Homeowners in England and Wales have already forked out £303.6m in high street estate agent fees in 2017 so far.
This is the finding of the latest study by online estate agent eMoov.co.uk, which found that the average high street estate agent has already lowered its standard fee from 1.6% plus VAT to 1.3% including VAT, due to the growth of the online sector.
Using this lower fee, eMoov has looked at the number of properties that have completed so far this year and what they have sold for, before applying the 1.3% charge to see how much homeowners have paid to sell their properties in 2017 so far.
The agent also accounted for the online share, which currently makes up 5.51% of the market, removing this from the total fees charged.
The research shows that, so far in 2017, £26 billion worth of property has already been sold, equating to £303.6m in high street estate agent fees.
As expected, the higher price of London properties means that the capital has experienced the greatest amount of fees paid (£70,146,490) so far this year, and this is no doubt higher given that the average fee in London is much higher than 1.3% including VAT.
The South East and East of England are also home to some of the highest fees paid, with Surrey (£13,303,190), Essex (£10,250,462) and Kent (£9,404,396) also seeing millions of pounds paid in commission. Greater Manchester is home to the fifth highest amount (£9,094,250).
The top ten is completed by Hertfordshire (£9,093,068), Hampshire (£8,964,127), the West Midlands (£7,473,729), West Yorkshire (£6,726,050) and West Sussex (£6,369,375).
The Founder and CEO of eMoov, Russell Quirk, comments: “Despite the high street sector being pressured to lower their commission to an average fee of 1.3% including VAT, due to growing competition by online and hybrid agents, this research demonstrates the eye-watering amount of money that’s still being paid due to the outdated practice of charging based on a property’s value.
“Of course, not all agents charge as much, but there are many agents that will still charge more and, with hybrid and online agents charging a fixed fee with a now proven service track record, it remains to be seen why you should pay more to sell your house because it is of a higher value.”
He continues: “The only silver lining to this research is that, in years gone by, this figure would have been a lot higher. Although the online and hybrid sector still only accounts for 5.51% of the market, it still represents a considerable saving and one that is only set to keep increasing as we take more market share.”