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'Agent commission fees are second biggest daylight robbery' - Emoov

Hybrid agency Emoov has released research in which it claims consumers rank high street estate agency commission fees as the second biggest 'daylight robbery' in this day and age.

The agency commissioned a survey of 1,006 owners who have sold a house, which was carried out online by Research Without Barriers.

The study presented participants with a number of 'everyday charges' and asked them to rank them based on how strongly they felt the term daylight robbery (defined as blatant and unfair overcharging) applied to them.

Perhaps contrary to Emoov's expectations, paying £14 for a glass of wine in a trendy bar was ranked as the biggest 'daylight robbery'.

This was followed by agents' fees, which were defined as 'paying a high-street estate agent on average £4,000 in commission to sell your home'.

The other 'daylight robberies' ranked by the consumers were, in the following order: 

- having a 12.5% service charge added to a bill in a restaurant; 
- paying £1,500 for the average veterinary bill;
- pay £60 for a filling at the dentist;
- chocolate bars costing three times as much or having their size reduced for the same price;
- the average UK house price of £228,384;
- paying £2.50 to drive through a toll road or crossing.

"It goes to show that as a nation of aspiring homeowners, even the current level of house prices isn’t enough to class buying a house as daylight robbery, but the cost of selling that house via a traditional agent is the second highest ranking," comments Russell Quirk, Emoov's founder and chief executive.

"It makes sense as the average 1.3% commission charged by high street estate agents is by far the largest example of daylight robbery in terms of the actual monetary sum and it also demonstrates a sign of the times and a change in the consumer mentality across the UK property market."

"We’ve seen the industry evolve and like many sectors, technology has allowed estate agents to reduced overheads and increased service levels, passing the savings back on to sellers, so the idea of still paying thousands for nothing more than the upkeep of a traditional agent’s high street office is pretty ridiculous,” says Quirk.

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    With respect Russell, using a public opinion study that agents’ fees are “daylight robbery” before the hybrid business model has proved viable is premature at best, disingenuous at worst, and simply accelerates the race to the bottom. Using price as a differentiator in a service business has never proved a successful strategy in the long term. I do believe that Emoov genuinely aims to improve service offering and choice for the consumer and you have demonstrated real passion for that cause. I believe that press like this undermines your sincerity and passion.

  • Simon Shinerock

    Yes Russell, much better to make the cash in hidden fees like the FS Industry 😉 I know, let’s do another survey and ask the public what they think a fair price is to pay an online agent starting with Doorsteps. I’m sure there is money to be made from offering a free estate agency service and I’m all for offering a choice to the public. However based on my experience and understanding of human nature the vast majority of people are better off with a great agent and paying 2% (plus vat) Things change but quality always commands a premium

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    The same as councils charging council tax on an empty property for a service they dont provide because there is nobody living in the property, stealing theft call it what you like but how can you be charged for receiving Nothing?

  • Tony Sinclair

    The above comment sounds like a High Street Agent defending his High Commissions with a veiled insinuation that Hybrid Agents provide substandard service than the former. It is exactly this kind of stubborn stance and unwillingness to adapt that will eventually result in the demise of said High Street fat cat agencies.

    Not all Hybrid agencies are called Purple Bricks. Yopa for instance are growing at breakneck speed mainly because of their focus on excellent customer service.

    High Street Estate Agent commissions are based on greed and they are having a hard time accepting the fact and letting go. They have indeed a good run for a very long time but the gravy train is fast running out of track. Unless they can justify why they have the privilege of charging outrageous fees for doing exactly the same thing as low cost hybrids agencies then public opinion will eventually bring about their demise.

    But alas and alack, a justification that so far they have failed to conjure up.

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    This post will not age well. Trust me.

     
    Simon Shinerock

    Utter nonsense, many high st agents offer discounted fees, the cost of a high st office is not a decisive factor, it’s not fees it’s outcome that counts. The UK has the cheapest agency fees in the world already. YOPA offers no sale no fee, good luck to them if they can compete, I look forward to the opening of their first high st office. Another fact BTW Seekers were offering an up front fee high st service through 80 outlets in the 80s and 90s £250 plus vat, so nothing new here

     
    Gavin Brazg

    Yopa have stopped growing. They topped out middle of July.

     
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    £4000 average fee.
    Your having a laugh EMOVE.
    That's equivalent to 5 fees in Scotland where we Are Ayrshire.
    We EMove get your facts right.
    Donkeys

  • maurice  kilbride

    Oh Russell! Just when you and I were becoming friends!!
    Here's a fact for you. Our average sales commission is under £2000, your own "no sale no fee" option is just under £2000 including VAT, not really that much difference! Trying to you use an "average fee" by factoring in London fees is very naughty and you aren't kidding the public, who are far more educated and savvy than you are giving them credit for. It is the constant misleading claims by online agents, hybrids or low cost budget listing tools as I prefer to see them, that actually holds you back, but I guess if you compared your offering to any good, well established high street agent around most of the country, your product wouldn't stand the scrutiny.

  • maurice  kilbride

    Fella, most low cost budget agents wouldn't know good service if it walked up and slapped them in the face! They are simply vehicles to list a property on the portals, offer a cheap listing fee and if it sells, great - if it doesn't, who cares, we have your money anyway! so please don't come on here giving it the large one about High Street agents being driven by greed. Most do a very good job, for a modest fee, that is not much more than the likes of EMOOV's no sale no fee option and provide an awful lot more than just a listing facility.

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    Good man Maurice

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    Having spoken to the on line sheep agents about Prime Central London, they were completely clueless about the market here, so I doubt they will get any headway into the £2m plus market. Short leases, big estate leases, and trust leases would leave the on-liners bewildered and floundering in a self satisfied pool of incompetence.

  • Kristjan Byfield

    Anyone can create a survey to generate the results to fit the desired narrative. Whilst emoov do offer a 'no sale no fee' offering they also offer, like the rest of onliners, a fixed upfront fee. I think if anyone did a survey in which consumers were asked the following questions I think we all know what the outcome would be:
    When selling your property what is more important to you: a- paying the lowest agency commission possible b- walking away with the biggest amount of money at the end?
    If an agent you instructed was unable to sell your property what would you be happy to pay them: a- £1000+ b- £500-£1k c- £50-500 d- nothing
    Genuinely thought we would have moved on from this point by no with more interesting debates going on that 'agents are snake oil salesmen and rip off merchants'.
    I am also mystified by the whole 'expensive shops' argument- most agents highest cost is salaries, for many of the online/hybrids this is in close competition with their marketing budget followed a long way after by office costs. The difference in cost between an office and a shop? Often not much- especially if we are talking nationwide and comparing a swanky London HQ to a small shop in lower market regions.

  • Tony Sinclair

    Confucius Say... "Men with empty heads have loose tongues...."

    Simon Shinerock

    I take it you are being ironical Tony? Remember that sarcasm is the lowest form of wit and the last refuge of the dullard

     
  • maurice  kilbride

    Regular comedian you are Tony! Now here's a story to make you laugh. 2 weeks ago, I went to value a property in my village, after a local property expert from a low cost budget agent. The property concerned is on a particularly popular road which nearly always attracts a price premium. The LPE valued the property at £250,000. I went in at £265,000 and offered the client a fee of 1% plus VAT. The client chose to use us for our local knowledge and we sold the property for the full asking price inside a week. So even with my "empty head" I can work out the maths, that we are putting a good £11/12,000 more in the clients pocket, so surely that makes us the cheapest agent? This isn't the first time that has happened and I can guarantee it won't be the last.

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    We do likewise at Move 2.
    Our interest is our clients best possible price achieved.

  • maurice  kilbride

    Regular comedian you are Tony! Now here's a story to make you laugh. 2 weeks ago, I went to value a property in my village, after a local property expert from a low cost budget agent. The property concerned is on a particularly popular road which nearly always attracts a price premium. The LPE valued the property at £250,000. I went in at £265,000 and offered the client a fee of 1% plus VAT. The client chose to use us for our local knowledge and we sold the property for the full asking price inside a week. So even with my "empty head" I can work out the maths, that we are putting a good £11/12,000 more in the clients pocket, so surely that makes us the cheapest agent? This isn't the first time that has happened and I can guarantee it won't be the last.

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    I've said it before and i'll say it again 'we've reduced our overheads and increased our service levels' is a contradiction in terms. You pay less, you get less, its the way it is. And as for an an average £4000 fee, well I guess we are under-valuing our service!

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