A survey of 1,000 members of the public suggests that 60 per cent of people would prefer to buy or sell a home through a traditional estate agent - with scarcely half that number favouring an online agent.
While six in 10 backed the traditional agent only 34 per cent preferred an online service, with six per cent ‘don’t knows’.
In the survey, conducted by telephone answering service Face For Business, the characteristics most associated with traditional agency were local market knowledge, access to local buyers, and experience to make the most of a property’s unique selling points. Online agents were characterised as having lower fees, a wide reach and more flexibility for sellers wanting to pick and choose services.
The survey details reveal that the older the respondent, the more likely they were to favour a traditional agency; across all age groups, slightly more women favoured traditional agents than did men.
The ‘swing factors’ in favour of traditional agents were strong communications and face to face meetings, as well as local knowledge and experience.
The survey also investigating the 1,000 respondents’ feelings about general estate agency customer service.
The most likely subjects for complaints concerned incorrect or unexpected fees, conflicting advice, ill-informed or unhelpful staff, and difficulties getting through to agents or being kept waiting on the telephone.