Online Searches For ‘Cheap Agents’ Up By 53%

Online Searches For 'Cheap Agents' Up By 53%
6 March 2024 – Cheap agents are more in demand than ever—at least according to data from Google Trends.

The search term’ cheap estate agent’ was up 53% in January 2024 compared to January 2023 in the estate agency category. 

On the other side of the coin, searches for ‘high street estate agent’ were down by 45%. It was the only term to see a reduction in search interest.

Buyers were also looking for the ‘best estate agent’ as inquiries were up by 27%. Meanwhile, the search term’ local estate agent’ increased by 12%.

GetAgent analysed the figures for home seller and estate agency-related search terms to determine how seller interests influenced the current market this time last year.  The base metric was the change in the average search term popularity score.

Are cheap agents better? GetAgent executive says not exactly

According to Righmove’s most recent Price Index, the average number of days it takes to secure a buyer was 78 in January 2024. It’s the longest it’s ever been since the same period as last year.

The same document also asserts that more price-sensitive properties are more likely to be sold faster. 

So, it’s understandable that sellers attempt to cut costs somewhere if they want their property listings to be as appealing as possible. 

We come to the current scenario: surging interest in cheap agents. 

However, estate agents are not created equal. It takes a certain amount of skill to get the best deal for a seller. 

A high street estate agent’s network and negotiating skills are invaluable to someone who wants to sell their property quickly to a specific clientele. Furthermore, their local market expertise will render a more accurate property valuation. They may know of essential neighbourhood amenities that are important for particular buyers.

Other sellers may look for a personalised transaction and will shell out more cash for this arrangement. In other words, you may get the service you pay for.

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.

Colby Short, Co-Founder and CEO of GetAgent

Traditional agent fees may discourage sellers

estate agent

For a potential seller, having an estate agent guide them through the competitive selling process may be a welcome approach. 

Unfortunately, other individuals may not appreciate having to deal with every trick in the estate agent’s playbook or, worse, the steep estate agent fees. 

According to the Home Owners Alliance, the fees depend on the number of estate agents you use. 

For a sole agency agreement, expect between 1.2% and 1.8%, including VAT. A multiple agency agreement, or when you hire many estate agents to sell your property, can set you back 3% to 3.6%, including VAT.

So, with Rightmove’s February 2024 national average seller asking price of £362,839, expect to pay upwards of £4,000.

Of course, if the seller avails of add-ons plus other additional costs, expect this bill to increase even more.

Online estate agents seen as an alternative to high street estate agents

Many other options are cropping up, with the fees as a significant barrier to accessing traditional estate agents. 

One such option is the rising popularity of online estate agents. Yopa, Purplebricks, and Griffin Property Co. are some of the leading platforms slowly replacing high street estate agents.

These cheaper agents are in high demand because they promise more affordable rates—some even include free services!

For example, Purplebricks recently announced a free house-selling offer. The package includes the following:

  • A property valuation
  • A spot on the UK’s top property portals
  • An app for managing viewings, offers, and buyer communication
  • A professional negotiation service that ensures you get the best deal

It’s technically a free service, except you’re paying the £60 anti-money laundering fee. 

Still, the jump from thousands of pounds to just £60 (plus add-ons) is one hell of a deal many sellers don’t want to miss out on. It’s understandable why many are switching to cheap agents like online estate agents.

Our Opinion

Selling your home isn’t a cheap affair, so home sellers were always looking for a cost-effective option. But house prices have risen by over 20% since the pandemic and the slight fall last year hasn’t really made a difference.

This means high street estate agent fees, where you pay a percentage of the sales price, have also risen. So no wonder vendors are looking for cheap agents to soften the blow and make moving house a tad more affordable.

Online estate agents are a great option, because they charge a fixed fee, rather than a percentage of the house price. Especially, if you are willing to have a hands-on approach, like doing your own viewings.

We have used online estate agents in the past and are a fan. Their online platforms give you control over the whole process and most will conduct viewings for you, for an added cost.

But we firmly believe that a homeowner is the best person to sell their home, so don’t be afraid to conduct your own viewings. It could help you sell your home faster and save you money.


  • News Desk

    Our news desk team includes a qualified architect, a freelance journalist, and a fanatical property expert who has over 12 years experience in the industry.

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