Many property owners underestimate estate agents

A very interesting investigation has revealed property owners in Britain regard estate agents as poor value for money. However, many substantially under-estimate the work that goes into selling a home.

The survey conducted by looked at the perceptions of property owners across a number of property related topics. These included:

  • services expected as part of an estate agent fee
  • preference of online property portals
  • public perception of estate agents

In conclusion, the report found there is a need for more transparency in the ever-changing property market.

Estate agent

Just 18% of respondents said estate agents were helpful. However, 20% said that they were knowledgeable. 35% felt they are too pushy, with 30% seeing them as poor value for money.

When choosing an agent, 56% regard fees as their most important factor. A personal recommendation came a close second, with local knowledge and responsiveness also coming high on the list.

In addition, homeowners were found to want a lot more for their money, with 25% expecting to pay a fee of just 0.5%-1% to cover all services. This is in comparison to the national average of 1%. This result suggests that there is a need for a clearer education by estate agents on what fees over and the work required to sell a property.

96% of homeowners would think about comparing fees and services of estate agents online, if this option was available to them.

Many property owners underestimate estate agents

Many property owners underestimate estate agents

Painting a picture

As part of their fee, 52% of property owners expect photography to be included, while 49% expect their property to be listed on portals. 10% expect open days to come as standard, with 6% wanting video marketing and 10% virtual tours.

What’s more, the research uncovered that there has been a large shift in how owners are prepared to sell their property. 85% said they would consider using an online estate agent. This means that the high street is no longer the main go-to point when selling a home.

Despite this change, this is still appreciation of the services offered by traditional agents. Many property owners still want to speak to someone face to face when contemplating such a big decision.

Further findings from the survey show that the most popular time for homeowners to conduct estate agent research is between 6pm and 9pm. Of course, this is outside of traditional opening hours for many agents on the high-street.


Alex Thorpe, managing director of Netanagent, said, ‘Estate agents have often come under the cosh in the past and are an easy target for consumers who think they aren’t getting value for money as part of one of the biggest sales or purchasing decisions they will ever make. With more savvy consumers who are willing to shop around and the rise of online estate agents enabling sellers to do more themselves, the pressure is really on to show people that they are getting value for money.’[1]

‘What’s clear from our research is that home owners don’t necessarily understand the sheer amount of work that goes into selling a property. From local knowledge and an understanding of the marketplace, to an awareness of what a target audience is looking for and an understanding of how best to promote property, estate agents work very hard for their fee to deliver the best price for a home owner. There is a real need for estate agents to better promote the value they can bring consumers so sellers can truly understand the best estate agent for their needs,’ Thorpe concluded.[1]


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