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Exclusive: Self-employed agents earn up to £64,000 more - claim

An agency says individual agents operating as self-employed can earn up to £64,000 more per year than fully-employed counterparts.

Nested says the average UK agent currently earns an annual gross income of £24,096. When they successfully sell a home, the average fee of 1.5 per cent equates to £3,833 in commission although the agent individually receives only around 10 per cent of this as commission - so £383 per sale.

Nested goes on to presume that the average agent sells 30 homes per year, making an additional £11,499 and pushing gross income to £35,595. “Not much reward for a great deal of hard work” says the company.


It adds that even in London, where higher house prices and a higher average fee (1.74 per cent) mean more commission, the combined annual gross earnings from both salary and commission is £64,982.

However, the company insists that a self-employed agent selling 30 homes a year at a 1.5 per cent fee would instead pocket up to 100 per cent of sales commission amounting to a gross income of £114,991.

The company then says: “Of course, the risk of going self-employed is the fact you have no basic level of income to support you through a period of stagnant selling or in the initial months as your pipeline builds. Not only does the security blanket of a guaranteed income vanish, but you don’t have access to the database of buyers and sellers, or the marketing and operational collateral provided by your previous employer.” 

A self-employed agent working with Nested would take home 50 per cent commission on the 30 homes sold in a year, it says, making an average annual gross income of £57,495 or £21,900 more than the average full-time estate agent employee, despite no basic salary. In London, a Nested agent would apparently earn £129,110 in gross commission versus the £64,982 earned by the average agent in full-time employment - a £64,218 boost to their annual income.

Nested recently announced that it would spend a new investment of around £5m on attracting new self-employed agents operating under its brand name across the country.

Head of commercial at Nested, Alice Bullard, says: “The UK property market can prove a very lucrative place for employees with the desire to achieve within the estate agency sector. But it takes an extremely driven, motivated individual to make it happen, and even then, the reward is just a fraction of the financial spoils generated from your hard work. 

“So it’s hardly surprising that more and more good agents are switching to the self-employed model, not only to increase their income, but to build their own personal brands and receive the recognition they deserve. 

“It’s certainly not for everyone, particularly if you’re happy to sit back and simply fill your quota.”

  • icon

    And don’t forget there isn’t any sick pay, or paid annual leave, no pension, no company car, and no ability to borrow money or get a mortgage for at least three years. Oh, and the costs that go with being a self employed agent such as Ombudsman, insurance, accountancy fees etc.

    Algarve  Investor

    Yes, this is all true.

    There are certain advantages to being self-employed, and it can very much work for some people, but the downsides and cons should be put forward, too. Rather than this constant everything is rosy PR pitch for the self-employed model, with grand boasts like this.

  • Carl Smales

    Well said Eve, people need to know the true facts of the ‘fantastic self employed lifestyle’ often spoken about:

    Cash flow, VAT, Corporation Tax, sickness cover, working 25 hours a day, eight days a week. lol

    If you think life is hard and unfair as an employee, just brace yourself for when you own your own business.

    Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t change it for the world personally, but it’s definitely not the ‘Rockstar’ lifestyle a lot of people try to sell to others!

    Happy days!

  • Simon Shinerock

    I used to be in the Life Assurance business back in the 80s, I remember one salesman earned nearly £500K in a year back then, of course the vast majority failed

  • icon

    What a misleading stupid article. Who gets paid to write this stuff? Redo the sums and take all operating costs into account and the employed agent will probably be earning a higher hourly wage. It’s 9 o clock, waken up and smell the coffee!

  • icon

    Would love to get 1.5% sales fees, it doesn't happen in this area. Articles like this are so misleading, self employed work longer hours, take lots of risks and having experienced 3 recessions as a self employed person, I know that the bad times more than even out the good times

  • Lee James  Pendleton

    Utter rubbish and simple self promotion


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