A small survey commissioned by a PropTech firm appears to show that a majority of respondents believe estate agents lack expertise and local know-how.
The study involved only 500 respondents, only two thirds of which had even used an estate agent in the past three years.
Perhaps one consolation for criticised estate agents is that only 13 per cent of the survey wanted the industry to be more “tech savvy”.
The survey was conducted by Acaboom and asked what the most important factor was when choosing an estate agent - 40 per cent looked for professionalism, 37 per cent for local knowledge and just 13 per cent wanted agents to be ‘tech savvy’.
Acaboom then says: “According to the study of 500 UK residents, 68 per cent of whom had used an agent in the last three years, 52 per cent felt the agent didn’t understand the local property market and 60 per cent felt they lacked general expertise.”
The PropTech firm continues: “When asked, 87 per cent of homeowners [that is, the 500 respondents] said they look for data along with a fee breakdown. 80 per cent of homeowners want an agent to demonstrate the ability to sell their property with a full marketing strategy or proposal, 56 per cent expected their valuation given to be accompanied by property industry data and 39 per cent wanted to see comparable properties presented.”
The survey findings also suggest that vendors discuss a valuation with one to four people, and that some vendors could be persuaded to sell if they received market updates - even if their own property was not on the market at that time.
Acaboom managing director Brian Farrell says: “The homeowner does not start out worried about fees and is simply looking to identify the agent that will meet their needs. If no one agent has stood out, it comes down to cost.
“Smart agents are now focused on delivery. The survey tells us vendors aren’t interested in a plain email or valuation letter advising of fees and with a recommended asking price; they want to get more information and justify their decision. They also want information they can’t get anywhere else.
“As a valuer ask yourself, are you giving more details and information than your competitors, around things like local market trends, an average price per square foot, or even planning permission on the road that might affect the price?”