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Exclusive: UK agents' fees still lowest worldwideResearch by Estate Agent Today suggests that UK estate agents' figures are amongst the lowest - and are possibly THE lowest - in the world.

Using just under 200 individual estate agent contacts as well as online research and global property guides, EAT has compiled a list of 20 countries around the world.

We have tried to compare each based on sole agency or the nearest equivalent in each country.

The UK's agents come out as almost certainly the cheapest - and we are referring to High Street agents, not online operators. Typical UK High Street agent fees are 1.0 to 2.5 per cent and very exceptionally more. Most are very much at the 1.0 per cent end of the scale and we are aware of a small number of agents who accept vendors' bargaining down to 0.75 per cent. However, we have taken what we believe to be a representative sample.

Perhaps surprisingly, only Dubai's and Russia's fees, according to agents in those locations, come even close to the UK's. In both of those markets, many sales take place much more informally than in the UK.

Fees are notoriously difficult to compare because while a few countries have a more regulated and uniform agency structure than in the UK, most do not, and several have loose' markets where fees are open to substantial negotiation by vendors and agents.

There are also substantial additional costs which will vary significantly country-to-country.

Likewise the level of service offered by agents will vary considerably; it is well known that the US realtor's service often includes the kind of assistance offered in the UK by buying agents, as well as the traditional sales service.

Even so, we believe this to be an authoritative guide to the various basic fees charged by the majority of agents in these respective locations. About a year ago EAT published a much smaller table of just nine countries but now we have extended this to 20 and hope to add still more in the future.

Agents will enjoy reading this, we are sure...

- Argentina 3% (occasionally as high as 10%)

- Australia 4% or higher

- Canada 3.5% reducing as asking price rises

- Denmark 5% or higher

- France 6% or higher

- Germany 5% to 6%

- Ireland 3% or higher

- Mexico 4%

- Netherlands 5% or higher

- New Zealand 2.25% to 2.95% reducing as asking price rises

- Poland 3%

- Portugal 4% or higher

- Russia 2% to 5%

- South Africa 4% to 8%

- Spain 6% or higher

- Sweden 4% or higher

- Switzerland 4.5% to 10%

- United Arab Emirates (Dubai) 2% to 3%

- United Kingdom 1.0% to 2.5% (exceptionally 3.0%)

- United States 6% to 10%


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    It would be interesting to know whether agents in these countries with fees closer to 10% have a similar media/public rep as we do in the UK

    • 02 March 2015 16:41 PM
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    Suggest EAT carry out a proper comparison survey because this is nonsense

    • 02 March 2015 16:39 PM
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    @syd - 'Fees are notoriously difficult to compare'
    'There are also substantial additional costs which will vary significantly country-to-country'

    I think it's just a basic guide, don't you

    • 02 March 2015 16:38 PM
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    Fees are higher but totally different markets. At the moment in Spain all you want are buyers, whereas in the UK all you want are vendors. Spanish properties are mostly all shared listings. The majority of buyers are coming from Russia, Scandinavia etc. agents have to charge decent fees as they split them with collaborating agents who have the buyers/clients - so you can divide the Spanish fee in half as you can with many of the others. The Spanish market can also be very labour intensive - picking clients up from airports accompanying them over large regions, dealing in person in the notary office etc. But the weather is nice :)

    • 02 March 2015 14:18 PM
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    In Italy both parties pay a fee to agents. Agent fees are usually 1 month for rentals (paid by both parties) and 2,5% to 4% in sales (both parties). In addition, in sales the buyer has to pay the notary fee (conveyancing in Italy is managed by notaries, not by lawyers). Having said that, the Italian property market is currently dead (Italians are keener to buy in London than in their own country...) so Italian agents' actual earnings are much, much lower than the UK ones'...

    • 02 March 2015 13:05 PM
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    Fees in France are 6% - they are paid by the buyers. The sellers pay the notaires fee. Different system, but eh agents do get 6%.

    • 02 March 2015 11:32 AM
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    This is a confused list. French notaires do not charge 6% or higher. It is closer to 1%. I suspect the figure you show includes, tax and/or conveyancing (which the notaires undertake). Just imagine how the UK's estate agent fees would look like if you included SDLT.

    • 02 March 2015 08:55 AM
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