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Written by rosalind renshaw

Online agent eMoov is claiming record growth this year, saying that it is fuelled by the public’s disenchantment with high street agents.

The firm says it has had growth of 63% in the last three months, with 300 homes listed during May.

eMoov’s founder Russell Quirk was himself a high street agent with Essex-based firm Quirk Deakin until starting low-cost eMoov in 2010.

Quirk said yesterday that eMoov is “on course to save UK home owners over £3m in estate agent commission fees in 2013” and that it has already saved customers over £6m in the three years since launch.

Quirk says consumers are “fed up with the out-dated commission-based fee structure of traditional high street estate agents”.

eMoov charges a fixed fee of £395 plus VAT, with the price including listing on Rightmove and Zoopla.

However, he says that many sellers are not aware of the alternative to high street estate agents.

Research commissioned by eMoov and conducted by Ipsos Mori has shown that over half (53%) of Britons are not aware that an alternative to traditional high street estate agents exists. However, once made aware, most said they would use an online agent to save fees.

Quirk said the company is now looking for third party investment capital support to fund “even swifter growth and help take the low-cost online estate agency sector into the consumer mainstream”.
Quirk said: “Online estate agencies are in nascent stage, and we are seeing fantastic growth and interest from consumers who realise the money-saving potential of using an alternative to traditional estate agents.

“We’re breaking our listing records month on month, and I firmly believe that as more consumers become aware of the potential money-saving benefits, online estate agents will become the norm for people looking to sell their property.
“However, the fact that high street estate agents are still able to get away with charging extortionate commission fees, when almost all property searches now start online, is beyond me and illustrates that more needs to be done to raise awareness and to bring the entire industry into the 21st century.

“The commission structure estate agents use hasn’t changed in decades and has resulted in huge hikes in income for estate agents as house prices have risen, despite recession and boom and bust in the property market, so it’s about time something came along to upset the accepted status quo.”

Online estate agency is booming, says eMoov founder


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    I am presuming the negative comments are coming solely from current traditional estate agents who fear for their careers which have been over compensated for many a year.

    Estate agents glamourise the process of selling a house in order to justify their extortionate fees. Similar to many "professionals". It seems to me that these online estate agents are taking the unnecessary cost of a traditional estate agency out of selling and passing on the financial benefit to the seller - how can anyone complain about this!?

    I think this could go even further as I don't think people need an agent for such a basic transaction. Despite the value of the transaction, finding a buyer and negotiating a sale price isn't rocket science with the technology available to all I think agents will only be used by those who don't want the hassle.

    I think those disgruntled estate agents who are bemoaning this revolution are just pi**ed off they didn't come out of their caves sooner and think of this great idea!

    Best of luck to those involved

    • 27 December 2013 17:28 PM
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    What is the upfront fee all about! Why charge it? If you are as good as you say you are then it needs to be proven before anything else, so charge it at the end. I understand that you have various options available but the one that is payable upon completion goes up in price. Why dont you charge your £395 upon completion? You need to prove your worth before asking for money upfront I think.

    • 22 June 2013 14:48 PM
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    you just made up every comment to make a point. If you count selling a house as doing nothing then i suspect thats how you rip off gullibles into paying upfront fees in first place.

    propaganda at its best. well done . thats how your industry works.

    • 19 June 2013 00:29 AM
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    Please explain why upfront costs are terrible?
    This is only terrible if the agent does not do a good job.

    But then paying a commision fee when an agnet does a poor job is also terrible.

    Being tied in to a sole contract while an agent does liitle to sell your home is terrible

    Instructing an agent and having to do all the work yourself is terrible.

    No one model can be proved to be better than the other but there are good agents and bad agents on both sides.

    • 18 June 2013 10:29 AM
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    , they trade on stupidity and misleading 'no commission' but lots of upfront costs,,that in itself is terrible. If your so good why dont you offer cheap fees after youve done the job....scum, praying on the ignorant

    • 17 June 2013 20:48 PM
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    Quagmire, a FSBO site is not the same as an Online agent.

    Adam Walker great post, I totally agree.

    If they want to compete in different segmnets of the market. EA's could offer more than one fee model

    The problem is many traditional agents find it difficult to demonstrate where they add value or in some cases even differentiate from an online agent.

    Others do so easily and there will always be a demand for good traditional style agent

    • 17 June 2013 11:37 AM
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    Russell and Adam,

    I believe it is going to take a while but as far as I can see the growth in the online estate agency industry is on the up and will continue to increase.

    Good luck.

    Oh and if you want to list your properties with us free of charge, then feel free.


    • 17 June 2013 10:21 AM
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    Northern rock was saying the same thing in 2007.

    • 16 June 2013 21:27 PM
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    Interesting reading some of the comments. On-line agents being positive, 'traditional agents' being negative and coming up with false figures, poor maths and a clear lack of basic business sense as a counter argument?!?

    If a company is seeking Investment to go to the next level, it is not a sign of desperation or poor sales, it shows vision, something that is lacking very much in the traditional sector.

    There is room for all types of agents in the market as it stands, but I would visualise that emoov and hatched who are mentioned in the above thread discussion are closer to the model for success needed in 5 to 10 years. So instead of mocking and sniping I would suggest traditional agents look at why their market is getting smaller.

    • 15 June 2013 19:33 PM
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    If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys, this is obviously the case with all online agents.

    Also, was that photograph on last weeks Crimewatch?

    • 15 June 2013 15:12 PM
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    Good luck to you, Russell.

    We could all spend hours analysing the merits of the traditional vs. online models, but thankfully the market's large enough to support both. I see the advent of online agencies as an opportunity. If a seller is currently happy to pay, let's say, 10x more to use a traditional agency, they'll most probably be willing to pay 15x or 20x if that's the charge required in future to access the style of agent they desire.

    The cynics who simply blame online agencies for taking some of their market share deserve whatever is destined for them. Accept they exist, accept it will be a compelling choice for SOME, then double your efforts to identify those clients who require the comfort, guidance and accountability of a traditional Estate Agency. Some say it's only the 'older generation' who are clinging on to our services; nonsense. Analyse your portfolio and you'll find no such pattern. Demonstrate value in your offerings and you'll continue to win business from any demographic, at a fee of your choosing.

    • 15 June 2013 00:25 AM
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    No one will invest.

    You have a business that is generating income BUT RM and TDPG will be taking all your profit, so your business is worth zilch.

    • 14 June 2013 13:14 PM
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    ''judging by the closure of 2000''

    As opposed to NO FSBO fly by night websites going down the pan not excluding Spicer's and Tesco's failed attempt and anybody else you care to mention.

    I'm sorry but a press release stating that we are doing really well but we some more money to do it, says it all.

    If its money you are after you should speak to that bloke who reckons facebook is the best way to sell a house. He raised a load for something that doesn't work as well.

    • 14 June 2013 11:55 AM
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    I appreciate you taking the time to make a supposition however you are wrong.

    We are not seeking working capital to fund our day to day to business. I thought the article was quite clear on that.

    The investment is to upscale SIGNIFICANTLY and that will cost a sizeable sum but which will show an exciting return.

    You talk of flawed business models? How about one where you only get paid for 10% of what you do? That's so called no sale-no fee and it's simply too expensive for those that subsidise clients that don't sell and judging by the closure of 2000 estate agency offices across the country since 2009, shows that your side of the industry is hardly 'robust' financially.

    Happy to agree to disagree, I'm sure :-)

    • 14 June 2013 11:39 AM
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    Very good guys, you keep charging £3-4K per sale for doing not a lot and when your business models fail we will be the only ones left.

    • 14 June 2013 10:51 AM
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    Also, forgot to mention Adwords must be costing about £300-500 a day, they are top for 'online estate agents' all the time, and thats a £4 click.

    • 14 June 2013 10:43 AM
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    Quirk said the company is now looking for third party investment capital support to fund “even swifter growth and help take the low-cost online estate agency sector into the consumer mainstream”.

    That means with the massive portal payments they cant keep going haha. If you have 1200 properties with 300 on in May you aint selling many!

    The portals must be raping you of over £15k a month and with that many properties who would need say a min of 5 staff.

    Sorry Russel but you have grown too fast too quickly and the business is now doomed as you probably need 5 properties a day on to break even, and Xmas is fast approaching = quiet, that's what the investment is for!

    • 14 June 2013 10:40 AM
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    Wow I wonder how great their customer service is when negotiations become a little difficult.

    Will they really act in the clients best interest when a buyer wants to negotiate after survey!

    Chain checking!!! Maybe they might need to brush up on this when this market is producing 5 or more offers per property! Not all buyers are great and don't we just love it when we find out an agent has tied up a sale, maybe to the highest offer, but to some one who is selling a flat with 68 year lease and no knowledge of the marriage value, yet!!

    But maybe they should just start with the basics by making sure that their website is compliant and be aware just because they charge cheap they are not excused from doing the basics like taking off the fact they should not be saying they are members of the property ombudsman which is OFT approved, as I am sure that changed a few months ago and we were all clearly told to remove any OFT association?

    • 14 June 2013 10:22 AM
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    Well done on the record listing figures.....just a shame no online agency is setting the world alight with actual SALES!!! But then again actually achieveing a sale isn't really part of the business model now is it....

    • 14 June 2013 09:15 AM
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    63% growth in a year, all income paid upfront but looking for investment? Why share it

    • 14 June 2013 08:39 AM
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    Go and tell the public then, take a page in every property paper across the land, have some sort of 24 hour bill board come contact centre on every high street, get your staff out leafleting every neighbourhood, sponsor local community organisations and fetes etc across the land then everyone will know what you can do and how cheap it is


    • 14 June 2013 08:33 AM
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    Well done Russell. Great work!

    We're also 60%-65% up on last year.

    Watch out estate agents, were coming to get you...

    • 14 June 2013 08:32 AM
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