UK agents earn lowest fees among largest property markets - research

17th October 2023
Home > News > UK agents earn lowest fees among largest property markets - research

Reported by Mark Shoffman - The Negotiator 

UK estate agents receive the lowest sales commission across eight of the world’s biggest property markets, new research suggests. The analysis suggests agents in the UK take home the second-lowest income, only out-earning agents in Malaysia.

Self-employed agency brand iad UK has analysed the average residential estate agent sales commission in eight of the world’s leading property markets to see which countries have the highest-earning agents, and how agent earnings differ from one country to another.

The data shows that the highest estate agent commissions are achieved in France, where the average fee stands at 5.8%. Agents in the USA and Italy are both charging average fees of 5.5%. In Spain, the average is 5%, followed by UAE (3%), Malaysia (2.5%), and Australia (2.3%). 

At the bottom of the pack is the UK where the average agent commission is 1.2%.

With a current average house price of £289,824, the UK is home to the third-most expensive market on the list, but due to such a low fee, agents are only generating an average of £3,420 from each sale. Only agents in Malaysia (£1,966) are taking home less money than they are in the UK, according to the research.

In monetary terms, the highest average commission is enjoyed by agents in UAE where the average house price is £712,227. With a 3% fee, this creates earnings of £21,367 per sale. 

American agents earn £15,927 per sale, and in France, they’re taking £12,101, iad UK said.

Lee O’Brien, managing director of iad UK, said: “We’ve long known that agent fees in the UK are low, but it’s still striking to see them in comparison to other countries. Our agents are clearly not being valued highly enough, or valuing themselves highly enough.

“It’s the result of a race to the bottom that has taken place over many, many years, where agents compete for instructions by boasting the lowest fee. These issues were exacerbated with the arrival of fixed-fee agency models.

“Why is it that we don’t respect our agents enough to believe they’re worth proper payment, but they do in other nations like France and the US? It’s an unwanted state of normality that we’ve got to shake off. I have been an agent for over 20 years and know the good agents work incredibly hard and deserve proper reward. At iad, they will always get the lion's share of the commission for the great work they do.”

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