UK estate agents charge the lowest commission in the European Union according to new research from a comparison website.
Despite high levels of criticism from online estate agents and new For Sale By Owner services, the percentage charged in the UK - estimated at an average of 1.2 per cent by comparison service GetAgent - is lower than any other EU nation.
Only Denmark and the Republic of Ireland come in at below 2.0 per cent while at the other end of the spectrum France, Malta and Cyprus hit 5.0 per cent and Romania tops the list at 6.0 per cent.
No details are given of comparative house prices in other countries, so for those with less expensive homes the absolute monies paid to agents may be less than in this country; also there are no details of the different services expected from agents in different countries, not how - in some cases - agents’ fees are paid by buyers as well as, or instead of, sellers.
However, the figures make for compelling reading given the scale of criticism of UK agents’ fees from some inside and outside the industry.
GetAgent chief executive Colby Short says: “The price of property means there is a degree of relativity and while we are famous for our sky-high property prices, the 6.0 per cent commission you might pay in Romania will be a lot lower due to the lower cost of getting on the ladder.
“However, this can also be said for the earning potential available and while we aren’t comparing apples for apples in a monetary sense, we wanted to highlight that actually, the fees charged in the UK are, and have historically been, very low.
“So while you consider if £3,000 to £4,000 is a justifiable spend when selling a property for hundreds of thousands, remember you could be paying upward of £10,000 if you were to live in another area of the EU.”
GetAgent’s figures, obtained from a range of sources, are as follows:
Irish Republic, 1.5%
Czech Republic, 4.0%