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How much are estate agent fees? Here’s everything you need to know

5 mins read
by Kate Morgan
Last updated Friday, February 23, 2024

When you’re selling your home, estate agent fees can add thousands to the cost. We explore the ins and outs, hidden costs and different types of costs.

If you're in the market to buy or sell a property, one of the most significant costs you'll encounter is estate agent fees.

These fees can vary greatly depending on several factors, including the type of property, location, and level of service you require.

In this article, we'll explore everything you need to know about UK estate agent fees and how much you can expect to be charged.


  • Fees tend to be between 0.9% and 3.6%.

  • It’s a good idea to ask exactly what the fee covers before signing a contract.

  • Make sure to check any additional costs before deciding on an agent.

  • Estate agent fees should only be paid when your sale is completed.

How much are estate agent fees?

Fees tend to be between 0.9% and 3.6% and can be affected by how many agents are trying to sell your property and how well you’ve negotiated.

On average, in 2024, an estate agent fee is 1.42%, including VAT, so if your property sold for £275,000, the agent would pocket £3,900. 

What’s a sliding scale?

This gives you a degree of leverage if you think your agent‘s fee is too high or they overestimated the value of your property.

It also gives your agent an extra incentive to get the highest price possible. 

Essentially, you can set a rising fee rate that’s connected to the price of your house.

So, if you believe the real value is around £300,000, you could suggest a sliding scale to your estate agent that starts at 1% if your home sells for less than £275,000, 1.25% if the agent gets between £275,000 and £299,999, and 1.5% if they manage to secure £300,000 – £325,000.

You might also consider raising the fee percentage for a quick sale if that’s a priority. 

What do estate agent fees cover?

This can vary between agents, so it’s a good idea to ask exactly what the fee includes before signing a contract.

Some low-cost packages might not include all the essential elements.

Here are some of the services you can expect: 

  • A professional property valuation.

  • A detailed written description of your home. 

  • Accurate floorplans.

  • A set of professionally taken photographs. 

  • A clear, well-presented 'For Sale' board. 

  • Communication with a list of potential buyers. 

  • Thorough marketing of your property on portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla.    

  • Well-organised and managed viewings.

  • Professional negotiation of a realistic, acceptable sale price.   

Why is research and comparison important?

Naturally, you want to choose the best estate agent you can find, and this won’t necessarily be the one with the cheapest fees.

You want to save money, but you also need great service.  

A good agent is more likely to achieve your full asking price, which, as our example below shows, will probably be more beneficial than a slightly poorer performing agent who charges a lower fee. 

For example, if your house sells successfully at the full asking price of £300,000 and your agent charges a 1.42% fee, it'll cost you £4,260.

If a less effective agent sells your property for 98% of your agreed value (£294,000) in exchange for a 1.3% fee, you'll lose out on £6,000 in the property value and pay £3,822 in fees

So naturally, it’s a good idea to find the best-performing estate agents in your area.

You can do this using online comparison tools such as HomeOwners Alliance's best estate agent finder tool.

Should you go online or on the High Street?

The main reason people decide to use an online estate agent is cost.

So, if you think your high street agent is charging too much for what they are offering, it could be worth exploring; especially as starter packs can be as little as £100.

But as with researching high street agents, their performance will vary, so it could pay to do your research.

Try using online estate agent comparison tools, like the Homeowners Alliance tool mentioned above. 

How do you negotiate a good deal on estate agent fees?

Haggling might not come naturally, but it can save you money and estate agents may be keen to get your property on their books. 

Aim for a fee of about 1.2% (including VAT) or less if you have a high-value property.

A key bargaining tool is to approach several agents to discuss valuation and get them to compete for your business.

Remember to ask if they’ll charge less for a sole agency agreement, and always get their best offer in writing.

Also, make it clear that you aim to pay no more than a 1.2% fee. 

You’ll probably find that smaller estate agents are more flexible and willing to negotiate as larger chains tend to be driven by nationwide corporate policies, which allow less wiggle room. 

How about hidden costs?

Here are a few key points to check before deciding on your agent.

Estate agents are required by law to tell you what’s included in your fee, but it makes sense to be sure before you sign a contract or pay anything. 

  • Does your fee include advertising costs such as placement on property websites and 'For Sale' boards? These should all be covered, so carry on looking if an agent wants to charge extra upfront fees for marketing and advertising 

  • Does the agent charge withdrawal fees? If so, walk away because you shouldn’t be charged for deciding not to sell your property.

  • Is VAT inclusive? It definitely should be, and all fees described by an estate agent should make this clear. However, some agents still quote costs excluding VAT, which is currently 20%, so make sure your quote includes it.

When do you pay an estate agent fee?

Estate agent fees should only be paid when your sale is completed and the money is in your account.

This is called a ‘no sale, no fee’ agreement, and it’s definitely what you should go for.

The arrangement to avoid is where you agree to be a ‘ready, willing and able purchaser’ as this means that you have to pay the agent, even if you pull out of the sale. 

Choosing the best estate agent and negotiating the right fee is a balancing act.

You need to aim for great value, but you also want a top-performing agent who can attract serious buyers and get the highest possible price.

The key is doing some careful research, focusing on the estate agents in your local area — and remembering that as a seller, you’re in a strong position to secure the fee you’re happy with. 

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Kate Morgan
Kate has written for leading publications and blue chip companies over the last 20 years.