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.