Sellers paying ‘hundreds of millions’ a month to agents as house prices rise

Vendors are handing over “hundreds of millions of pounds a month” in commission to agents because of rising house prices.

The claim comes from online agent YOPA, which bases its claims on ‘typical’ high street fees being 1.8%.

YOPA says that based on Land Registry house price and transaction figures, agents were making an average of £3,431 for every sale at the start of this year.

The Land Registry’s latest transaction figures are for January, when 77,170 properties were sold across England and Wales.

That month, the Land Registry quoted an average price of £190,658 which YOPA says means that £20.7bn of homes were sold, equating to more than £250m paid in high street agency fees.

According to YOPA, that is almost five times the amount they were paying 20 years ago when the average property sold for £59,278, netting estate agencies an estimated average commission of £1,067.

Property sales totalled £3.1bn in January 1996, according to Land Registry figures, which equates to £56.9m in fees to estate agents.

YOPA, which describes itself as a hybrid agent and charges a fixed fee of £780, says that high street agents still command around 95% of the market.

Daniel Attia, chief executive, said: “We launched YOPA because we recognised that the quality of service being offered to the customer by high street estate agencies simply doesn’t match up to the fees they charge.”

According to Stephen Hayter of the UK’s largest conveyancer My Home Move, the majority of high estate agents charge less than 1.8%, with a third charging 1% or less.


Average fees: High street estate agents are charging less and less


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  1. Chri Wood

    Yopa are aware that the average UK fee based on the only published database* of any significant size is 1.3% (see Stephen Hayters previous story in PIE). To suggest otherwise is highly disingenuous at best.

    Another call-centre agent having to resort to misleading the public to gain market share.

    “Sell with one of our experienced local estate agents for £780”

    a) ‘Local’ is highly subjective and, in my area for YOPA, means someone over 100 miles away covering an area of approximately 5,000 square miles

    b) “Sell for £780” suggests that customers will only pay £780 if they exchange and complete contracts. This, however, is not the case and is, I would contend, also highly misleading

    Yopa currently have just 181 available properties for sale and are taking on new customers nationally at a rate of less than six new customers per day. Not the type of growth many local agents would worry about from a competitor in some areas, let alone as a National firm.


    *rather than now historical and less reliable surveys by Which etc.

    1. NewsBoy

      I wonder whether we could setup some sort of challenge with call center agents up against real estate agents and see what offers come in through each. I would be enlightening to see how a proper agent fared in a sample of 10 properties on the market with both a call center agent and a full estate agent.  My money says the offers through the real agents would be considerably higher and much, much more than the difference between the fees.

      1. Robert May

        For every £1000 of claimed saving by someone who does not have a genuine local presence a vendor is worse of by £4500 on price achieved. Save £2000 lose £9000, save £4000 lose £18,000.


  2. agency negotiation limited

    Out of the mouths of babes. The quality of service with online estate agents DOES match up to the fees they charge. It’s just that no serious vendor should want to “dumb down” the service, regardless of the price. BTW, £780 is mighty expensive compared to some other online agents.

  3. NME

    I really don’t get this. Why do these online people think it’s so great to be seen as “cheap”…………..Who in their right mind would want their business to be perceived that way?

    So what if the public want to pay Estate Agents lots of money? That is their choice.

    Also I presume that the online boys & girls want us to continue to charge lots of money, because surely that is best for them….isn’t it?

  4. Robert May

    Please Miss, please Miss, please Miss! Over here Miss, we’re being naughty boys but we’re not getting any attention.

    It takes a special sort of stupidity to attempt the sort of vexatious shouty press release that has destroyed any credibility and respect of anyone who has tried before. This is simply amateur and cliché attention seeking.


  5. NME

    Who on earth are YOPA anyway??? Looks like they’ve just employed a load of people who used to work for Purple Bricks……..Failed Estate Agents ????

  6. J1

    Sounds like the name of a mini yoghurt pot to me !!!!!!!

    I don’t know of one agent charging 1.8%

    This is a PR not a genuine article



  7. yawn

    could the agent averaging 1.8% please step forward coz it sure as hell aint me….

    1. Clarkuk

      I charge 1.5% and have consistently risen my prices over the last few years.  I even have some houses on my books at 2.5% – they are those that we expect to take lots of viewings to sell.

      We still have vendors who would rather sell with us than others due to the quality of our work.

      Last year we took 3 properties from Express Estate agency in 3 weeks – who were charging 1% (online agency that didn’t do viewings) and sold them within 6 weeks each.  One I even said to him that i’ll agree that if I don’t sell the house in 6 weeks that I would reduce my price to 1% – sold it in 2 weeks.

      You get what you pay for and I charge more than all the other agents in the area.

      I do not believe that their claim of 1.8% being the ‘typical’ fee


  8. Property Paddy

    What does YOPA stand for ?

    Ohh I know:

    Your Old Pal Arnold !


    Yellow Orange Purple Antics !

    Anyone got a better idea ?

  9. Mark Connelly

    YOPA think that an increase from £1067 to £3431 is almost five times. OK I definitely do want these guys valuing my property.

    I was taught very early in my business career to try and sell my product on merit rather than negative sell the competition. If the only way you can drive sales is to say that ” he is worse than me” then that truly is a sad reflection on your business. So far,rather than demonstrating any significantly identifiable USP, the online agents seem to be obsessed with slagging off traditional agency. That is just unimaginative.


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