Trump and a certain online estate agent in the same room together. Do you.

    1. MF

      I reckon he’s simply after the FREE publicity he’s getting.

  15. NALR

    Is he after The Warwick Award?  can someone forward it for him please, must be in with a shout as the greatest work of fiction since J K Rowling sat in a cafe in Edinburgh scribbling a few lines about a young boy named Potter. Is there no trough too low for him to jump in? What a see you next tuesday!!


    1. PeeBee

      Warwick Award?

      I’m not familiar with that particular bestowment.

      Would the ‘Warwick’ you refer to be Mr & Mrs Hunt’s second oldest son by chance?

      1. NALR

        It is a literary award for fiction. As none of what he says is true he must be in with a good shout, this said, previous recipients haven’t been shameless free press lines please nobjockeys as this chap clearly is.

  16. M Barnard

    In the article eMoov state that the average fee is 1.6% and the average house price is £288,000 by their figures that generates a fee of £4,608.

    Interestingly on his Twitter account yesterday, Russell Quirk stated that the average UK fee is £3,600. Which is it? Seems the eMoov PR department aren’t talking to the CEO or vice versa!

    1. PeeBee

      “Seems the eMoov PR department aren’t talking to the CEO…”

      Can’t blame them, really…

  17. Ric

    At the recent NAEA Conference he (Quirky) agreed rather sheepishly the fee’s they (CallCentreAgents) talk of are much higher than the reality throughout the country….. the room had one hand raise when asked who gets 1.5% on average! The NAEA should have also asked who gets less than 1% on average and I reckon a fair few more would have touched the ceiling.

    He and Bruce were let off the hook by a disappointing debate, which was not opened to “question time” from the floor, so the “CallCentreAgents -v- HighStreet” agents debate was so limp that it made the Money Laundering Section seem fascinating!

    No questioning them to define “Local Expert” or explain their “Portal Juggling” even though they boasted on stage “We offer better value for money” and achieve “99% of asking price on average.”

    Uninspiring performance from both the HighStreet and CallCentres at the conference and a real shame!


    1. smile please

      Not Paxman then? 😉

    2. Chri Wood

      Did anyone film the debate? I ask because the last such debate at proptech in London was filmed and such an admission on video by Messrs Quirk and Bruce would be rather useful to pass on to any national journalist daft enough to continue to be taken in by this guff.

      1. Ric

        I didn’t but will ask the NAEA as it was streamed to TV screens for the benefit of people at the back of the room, so there was a camera catching something.

  18. battsman06

    H ha ha ha ha, could someone tell my bank balance about this, because it has definitely not been told.

  19. Tracy

    “It claims that the average agent takes nine hours to sell a property, including valuation (one hour), listing on portals (two hours), an average of eight viewings (four hours) and sales progression (two hours).”

    Well that just goes to prove that HouseSimple hasn’t got a clue what it means to be an estate agent.  Clearly there is no preparation for a valuation, the valuation appointment is rushed and there’s no follow up, no property details, professional photography or floor plans, no qualifying of applicants, no chain building, no negotiating of offers to get the client the best price which is quite often over the asking price…..should I go on?  And don’t get me started on two hours for sales progression – with clients becoming more and more reliant on their agent to progress sales and keep them updated, two hours is laughable.  I will be using the above quote to demonstrate to potential sellers that an online option will leave them on their own, with no support and no one to get them the best price.  I always thought it and now they’ve admitted it.

  20. surrey1

    Based on a load of things I’ve entirely made up I’m richer than Croesus. Based on reality I’m generally exploring 0% balance transfer deals and tutting at the wife when we wander round Sainsburys.

  21. smile please

    Actually more i think about this the more ridiculous it is.


    Lets look at traditional people who charge by the hour, Accountants, Solicitors, Barristers, Financial Advisers.

    Not sure is Russ and other have ever dealt with the above but even a 1 minute phone call is billed at half an hour. Now i know his call center and others do not hold a database of buyers to call out to to sell a property but full service agents do. Its common place for negs to spend two hours calling a new instruction out or a reduced price. do we charge the seller £900 per hour to do that???

  22. The JB

    Any customers out there presently thinking of a move please contact me. I’ll do it for £850 an hour.

  23. The JB

    Wait, two hours sales chasing!

    Clearly the writer has never been involved in a chain featuring Premier Property lawyers.

  24. Gameon

    Surprised that PIE allow this blatant publicity for the online agents.  No agency in our area charges more than 1% and gets away with it.

    The public aren’t as stupid as you would like them to be Russell.

    Online agents offering ‘better’ service.  You have to be kidding – clients that came over to us from Purple Pr**ks had received no service at all once they had stolen their upfront fee.


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