Agency fees remain one of the largest property transaction costs – at 1%

Estate agency fees continued to be one of the largest property transaction costs last year despite agents not having put their charges up. For a second year running, they are at an average of 1%.

Analysis by removals and conveyancing comparison website – based on user and market data – claims sellers paid agents 1% plus VAT in 2018, so 1.2% overall. This was flat on 2017.

However, rising Stamp Duty, conveyancing and survey charges pushed up the total cost of moving home by 6% between 2017 and 2018, to a record high of £9,812 – equal to one third of the median UK salary of £29,588.

The website found that home movers now pay on average £4,500 in Stamp Duty, an annual increase of 11%.

Average conveyancing costs in 2018 were £1,497 versus £1,417 in 2017, while surveying costs were up by just 1% to £400.

Estate agent fees typically cost £2,880 based on a rate of 1% plus VAT, while an Energy Performance Certificate cost £55, according to the research.

First-time buyers have been boosted, though, thanks to the Stamp Duty exemption up to £300,000 and saw the costs associated with buying their first home plummet by 29% in 2018 to £1,809.

Rob Houghton, chief executive of, said: “It has never been more expensive for home owners to move, despite the fact that most providers of home move services, such as estate agents, removals companies and surveyors, have refrained from increasing prices over the last year as they fight for business from a smaller pool of movers.

“It’s a different story for first-time buyers, however, who have benefited from a significant fall in the upfront costs of buying their first home due to Stamp Duty changes.

“For those first-time buyers with a medium to long-term view, now could be a good time to buy with costs and mortgage rates low and plenty of sellers prepared to do deals.”

Non-first-time buyers
2017 2018 Change
Stamp Duty £4,050 £4,500 11%
Estate agent fees £2,880 £2,880 0%
Conveyancing £1,417 £1,497 6%
Survey £397 £400 1%
Removals £480 £480 0%
EPC £55 £55 0%
Total £9,279 £9,812 6%
First-time buyers 2017 2018 Change 
Stamp Duty £800 £0 -100%
Estate agent fees £0 £0 0%
Conveyancing £882 £929 5%
Survey £397 £400 1%
Removals £480 £480 0%
EPC £0 £0 0%
Total £2,559 £1,809 -29%

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  1. GPL


    It’s a funny thing, having to pay an Estate Agent for successfully Selling Your Home, however that’s life really….. employ a professional, pay the professional

    …….or take what is likely to be your most valuable financial asset and approach with the same mindset as buying a 99p cheeseburger?!

    I am proud to be a real Estate Agent, serving my clients locally/on the high street, and charging a fair fee for my services.


  2. Chris Wood

    So, according to this data, the average agency fee is £2,880 on a no sale no fee basis (typically).

    Compare this to a pay upfront model take of circa £1,100 and a list to sold success rate of 51% according to Jefferies, gives a like for like cost per successful sale of pretty much parity between the two models. No saving.

    1. Thomas Flowers


      PB’s default saving on their website shows a saving of £3,301 or £3,001 with their viewing service (whether they actually carry out any viewings)? This is based on an average price of £280,000 and average fee of 1.5%.

      The average property price for circa 2/3 rds of the UK is around £185K x 1% = £1,850 – PB’s £899 fee – £300 viewing fee – £360 deferment fee charge (for a ‘proper’ like for like service but without proper incentivised contract progression or no sale, no charge) = £291 saving for this 51% according to Jefferies or up to a £1,559 loss for this 49% ?

      Strange how according to recent stats PB is strongest in this largest market?

      Perhaps their marketing is not that that clear?

      Meanwhile, the regulators are investigating just 32 complaints where tradition agent clients have paid a dual commission?


      Come on regulators, you surely need to investigate this first?



  3. surrey1

    My average fee is £9k. The average stamp duty bill is £30k. I have to do rather more than HMRC for my bit.

  4. Richard Rawlings

    Instead of “Agency Fees Remain One of the Largest Transaction Costs”, another headline for this feature could have been “British Agency Fees Remain The Cheapest In The World”. This is a mind-set non-issue that primarily exists in a) the media and b) in weaker estate agents. Have a great Tuesday and ignore anyone who tries to ruin it with their talk of low fees.

    1. Woodentop

      Couldn’t agree more.

    2. Becky Howes


  5. Becky Howes

    Only 1%? When will the market balance out? An Estate Agent needs to be paid a fair fee for a fair job. How can it be viable at just 1%? It is fine if all one does is put a board up and find a buyer but what about the rest of it? The hard work comes in once the sale is agreed dealing with the wants and needs of human beings in a chain where everyone is operating to a different agenda! An agent needs to be social worker, phycologist, counsellor and life coach with endless amounts of time to chat, to the customers who need their support. Liaising between multiple parties, holding endlessly on endless phone calls trying to obtain information to hold the thing together and now-a-days they don’t just have to do it for themselves but for the other links in the chain where the DIY customers have been left high and dry! In my opinion a decent Sales Progressor is worth 1% stand alone, never mind the rest of it!

    1. Woodentop

      Welcome to the party.


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