GetAgent says ‘sorry’ to estate agents for advising sellers to lie about fees

Colby Short
Colby Short

Colby Short, co-founder and CEO of GetAgent, says he accepts that his company, an estate agent comparison site that charges agents to list with their platform, made a mistake when it advised potential vendors to ‘lie’ to estate agents in a bid to drive down commission fees.

In an open letter he said he apologises for what he now sees as an ‘error’ following an article published by Property Industry Eye yesterday, and accepts that GetAgent’s ill thought-out ‘call their bluff’ advice ‘has disappointed the agent community’.

The advice from GetAgent, published in a newsletter this week, stated: “If you’ve gathered quotes from a few estate agents, you can start to negotiate by using these quotes to your benefit. If you’re brazen enough, you could bluff about receiving other ‘lower rates’, regardless of whether you’ve actually gotten any.

“If your preferred estate agent doesn’t budge, let them know that competitors will go lower. Play the estate agents against each other by mentioning the lower rates that other companies have offered you. But tell your preferred firm that you prefer the services they’d be able to provide you with — ask them if they can match the lower rate because you want to give them the business.”

Short suggested changes will now be made to the way the firm communicates with the general public after claiming that there has been, until now, an overreliance on search engine optimisation agencies to generate content that is not signed off by GetAgent’s in-house team.

You can see the full text of the open letter below.



From Colby Short, Co-Founder and CEO of GetAgent

In yesterday’s Property Industry Eye a story ran that called-out a blog post that GetAgent had published that suggested that prospective home sellers ‘duck and dive’ somewhat in order to negotiate a lower estate agency fee.

The impression that we inadvertently gave was one that might encourage the public to pressure agents into agreeing a bigger discount on their commission based on applying a rather zealous competitive pressure.

This approach is not us, not at all. In fact, we champion the performance of agents based upon more important aspects than just a low fee. Time taken to sell, percentage of asking price achieved and volume of properties sold locally – are all metrics that we promote as much more legitimate and likely to yield an all-round better result for home sellers.

This blog post was written and recently published by a search engine optimisation agency. The wording reflected that of high-ranking search pages on the topic of estate agent fees, pages that are actually at odds with our own long-held views on fees in estate agency.

Regardless of who wrote the article, we are responsible for what is on our site and have now implemented new processes to ensure future posts fully reflect the brand values we have spent the past seven years living by.

The blog has swiftly been amended and we have removed the wording that Property Industry Eye referenced yesterday in favour of copy that I have now personally signed off.

I would like to take this opportunity to apologise for this error on GetAgent’s part. I am sorry that this perceived stance on agency fees has disappointed the agent community with which we have developed such a strong and long-standing relationship. 

As our revised copy now cites, it is not always a good idea to shop around for an estate agent on the premise of cheap fees alone. We, of all people know this and I am happy to set the record straight.


Yours truly


Colby Short

CEO and Co-Founder, GetAgent     


GetAgent urges vendors to lie to estate agents to drive down commission fees



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  1. If Carlsberg made Estate Agents…

    Shame, I think advising the sellers to play Agents at their own game is a good idea! The self employed model is the way forward. If you’re no good, you won’t survive. One’s personal reputation will help you thrive or crumble. Most high street businesses are designed to make the owner/s rich, nothing more. Colby should have stuck by his initial comments. Weak.

    1. Gangsta Agent


    2. letstalk

      So if Carlsberg made Estate Agents they would be agents that need to join a desperate race to the bottom in relation to fees then rather than providing the high quality, innovative, personal and professional service of some of the remarkable independent agents I know?
      Being part of a race to the bottom rather than truly providing a justifiably brilliant service at a fair cost isn’t something I’d be looking to boast about in all honesty, but to each their own.

  2. Typhoon

    Carlsberg you are as bad as Getagent  PROPER estate agency services and support can’t be bought for pennies. Pay peanuts get monkeys is exactly what happens. And the last thing the public needs when engaged in the multitude of emotions and the financial considerations when moving home, is a monkey.

  3. Mike Bidwell

    Ah, it was just a tiny misunderstanding – so it’s all okay now. Ha ha! 

  4. TopBanana

    I actually applaud this. A humble apology – that doesn’t happen very often these days. Fair enough

    1. Bosky

      What do you mean, so many people are apologising for their past/present comments/misdeeds to a point where it has little or no meaning.  
      I can visualise Mr. Short’s reaction upon learning of agents disquiet to his advise:- arms up in air, a few choice swear words towards the agents and then saying, I know, lets shut them up and appease them by a “humble” apology.  
      Life goes on and back to the odd normal that agents actually bother with GetAgent!

  5. skipdale

    Carlsberg. Most High Street Agents in my part of the world are owner run. So we are self employed, and yes my aim has always been to get rich. It’s not easy in this game but I admit to a decent living, and why shouldn’t I having done 60 hour weeks for 11 years and have a good customer database. Clearly you are just in it for the pure enjoyment not the money!

  6. Gangsta Agent

    it wasn’t me, it was someone else…….honest

    1. AcornsRNuts

      A bit like the footballer claiming that kicking the cat only happened once!

      1. Bosky

        He could have just said he thought it was a furball!

  7. Robert_May

    I can see nothing wrong with  potential  GetaGent (credit Peebee) vendors haggling with agents…. the first 0.25% to come off can easily be taken from the fee GetaGent want for the referral.

    1. A W

      You’re missing the point Robert, a service paid for by agents is advocating to lie to said agents to achieve “better rates“.

      1. ARC

        I suspect AW that it is you that is missing his point actually………………………………

  8. Propman4

    Why would any agent use this company after these comment? Its obvious from what they said that they have no loyalty to the company that pays their fees! Without agents this company is worthless. If your any good you will win work anyway. Any agents who are on this company data base I would suggest you leave and save yourself 25% of your next fee!

  9. Russell121

    If you need this company to win business for you, then maybe you’re in the wrong game.

  10. PeeBee

    I wonder if the ‘open letter’ apology was written by the same inept individual that wrote the cause of the furore in the first instance?

  11. PeeBee

    “Short suggested… that there has been, until now, an overreliance on search engine optimisation agencies to generate content that is not signed off by GetAgent’s in-house team.”

    “In house team”? Last accounts suggest four employees (plus Directors) – are they suggesting that somewhere in that hoard of individuals there is a dedicated “team” for content generation?

    If so – why then does Get-A-Gent employ the services of a “Property PR agency”?

  12. ARC

    I would assume that any agent using this sort of lead generation site to be glad of any fee frankly so therefore the advice probably won’t offend their users just the vast majority of other agents who hold themselves to high standards!

  13. Estate_Agent_Memes


    Gerald Ratner moment….?

    These chancers keep contacting me even though I have informed them in writing several times to never contact me again. Add a middle man like this and one of two things will happen – 1 – client pays more to cover their split or 2 – Agent gets paid less to cover their split.

    It’s like deliveroo/Just Eat etc – the food provider would much prefer to get your order direct so they don’t have to pay 30% to the delivery service – they often have to up their charges to the delivery service customers!

    A totally unnecessary company, that adds zero value to anyone (apart from themselves)

  14. PeeBee

    In order to get a grasp of the situation Mr Get-A-Gent needs to rearrange these words into a well known phrase:
    “Shut the horse after the stable door has bolted I have.”

  15. Certus

    Goodbye Getagent – I expect agents to be refusing your leads and delisting with you. 25% of my fee to you, in return for little more than playing us all off each other. Clear to me that you are not of benefit! Just a leach


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