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Attack on agents "lining the pockets of their designer suits" with high fees

Publicity-conscious online estate agency eMoov claims vendors in London have spent £861.5m on traditional estate agents’ fees in 2015. 

eMoov accuses agents of “lining the pockets of their designer suits,” of “cashing in big time” and charging “a stifling amount of money to sell a property.” 

Using Office of National Statistics data on transactions, Zoopla estimates on average prices paid in each borough, and agency fees calculated by MyHomeMove, the online agency says there were 108,891 property transactions in London last year - around 12 per cent of all transactions across the whole UK.

On the average property sold price of £579,478 across the capital, that’s an average fee paid of £8,460 per property.

Kensington and Chelsea accounted for the highest volume of fees paid, ahead of Wandsworth, Westminster, Lambeth and Camden. 

A combination of one of the lowest number of property transactions across the capital and, an average house price of just £233,000, means Barking and Dagenham was the borough with the lowest total of estate agency fees across the capital. Traditional agents there received £3,400 per property on average.

“It’s no secret that high street agents are cashing in big time through commission based fees and, thanks to the inflated price of London property, nowhere more so than the capital” says Russell Quirk, eMoov founder and chief executive.

“The commission based fee structure is as outdated as other high street practices - such as sole agency agreements. A house is a house whether it’s built in London or Lancashire and some may argue that, because of the nature of the market and demand for London property, selling in the capital actually requires less work than elsewhere” Quirk contends.

“Had London’s 108,891 transactions sold through eMoov, we could have saved the capital £796.7m in high street fees” he says, adding: “The mind boggles as to how much money they [traditional agents] are actually making.”

  • Chris Arnold

    You never look good, trying to make someone else look bad!

  • Sophia Mose

    This kind of rhetoric sounds a lot like the Republican candidates' campaign talk. Taking things out of context, using agressive language and aiming for that part of the brain that does not care too much about logic and reasoning. This form of marketing works for some but risks lowering the entire discourse to "lizard brain" level.

  • icon

    ''They (eMove) would say that would they?''


  • Lord Elpus

    Estate Agents sell about one in three of their stock. By opting for a no sale, no fee deal, successful sellers are paying for the marketing on their own property (which is fine) and two others that don't sell (which isn't fine) - therefore only getting value of about one third of their fee.

    Why don't vendors see this?

    eMoov would do better to stop attacking the business model of traditional estate agents, and start appealing to the common sense of vendors.

  • icon

    Good points!

  • David OConnor

    Fees are paid for a service given.
    Many vendors understand that a professional skilled agents service ensures a successful sale for the correct amount. In our view on-line agents provide a different service and it is incorrect to compare an advertising fee against a selling fee.

  • Algarve  Investor

    Oh Russell, you just can't help yourself, can you? Full marks for entertainment value, it has to be said.

  • Algarve  Investor

    "eMoov accuses agents of “lining the pockets of their designer suits,” of “cashing in big time” and charging “a stifling amount of money to sell a property.”

    They might have a point here, but only with certain agencies (primarily those operating in prime areas). I think it's a bit of a sweeping generalisation - to say the least - to say every estate agent in London adheres to the greedy, dishonest estate agent stereotype regularly peddled in certain parts of the press. There are a few who charge far too much and are cashing in big time, but this is the exception rather than the norm.

    Just seems like Mr Quirk is fishing for a reaction again. No surprise there.

  • Nicholas Crayson

    The real question for Mr Quirk is surely going to be "How much money Emoov is costing their clients!". Cut price fees is a false economy! The cut-price service is going to result in loss of income on their clients' sales. There is now way that the online model can leave no stone unturned and give the level of work and service per instruction to ensure that the client gets the very best sale price for their property - than my agency can (for example). By fixating clients on fee levels they are forgetting their real focus.

  • Alastair Hart

    Couldn't agree more with previous comment. Limited marketing and service not only can lose sellers up to 10% of the price that they should achieve and also leaving vendors to sort out every other element of the sale. Good try but still a case of you get what you pay for!!!

  • Anna  Dickson

    So Mr Quirk has returned it seems, creating a storm as always. I almost admire the aggressive tenacity he demonstrates, but I also doubt his calculations. To assume that every high street agent is exploiting their sellers is unfair to say the least, plus, I would like to compare these figures to the prices that eMoov are able to obtain for their sellers compared to traditional estate agents see how that plays out.

  • Matthew Butler

    Ultimately, what is paramount for the seller is that they get the best price possible for their home, and something which the high street agent places as a top priority.

    Yes a traditional, experienced agent will have higher fees, but you get what you pay for, and I believe sellers know and understand this, which is why online agents make up such a small sector of the market.

  • Jonathan Rolande

    They are in the Katie Hopkins school of self promotion. Best ignored, they are trying to stir up emotion and therefore publicity. Talk about David Bowie instead.

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