‘Most home owners would choose traditional agent to sell their home’

Most home owners would choose a traditional estate agent if they had to sell today, a poll has found.

However, a significant proportion would go the online route – and younger people would actively choose an online agent rather than a full-service one.

The poll asked: “If you were choosing an estate agent today, do you think you would go for an online estate agent with lower costs, or a traditional estate agent with local premises that you can visit?”

Out of the 1,000 who were polled, 349 said they would choose an online agent, 592 said they would go with a traditional agent, and just 59 said they would choose neither – suggesting that the private sales route has yet to get much traction.

The online option was slightly more popular with men than women (178 to 171), while 318 women compared with 274 men favoured traditional agents.

Because of the small number of home owners aged between 18 and 24, only a total of 26 views could be garnered in this age group.

However, 13 would choose an online agent, compared with 11 who would go with a traditional agent, and two would choose neither option.

The poll also asked the home owners what they wanted most from an estate agent.

Most chose getting the “right price” as most important – 461; a further 216 wanted knowledge and experience, and 188 chose excellent communication.

The remainder chose other options.

All the older age groups chose the agent’s ability to value and get the right price for their home as their top priority.

However, the top priority for the youngest age group was excellent communication. This was also the age group least likely to rate knowledge and experience – something which counted heavily with the oldest age group of 55 pluses.

The survey was carried out last summer by OnePoll for its client, Face for Business, a telephone answering service.

A spokesperson for Face for Business said: “Online estate agents are experiencing more rivalry/competition than ever, but traditional is still the preferred choice of home owners.

“People want to see estate agents and need face to face communication.”

She added that the firm may recommission the survey.



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  1. Chri Wood

    In summary; those with age and experience value knowledge and experience most highly. In other words, those who experienced ‘cheap’ and cheerful earlier in life don’t want to be taken in like that again

    1. Shaun77

      Most people said the most important thing was “getting the right price”. The likelihood of this happening with a call centre agent is minimal. As somebody said in a post yesterday, The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot

  2. Typhoon

    The Poll missed part of the narrative from their question about the online agent. They should have asked if the public wanted a cheap option “with no service”

  3. Blue

    The question “are you happy paying upfront with no guarantee of a sale” might change things.

  4. Property Paddy

    Most home owners would use a traditional estate agent while paying on line fees.

    Most home owners don’t want to deal directly with the buyers until after negotiations are complete (and in some cases never)

    Most home owners want the highest possible price for their asset.

    Most home owners don’t want to completely over price their property either.

    Most home owners want estate agents to look after the solicitors, financial advisors, surveyors, plumbers, builders and more.

    Re: “People want to see estate agents and need face to face communication”

    That’s because people buy from people,

    Most home owners want twice weekly updates, or we get a tongue lashing.

    If we are seen to be too successful we get cat calls about our easy job, over paid, under educated etc etc.

    And we chose this for a career?

    1. Woodentop

      …….. and that is why you are an estate agent PP. Something the younger generation have yet to learn.


      We have been running our own research and even provided a web only option. Not one person over the age of 30ys has asked for the web only option, all wanting the traditional estate agent. Actually no-one has taken up the web only offer and its cheaper than PBricks and the advantage of our local offices.

      1. Property Paddy

        If you are talking about the hybrid model, I think you could use it for out of area referrals. But you keep your core area traditional?

        I don’t think I could offer hybrid in the same catchment as clients would surely expect the same service, even though it’s a fraction of the costs and if people complain about a poor service (like PB and others get) it would affect your core area too.

        Personally I would keep away from Hybrid until there is an established market knowledge.

        1. Woodentop

          Agreed, we are not doing it now. Just tried it to see what happened as we discovered two agents in my area have been offering this service secretly, one for a year and the other for two years. RM rep has known they have been doing it, but ignored the fact that one of them was actually acting as a private sale outlet charging £350 and no questions asked.

          1. Woodentop

            Nice to see RM are looking in with a dislike.

  5. Shaw

    “On-line agents” is a misnomer. We’re all on-line agents. Surely “Internet Only agents” is a more accurate term?

    1. Chri Wood

      Call them what they are – “Call-centre agents”

      1. PeeBee

        You’re quicker off the mark than me, Mr Wood!  Left the comment on the desk while I snuck out for a sneaky viewing…

        …you know – those things that Call-Centre Agents charge extra for!

    2. PeeBee

      We believe the term ‘Call-Centre Agents’ is a more accurate description of the model.

      Quirky sorta title, innit…! ;o)

  6. Beano

    Uttely pointless survey, a bit like this comment of mine.

    1. Property Paddy

      don’t be so harsh on yourself, some see value in your efforts.


      Not me, obviously




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