New research by online estate agent, eMoov.co.uk, has revealed that homeowners in England and Wales could be out of pocket by as much as £303.6m in estate agent fees so far in 2017.
With the online sector squeezing the high-street proposition where both fee and service are concerned, the traditional sector has already lowered its average standard fee from 1.6% Plus VAT to 1.3% Inc VAT.
Using this lower fee, eMoov looked at the number of properties that have completed so far this year, and what they have completed for, before applying the 1.3% charge to see how much homeowners have already paid to sell their property.
eMoov also accounted for the online share, which accounts for 5.51% of the market, removing this from the total fees charged.
The research shows that so far in 2017, £26bn worth of property has already been sold, equating to £303.6m in high-street commission.
As always, the higher price of London properties means the capital has seen the largest amount of fees paid (£70,146,490), and this is no doubt higher given that the average fee in London is far higher than 1.3% Inc VAT.
The South and East of England is also home to the majority of the highest fees paid with Surrey (£13,303,190), Essex (£10,250,462) and Kent (£9,404,396) also seeing millions paid in commission. Greater Manchester is home to the fifth highest amount at £9,094,250.
The top 10 is completed by Hertfordshire (£9,093,068), Hampshire (£8,964,127), the West Midlands (£7,473,729), West Yorkshire (£6,726,050) and West Sussex (£6,369,375).
Russell Quirk, founder and CEO of eMoov.co.uk, commented: “Despite the high-street sector being pressured to lower their commission to an average fee of 1.3% including VAT due to growing competition by online and hybrid agents, this research demonstrates the eye-watering amount of money that’s still being paid due to the outdated practice of charging based on a property’s value.
Of course, not all agents charge as much but there are many agents that will still charge more, and with hybrid and online agents charging a fixed fee with a now proven service track record, it remains to be seen why you should pay more to sell your house because it is of a higher value.
The only silver lining to this research is that in years gone by, this figure would have been a lot higher. Although the online and hybrid sector still only accounts for 5.51% of the market, it still represents a considerable saving and one that is only set to keep increasing as we take more market share.”