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Traditional estate agency sector ups its game – complaints numbers & fee growth fall year on year

Research by estate agent comparison website, GetAgent.co.uk, has found that traditional estate agents have upped their game amidst tougher market conditions and growing competition, with the number of complaint cases being formally upheld by the TPOS declining year on year as well as the growth in the average fee to sell a property also declining.

The average estate agent fee is 19% higher today than a decade ago, growing an average of 2% per year as house prices have increased. At the same time complaints upheld against estate agents have increased by an average of 9% year on year over the last decade.

However, the latest data shows that for just the second time in the last 10 years, upheld complaints against estate agents have dropped year on year, and for the only the third time in a decade, this yearly rate of growth has been lower than the annual growth in fees.

Previously the only other years to see this were 2010, when complaints grew by just 1% compared to a 6% growth in estate agent fees, as well as 2015 where the number of complaints tumbled by -28% while fees grew by 6%.

The latest drop in complaints of -10% year on year is the second largest and only other drop in the last ten years. Coupled with a growth in the average fee of just 5% which has been falling steadily since 2014, the data shows that traditional estate agents are currently providing some of the best value for money in the last ten years.

Founder and CEO of estate agent comparison site GetAgent, Colby Short, commented:

“Although the traditional sector has suffered from a fairly negative public perception over previous years when looking at legitimate complaints against them they’ve certainly upped their game of late.

Everyone benefits from a bit of healthy competition and I think the rise of the online and hybrid model has certainly forced many agents to rethink their positioning and give more thought to the service for money aspect.

However, as we’ve seen via the scrutiny and customer experience of online agents, you often get what you pay for and I think now the public has experienced the more DIY model of the online sector, they’ve come to realise that actually, a good traditional agent is well worth the additional money when selling. This is the case now more than ever in what are very tough market conditions and with properties taking longer to sell, a good local agent and the knowledge they bring is vital when finding and securing a buyer.”

Year
Number of Upheld Complaints
Year on Year Change
Average Agent Fee
Year on Year Change
2007
492
£2,630
2008
633
29%
£2,511
-5%
2009
671
6%
£2,288
-9%
2010
681
1%
£2,419
6%
2011
842
24%
£2,384
-1%
2012
883
5%
£2,393
0%
2013
1149
30%
£2,455
3%
2014
1301
13%
£2,652
8%
2015
939
-28%
£2,810
6%
2016
1142
22%
£3,006
7%
2017
1023
-10%
£3,142
5%
Average Yearly Change
9%
 
2%

 

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