New research reveals homeowners' biggest estate agent peeves
Pushiness, poor time-keeping and lack of local knowledge are the traits that are most likely to put homeowners off an estate agent according to a new study from comparison tool EstateAgent4Me. Some 48% of homeowners said that aggressive sales tactics were a major turn off, with a similar number (47%) agreeing that poor punctuality was likely to be a major stumbling block.
While nearly all home owners (96%) agreed that fees were the most important factor in their selection of an estate agent, surprisingly some 70% of home owners admitted to the fact that they didn’t read the fine print of the contract. Furthermore, only 25% of home owners will try to negotiate the fees that are first put to them. Similarly, only half of homeowners bother to get at least two agents to visit their property.
People skills are vital for any estate agent, yet one in three women said that over familiarity was an issue for them, with a third claiming that they have, or would be put off, by an agent calling them ‘love’. Some 19% of homeowners said they were wary of flashiness, so estate agents should think twice about the expensive watch or big car.
When it comes to the non-financial factors that encourage a home owner to appoint an estate agent, a good phone manner (93%) and ability to build a rapport (87%) come out on top. In an increasingly digital world, when it comes to bricks and mortar, the old-fashioned qualities of answering the phone and being personable remain vital skills for the estate agent.
Commenting on the data, Paula Higgins, Chief Executive of HomeOwners Alliance which runs the EstateAgent4Me website, said;
“Consumers are sensibly choosing an estate agent based on both gut feeling and the impact on their bank balance. However, our research suggests that home owners could be a little savvy when it comes to shopping around for the right agent, negotiating fees and even reading their contracts. The EstateAgent4Me tool can help consumers see which agents get the best prices in the quickest times and help sellers to make a really informed choice of agent.”
The research also suggests that the North East and Yorkshire really are the friendliest places in England with only an average of 21% saying that an estate agent acting overfamiliar would be most likely to put them off, compared to 34% of the West Midlands.