Estate Agents – what the public say

ESTATE agents are sometimes vilified in the press along with politicians, lawyers, car salespeople, traffic wardens and bankers.

However, new research by the leading industry charity, Agents Giving, has found that the majority of homeowners had a positive personal experience of dealing with an agent when purchasing their current home.

According to the survey, 91 per cent of homeowners described their personal experience with an estate agent as ‘excellent’, ‘good’ or ‘average’, with 55 per cent describing their experience as ‘good’ or ‘excellent’.

The survey further revealed that the prickly subject of commission charged by agents is misconceived. Twenty one percent of respondents believed agent commission to be five per cent when in fact it is on average 1.8 per cent.

Furthermore, 39 per cent of respondents believed agents act either on behalf of buyers or on behalf of both buyers and sellers, when in reality agents have a duty of care solely to their clients – the sellers.

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The survey also found that more than half (52 per cent) of respondents didn’t know that if a traditional high street agent fails to find a buyer for the property, the seller doesn’t have to pay a fee.

When it comes to charitable giving, 92 per cent of people surveyed believed that agents donated less than £10million in 2013, where in reality the amount donated was over £13million.

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Peter Knight, Chairman of Agents Giving, said: “Estate agents are pivotal figures in one of the most emotional and stressful times in a person’s life, moving house – so they are bound to come in for some stick.

“However, it’s really encouraging to see that the public’s personal experience seems to be more positive than we are led to believe. This year agents across the country are set to build on this positive sentiment, offering the best customer service and value for money.

“It’s not an easy job requiring a broad range of skills and as with all industries the ‘bad’ agents are the minority. In 2013 agents also gave over £13million to charity which is an amazing feat and a reflection of their close work with local communities.”

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