Vast majority of property sellers not prepared to pay fees upfront

New research shows that a number of online estate agents may have to rethink their fee structure.

A survey of 2,717 would-be property sellers who are thinking listing their home with an online estate agent found that the vast majority would prefer to pay their agency fees on completion of sale, with just 17% opting for the cost savings offered by paying upfront.

Some 60% of would-be vendors stated that they would prefer to pay on completion, while the remaining 22% was made up of people who had no preference one way or the other.

The study by consumer advice website, Property Road, has also indicated 44% are happy to conduct all viewings themselves and 47% value an online agent’s ability to achieve the asking price as the most important factor in deciding which one to use.

This compares to 25% who prefer the ‘ability to sell properties quickly’ and 12% who value ‘good customer service’ the most.

Meanwhile, ‘low prices’ – 9% – and ‘option to pay on completion’  – 4% – were the least selected traits that people looked for.

The founder of Property Road, Paul James, said “We’ve seen the market share of online estate agents stagnate and even drop slightly over the last few years and these results may explain, at least partially, why that might be. The largest brands have poured a lot of money into promoting their lower upfront fee model versus the more expensive, yet less risky, traditional fee model of payment upon completion of sale.

“While we have seen many of the big players begin to offer a choice between upfront fees or payment on completion, there are still some, most notably Purplebricks, that seem reluctant to change their approach.

“If only 17% of people already considering using online estate agents prefer the cost savings of paying upfront, it shows the uphill battle online agents still face in convincing vendors to stump up fees before their property has sold.”


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One Comment

  1. Woodentop

    What do you expect, traditional high street agents have put their heads on the chopping block for decades …. no sale = no fee.


    A big culture shock expecting someone working from their bedroom to be paid for something they may not achieve. This is what comes of hiding behind a keyboard in a people to people business.


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