Sellers should try to instruct estate agents with the largest local share of the market, even if that means ignoring well-known corporate firms, according to consumer group the HomeOwners’ Alliance.
The group claims that analysis of sales patterns suggest that when choosing a company to get the best price in a sale, those agents with a larger share of their local housing market are more likely to sell a property - and at closer to the asking price - than those with a smaller market share.
The HOA claims that locally-dominant agents (the top third in terms of market share in their area), have a 61 per cent success rate of selling properties on their books, compared to just 53 per cent for agents in the bottom third.
Agents with more properties are also more likely to achieve a higher value deal, achieving an average of 97 per cent of the asking price, compared to 86 per cent among those with fewer on their books.
The data shows that local market share is a better indicator of success than a well-known brand - and, critically, it says there is no evidence to suggest that national chains perform better than local agents.
So for example the HOA says that at Tonbridge in Kent, for example, independent agency Bracketts has 29 per cent of the local market and a sales success rate of 68 per cent, usually achieving the asking price.
In Burnham Crouch, Essex, the agency Church & Hawes has 33 per cent of the local market and has a sales success rate of 65 per cent, usually achieving 98 per cent of the asking price.
The figures are based on 65,000 enquiries to the HOA between June and November 2016.
“Home owners are more likely to successfully sell their home, and get the price they want, if they go to agents with more clout in the local market. This does not mean that national chains are better than independent agents, but rather that the busier the local agent the better it performs” says HOA chief executive Paula Higgins.