Estate Agents: Good, bad, ugly?

Estate Agents: Good, bad, ugly?

Estate agents are usually given a pretty rough ride in the press, reviled and tarred with the same distrusting brush as politicians, lawyers, bankers and murderers.

However, before you all start grabbing your pitchforks ready to march down to your local branch, new research by  Agents Giving, has surprisingly found that the majority of homeowners actually had a positive personal experience of dealing with an agent when purchasing their current home.   

Peculiarly, the survey revealed that a staggering 91% of homeowners described their personal experience with an estate agent as  ‘excellent’, ‘good’ or ‘average’, with 55% describing their experience as ‘good’ or ‘excellent’. Meanwhile only 9% of homeowners described their experience as ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’.

However, when asked ‘In your opinion who does an agent act in the best interests of?’ 23% of respondents said estate agents act in their own best interest.

The survey further revealed that the prickly subject of commission charged by agents is also misconceived. Twenty one percent of respondents believed agent commission to be 5% when in fact it is on average 1.8%.

Furthermore, 39% 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. The survey also found that more than half (52%) 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% of people surveyed believed that agents donated less than £10million in 2013, where in reality the amount donated was over £13million. On average, people believed agents donated only £3.7million to charity in that year.

Peter Knight, Chairman of Agents Giving comments: “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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Latest Comments

Tom Allen
Tom Allen 20 Sep 2017

Absolutely agree with you!

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RyanGeo
RyanGeo 18 Sep 2017

A sharp correction would be a less dramatic expression to use. That is already underway in certain sectors in Reading where I practice as Chartered Surveyor

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sean benton
sean benton 01 Sep 2017

Identity theft is a thread for any profession. So,people should stay alarmed. I once take help from a letting agent and came to know that letting agents are taking every precaution to prevent fraudulent...

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Mark N.
Mark N. 30 Aug 2017

We have seen a surge in instructions over August and that should continue into September too.

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Chris
Chris 30 Aug 2017

Unfortunately, all the legislation bears its force on Landlords and ignores, naively, the effect of Rogue Tenants on the ability of landlords to keep houses in repair and offer properties for rent at reasonable...

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Christian Donovan
Christian Donovan 18 Aug 2017

The write-down on house values, combined with the fall in the GBP saddled the fund?s property portfolio with a 1.4% loss in the second quarter. The shocking amount of $240 million.

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Samantha Goodman
Samantha Goodman 11 Aug 2017

Interesting point of view.

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Samantha Goodman
Samantha Goodman 11 Aug 2017

It depends on the people, some older adults decide to make a long-distance move in order to live closer to their children or settle in a place with a lower cost of living.

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brandonlee10
brandonlee10 24 Jul 2017

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IrisJ.
IrisJ. 19 Jul 2017

Great advice, but may I also add that when buying an already built home, make sure you do all of the proper inspections. Most importantly pest inspection because people tend to get surprised when they

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IrisJ.
IrisJ. 17 Jul 2017

The third point is, in my opinion, the most important one. People have become too inconsiderate and careless when it comes to rented properties. If a landlord wants to protect their property, regular visits...

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cornishalan
cornishalan 10 Jul 2017

Added to the cost of purchasing these village properties are the above average maintenance costs. Particularly where the property is a listed building or requires specialist building skills such as thatching...

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