Home » News » Agencies & People » UK estate agents must charge fees of 3% not 1.5%, says leading figure
Agencies & People

UK estate agents must charge fees of 3% not 1.5%, says leading figure

Daniel McPeake says sellers will pay more if they see that a higher fee will enable agents to co-broke and sell their home quicker and for more.

Nigel Lewis

estate agent nestmakers

The boss of a growing hybrid estate agency famous for its TV show connections has said UK agents should charge more for their service.

London-based Daniel McPeake, European MD of Nest Seekers International which has 50-plus estate agents working for him in the UK across several regional territories, says his firm begins negotiations on commission levels at 3% and that the rest of the industry should follow his lead.

Nest Seekers launched in the UK in February this year and is unusual because it’s key awareness tools is the US hit TV show Million Dollar Listing and Selling Sunset, which features several of its agents.

And like the TV shows, McPeake wants to bring a distinctly American flavour to UK property.

Which is why he concentrates so much on the 3%. At that level of commission, he says, agents can begin co-broking deals and splitting fees to get homes sold.

“For example, if you’re on a high street and you’ve got a £1m house to sell and you’re charging the vendor 1% you’re not going to share your fee with another agent – so you have a barrier in between you and other agents,” he says.

“Almost everywhere else in the world agents openly co-broker deals together to get homes sold because there’s enough fee to go around.

McPeake’s favourite catchphrase is that ‘people who want to be estate agents pitch a fee, and those who are estate agents pitch a service’ and this is why so many low-fee agencies lean so heavily on the portals.

“If you start at 1.5% you’ll soon get pushed down to 1% because if you can’t negotiate your own fee, how can the vendor expect you to negotiate the best price for their home?,” he says.

We charge 3% because we believe in co-broking with other agents – and we’re transparent about what we do with our vendors who understand the 3% they pay enables co-broking and will sell their home quicker and for more money.

Visit NestSeekers.

Read more about fees innovation.

August 4, 2021


  1. To paraphrase the brilliant Seth Godin ‘If your customers just care about your fees, it’s because you haven’t given them anything more interesting to care about…’

  2. Over the last 54 years, I’ve witnessed agents chasing fees to the bottom. Literally the bottom! I have some sympathy for those who face tough competition on fees, but not a lot if their only response is to match their offer or claim their market is more challenging than elsewhere. There are measures that agents can take if they wish to. Commission menus – enhancing fees by adding services that your lower-commission competition do not provide, thus allowing your headline commission rate to match theirs. My favourite measure, though, was as an agent to pitch a ratchet rate assuring that if I performed as well as I promised my commission rate would reflect that. If I under-performed then my rate would reflect that too. I very much agree with the author that you must be able to negotiate your own fee to prove to the vendor that you’re good at negotiating. The key lies in how you differentiate your offerings from those of your competitors. You need compelling reasons, facts, figures, superior property marketing, sold boards. ‘Instruct me, I’m amazing’ won’t cut it any longer.

  3. Sorry Smital – it’s all in the mind! Who said you have to compete on fee? If you are the preferred agent, and are either naturally persuasive, or have been trained correctly, then 3% is by no means off the table. I train clients in this every week and continually get feedback from agents who astound themselves over the fee they are able to charge when they put their mind to it.
    If you are already charging say 1% or less then why not go for 1.5% or 2%? (still the cheapest fees in the world!) It’s just not worth doing it for less, especially in a low-volume market. You’ll eventually spiral yourself downwards and out of business. Do let me know if you need a hand with some dialogues. But don’t use them until you have first convinced yourself that you are worth it! Have a great day.

  4. I would love to have 3% but when you have agents offering 0.75% and zero contracts commitment it’s a tad difficult to compete with that. London is a totally different geographic area and it allows the 3% to be charged

What's your opinion?

Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.