Notable spike in searches for ‘cheap fee agents’ as sellers look to cut costs

Seller search interest for high street estate agents has dropped, while there has been a significant increase in searches for ‘cheap fee agents’, new research shows.

Estate agent comparison site,, analysed data from Google Trends over 12 month period (January 2023 to January 2024) for a number of home seller and estate agency related search terms to reveal how seller interest has changed in the current market versus this time last year based on the change in the average search term popularity score.

The study found that there has been a notable year on year spike in search interest for the term ‘cheap estate agent’ within the estate agency category – up 53% between January 2023 and January 2024.

At the same time, search interest for ‘high street estate agent’ is the only search term analysed by GetAgent to have seen a reduction, down -45% annually. Although the search terms ‘best estate agent’ (+27%) and ‘local estate agent’ (+12%) have seen an increase.

The co-founder and CEO of, Colby Short, is warning agents against dropping their fees in order to attract business and bolster their for sale stock levels while market conditions remain somewhat subdued.

Keen to get agents on side, he says that a race to the bottom does not work, as documented by the sharp rise and even sharper fall of the low cost, fixed-fee agency model.

He commented: “In a time when selling a property is particularly tough, it’s more important than ever for vendors to instruct the very best agent they can find, but more and more vendors are searching for a cheap agent. Whilst this approach is wrong it is understandable why many vendors are making this mistake. To the untrained eye estate agents are a commodity. They often look the same, say the same things and all bring a Rightmove report “proving” they are the best.

“Yet agents are not a commodity. Some are much better than others and a good one can get you a price for your home that will far outweigh the additional fee they charge you whilst also providing great support through an extremely stressful process. It is vital to our industry that we all continue to make this point and hopefully we will see “best estate agent” searches surge next year.”

GetAgent, which charges agents to list with their platform, came under attack two years ago when it advised potential vendors to “lie” to estate agents in a bid to drive down commission fees.

Short later apologised in an open letter for what he saw as an “error” following an article published by EYE, and accepted that GetAgent’s ill thought-out “call their bluff” advice “disappointed the agent community”.


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



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  1. purplepatchy

    Is this the same Colby Short whose company put out an article on how to chisel down estate agent’s fees?

    We haven’t forgotten.

    1. Colby GetAgent

      Hi Purplepatchy.

      I am very happy to hold my hands up when we make a mistake as you can see from the article that PIE have linked. And this was undoubtedly a mistake.

      However I’d like to reiterate that blog post was written by an SEO agency and should definitely have been blocked by our content team before it ended up on our site.

      As soon as it was flagged to me it was removed immediately as it went completely against the whole premise of the GetAgent site which is about finding the best agent.

      1. Dodgylyric80

        Don’t you mean the ‘best agent’ that has agreed to pay you a fee?

      2. fluter

        Having looked at your site it is interesting to see that those agents who are happy to be included hike their usual commission fees to offset what they have to pay you. That being the case in many instances, please explain how that is beneficial to homeowners? Surely if you genuinely wanted to help homeowners find the right agent you wouldn’t charge agents to be included and would monetise your business in other ways?

        1. jan-byers

          Very good point


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