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 (£)|
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.