Daily Mail to clarify agents’ fees as ‘gesture of good will’ after story claiming 1.8% average

The Daily Mail has said it will correct claims that estate agents charge an average 1.8% in fees,

It says the proposed amendment is “a gesture of good will”.

In an email to an EYE reader who challenged the figure that the Mail used in a story which alleged that estate agency fees were the single biggest cost – and barrier – in home moving, the Mail says: “Thank you for your email, which has been carefully considered by the Readers’ Editors and the Money Mail team.

“Although you do make a fair point that a 2016 article in Which? quotes a conveyancing firm’s view that the average fee might be lower than the one used in our example, there are no definitive figures available, as the ASA made clear in both of the determinations that you referred to in your email.

“The ASA rulings do not adopt the alternative 1.3% as you suggest; the ASA merely says that it doesn’t believe that 1.8% can be substantiated.

“That said, to give a fuller picture, we propose, subject to the Editor’s approval, to publish the following clarification in the paper:

“An article in Money Mail dated 16 August cited research which stated that average estates agents fees are 1.8%. We are happy to clarify that this figure has been challenged on the basis that fees can range from1% to 3.5%, and that some sources consider the average to be closer to 1.3%.

We also propose to amend the online article accordingly, again as a gesture of goodwill.

“We welcome all feedback from readers, whether positive or negative, and have passed your comments on to the relevant editorial team. They have noted your attentive comments and the figures from MyHomeMove, and will bear them in mind in future coverage.

“We trust that the above satisfactorily allays your concerns, and would be grateful for your confirmation so that we can make the necessary arrangements.”

The letter is signed by Hilary Kingsley, readers’ editor.

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  1. Simon Bradbury

    Seems reasonable to me!

    1. Trevor Mealham

      Agree. Good agents warrant 1.5%/2%

      But did the Daily Mail inform readers they have many shares in YOPA??? and Zoopla

      Somewhat of a vested interest

      1. JPD21

        But isn’t the damage done byThe Mail having published 1.8% already?. Any retraction isn’t going to change that. Who reads retractions anyway?

  2. cyberduck46

    Perhaps they should have an article about why Estate Agents don’t like people knowing their normal commission rate.


    The two best explanations I’ve heard are that i) they want to stifle competition ii) they don’t want the public to know that they negotiate rates because those that have not bartered will feel ripped off.

    1. surrey1

      I’ve never quite understood the “what’s your normal rate?” question. Try it with your plumber or mechanic and I’m sure the response would be the same, “let me take a look at it and once I know what we’re dealing with I can tell you.”

      1. cyberduck46

        A plumber does a lot more than one thing. It would be very easy for an Estate Agent to say our base fee is x% and we vary it in the following way ….

        1. surrey1

          A good agent does a lot more than one thing. Client’s requirements are often different, aside their ultimate goal. Perhaps that’s the difference between “online” and “high street”, a fixed fee for wanging it on t’internet and vanishing or a fair negotiated fee for a bespoke marketing strategy tailored to the client’s needs.

          1. cyberduck46

            Come to think of it, how can you compare Estate Agents to a plumber.


            A plumber doesn’t charge a percentage commission. Their cost would be based on an hourly rate and expenses.


            Can you explain to me why Estate Agents charge a commission in the first place? How does that relate to work done and expenses?

            1. surrey1

              Because the majority of landlords and sellers are motivated to get the best price possible, so commission incentivises to achieve that. The level of work that may be required to achieve that will then be affected by market conditions, property location, style, condition, client timescales, need for discretion etc etc. All of which still on no sale no fee terms, irrespective of how much work, time, money may have been invested. Pretty safe bet for a client really.

        2. Barndoor68

          I can only assume from your comments, you are not an agent…….

          1. PeeBee

            No – but he is one particular Agent’s self-appointed fan club, and #bunnyboiler to any other that cares to disagree with him.

    2. PeeBee

      “The two best explanations I’ve heard are that i) they want to stifle competition ii) they don’t want the public to know that they negotiate rates because those that have not bartered will feel ripped off.”

      Those two “explanations” coming from where, exactly?

  3. Votta583

    How about we look at the truth and see that people pay what the want to pay!!! If not then they go with the cheaper online option.

    People negotiate their fees so who cares if the advertised fee is 2.5 or 0.5 it’s irrelevant as long as they display their fees!!!

  4. sb007ck

    We, like most estate agents do state our fee…It reads…No Sale No Fee

    1. AgentV


      As a trial experiment I took on a property recently where the clients wanted to pay a lower fee up front…a fee equivalent to an online lister. It worked out at around 50% of what we would have normally charged no sale no fee…about £1,200 less……however obviously at no risk of no fee at all if the clients change their minds about selling. If I hadn’t have done it I would not have got the business.

      Now, in every walk of life I have worked in, I have always been dedicated to what I do. My personal pride means I will try and do the best job I can for the vendor…..and I will make sure they get a much better service than they would have from an online lister.

      I have thought about how I would feel if all my properties were taken on with an up front fee like this. My conclusion ……it would be too easy. Once I had got the property up on the portals, psychologically it felt like I had done most of the work needed, whereas normally that feels just like the start of the process…..with most of the work needed still in front of me.

      The same hunger is just not there, and I personally believe it this hunger that usually drives me to achieve the best sale result for every property I sell. It’s the hunger that always has the fear in the back of your mind that if you don’t get the best end result for your client you might get nothing at all for all the hard work that you have put in.

      In life it doesn’t matter what you do, you can’t change the way you feel. Despite all my professional pride, and wanting to do the best job for the people who pay me, I now know that the key motivator giving me the cutting edge to achieve the best sale result possible for people is the feeling that I don’t earn a penny until I achieve that!!


      If I was a vendor I would want to know my estate agent had this hunger to achieve the best result for me.

      1. PeeBee


        “If I hadn’t have done it I would not have got the business.”

        I need to get my head round that statement.  A few questions if I may:

        1. How much has that instruction cost you to date?

        2. How much do you intend to spend – in total – on servicing that instruction?

        3. What is the actual cost to you per completed listing?

  5. cyberduck46

    Not sure where Which? get their 1.3% including VAT figure from.


    Found these articles which suggest the MyHomeMove figures are excluding VAT and don’t include Central London Agents’ data.


    Average estate agent’s fee sticks at 1.3% for 15th month running


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




    1. Malcolm Barnard

      Mr Cyberduck – we have had this conversation before.

      Quote direct from MyHomeMove “We operate in every postcode area in England and Wales, and helped nearly 50,000 people to buy and sell last year. So, you can say our results are reflective of the national picture”.

      Can you provide a more robust data source than this?

  6. Thomas Flowers

    Another satisfied PB customer:


    This reviewer said they paid £1499 for ‘a service not’ delivered.

    Where does it say you pay PB the same on their website or other whether you complete or not?


  7. Mark Connelly

    Typical DM. A publication with a remit to “keep them angry” or “keep them frightened”

    Don’t change it because it is patently incorrect and in using it they have basically created a disingenuous article. No, it’s a gesture of goodwill from the guys who believe their own PR.

  8. AgencyInsider

    Cyberduck46.  The clue as to why agents charge commission lies in their name. An agent is duty bound to act in the best interest of their client and in doing so is entitled by way of commission to a share of the result they achieve for that client. The client/agent relationship and reward structure is long established in practice and in law and extends into many many other areas of commerce.

    It is this fact that demonstrates why certain firms are very definitely not ‘agents’ despite what they might have the gullible public believe.

  9. PeeBee


    “Come to think of it, how can you compare Estate Agents to a plumber… A plumber doesn’t charge a percentage commission. Their cost would be based on an hourly rate and expenses.”

    SO… let’s play ‘Plumbers’ – and quote a job up on your criteria.

    Change a washer on a tap.

    Labour:  Could take 15 minutes (subject to 1 hr minimum call-out time) – could take a day if everything is seized solid.  Say 7 hours @ £80/hr

    Parts: Washer – 25p plus handling charge, plus collection time – say 1 hr @ £80. Say £85

    Contingency: 5h!t happens – add 10% on that basis.  Say £64.50

    ‘What if’ Factor: 5%. Say 35.50

    Sub-Total:  £744

    VAT: £148.80

    Estimate – £892.80

    (10% discount for every additional washer changed – only on the day of the visit)

    1. PeeBee

      Oh, dear…

      Ducky has either ducked out of this conversation…

      …or ducked off!


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