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Online firm renews attack on high street agents’ charges

Strike, the firm previously known as HouseSimple, has launched another attack on the charges levied by High Street agents.

This time it is through a survey which the agency says shows that most movers are surprised at how much they pay and in some cases are dissatisfied with the service they receive.

It's not the first attack of this kind from this online agency. 


In the summer of 2018 HouseSimple blasted traditional bricks and mortar firms as “living in the past, charging exorbitant fees and not doing enough to justify their meaty commissions.”

Now the online agency under its new name has returned to the issue with a survey of 1,000 people who have sold a home at some point in the past decade.

This found that 58 per cent of sellers apparently had to pay more than they had expected to estate agents, and some 34 per cent were charged “significantly higher fees than they had budgeted for” says Strike.

The agency continues by saying: “These figures are higher for those who have sold their homes recently, with 62 per cent hit by unexpected charges in 2019, compared to just 48 per cent in 2010. This trend correlates with an increase in prices over the same period, with fees having risen by 42 per cent from £3,035 in 2010 to £4,319 last year.”

Strike’s chief executive, Sam Mitchell - previously a senior executive at Rightmove - says charges by estate agents are often the most significant expense when moving house.

“At Strike, we help people sell their homes for free, which saves them thousands of pounds, no matter where they live. With no estate agency fees, you have more money to spend on the things that really matter, like your new home” he says.

Strike says that around one in nine Britons pay over £10,000 to agents, while the overall UK average is £4,779. Those movers in London typically pay the most - on average, £6,573. 

In a separate study last month by online agency comparison service Onlineagentpicker, Strike was attributed with 13.6 per cent share of the online agency market - although that market in its entirety was only 9.44 per cent of the whole housing market.

  • icon

    I would suggest it’s thanks to online agents like Strike that people are beginning to see the value in high street agency fees!

  • C B
    • C B
    • 06 November 2020 05:40 AM


  • Simon Shinerock

    Price is what you pay, value is what you get blah blah blah same old snake oil

  • icon

    Nice advert for Strike, nice one EAT

    Algarve  Investor

    It's hardly an advert, it seems to me to be implicitly inviting criticism of Strike and on the side of high street agents.

  • icon

    Incredible, their Accounts up to March 19, they probably daren’t publish their latest ones, only showing a modest loss on their P&L of £38,000,000 !
    Fools and their money.........

  • Paul Singleton

    A bit rich that a former rightmove exec has an issue with overcharging! 😀

    Franklin I

    Act of redemption!

  • Martin Moston

    Hmmmm the client signs an agreement which states the fee inc vat, we sell it for them and spend months making sure it exchanges so they can move and 58% of owners didn't know this, surely not. or list it with Strike and fingers crossed, good luck with that one.

  • icon
    • 06 November 2020 08:42 AM

    Strike these idiots off straight away. I wonder whose money they are burning through this time?

  • Chris Summers

    I really don’t understand why some industry companies have to criticise others and their models.. surely there is room for all and the good ones will grow and be chosen by the public and the not so good ones just won’t.. in tough times, agencies surely need to pull together as one so all survive..


    Here's Mr Touchy Feely

  • Franklin I

    There's an old song called, "Video killed the radio star" by The Buggles.

    If video killed the radio star, then the BTL definitely killed the first time buyer.

    Getting to the point...

    The conventional method of property sales has always been the "Sheriff in town". Conventional lettings, has always been the Deputy!

    Unfortunately, these rapacious and elusive c***s, have lasted the onslaught far longer than Tower records, Virgin Megastore, Our Price, HMV and all the other independent stores combined.

    When music downloads were first introduced in the early 2000's, these companies witnessed
    obsolescence virtually overnight.

    I don't consider this survey to be an "attack" on the estate agents, this is a warning and the warning is simply saying 1 more "Strike" (pardon the pun) and your out!

    The online estate agency services, will shoot down both Sheriff and the Deputy!

    • 06 November 2020 09:47 AM

    Totally incorrect.
    BTL never prevented FTB from buying.

    LL never affected FTB.
    FTB have their own affordability issues that are nothing to do with LL.
    Plus they are now very fussy.
    The old days of buying an affordable wreck and doing it up is not some GR is prepared to do.

    They want it all now all done including furniture.
    Totally unrealistic!!

    Franklin I

    When the government introduced BTL in the 90's, this meant that a LL had an advantage over FTB's in terms of spending power.

    If an EA was selling one property to a FTB, they'd have no problems in gazumping a FTB in favour of a portfolio LL or BTL investor who wanted to buy 3 or more properties!

    Hence the short term solution to the problem, is shared ownership schemes, Help To Buy, Self Build and Right to Acquire etc...

  • icon

    Great publicity for their new name - a total none news story - Strike must be very pleased.

  • James Scollard

    In any industry, companies can set up and undercut the marketplace. Its the easiest strategy, however, how many more will it take to go bust before institutional and angel investors realise, this model is like "the King with no clothes". Platforms like this and many agents, concentrate on lowest fee but customers want value for money, not the cheapest. ... Its a phase like the conveyancing warehouses a few years ago trying to be the cheapest, it's not so "House Simple", more like "Strike" will soon be "Struck" ... "Off".

  • icon

    Bit rich coming from ex Foxtons guy.... Also, how about someone looking into their referral fees from all the add ons making up for the "free" deal.....

  • Proper Estate Agent

    Online agents are a joke, the chain info we get from them is useless if they have even bothered with any. We advise our clients that if the buyer has sold online, find another.

  • Mark Walmsley

    Well if 99% of EAT’s readership is estate agents this STRIKE press release will not reach the eyes and ears of the buying public.

    If market research tells me anything however it has proven a clear divide between good service & a healthy fee and as low a fee as possible.

    The market is big enough for everyone as long as you are honest to your objectives.


    And not a zombie company like this lot are.

  • Michael Brain

    I take it all there employees came from estate agents and had no problem charging correct fees then rather than the bucket shops fees they are trying to charge now , and don’t know why people would be surprised at what they are being charged as I’m sure they knew befor putting there signature to the contract , so why so surprised , just hype from another struggling bandwagon

  • Algarve  Investor

    The new name isn't great - many people, when they hear Strike, will probably think of the JK Rowling book and subsequent BBC series. Type it on Google and nearly all the results are about that.

    Housesimple was a more distinctive name in my book.

    The modus operandi of the online agency model is clear - criticise high street agents to try and get the public on side and say we're not like them (estate agents). Given the general unpopularity of agents among the public (despite the excellent work many of them do), you could argue it's a wise strategy, but it's clearly not working given online agency only accounts for a small fraction of the overall market, and most of that is accounted for by a sinking Purplebricks.

  • icon

    Compared to most High St agents, Strike is like something that collects on your shoe after the dogs been.

  • icon

    Painful, cheap and immature press release. These guys deal in data - they shouldn't even be classed as estate agents.

    They are also leaving themselves open to potential legal redress by not working to achieve the highest price possible for their client given the need for potential buyers to use their services or in turn potential buyers are being sold to such an extent that there is reasonable expectation they should use these related services (namely mortgages).

    There is a story here .....if the industry press can go and grab it.


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