Pushiness, poor time-keeping and lack of local knowledge have been named as the three most likely traits to put people off estate agents.
A poll by the HomeOwners Alliance agency comparison tool EstateAgent4Me found that 48% saw aggressive sales tactics as a major turn-off, 47% despised poor punctuality and 40% were deterred by a lack of local knowledge.
A fifth were also put off by agents looking too flashy.
Factors that encourage a vendor to instruct an estate agent include a good phone manner and ability to build a rapport, cited by 93% and 87% respectively.
The survey, based on research among 1,114 UK adults who have used an estate agent to either buy or sell a property, also found, perhaps unsurprisingly, that 96% saw fees as the most important factor in their selection of an estate agent.
However, 70% of home owners admitted that they didn’t read the fine print of the contract and only 25% said they would try to negotiate the charges.
Additionally, only half of home owners bother to get at least two agents to visit their property, the research claimed.
Paula Higgins, chief executive of HomeOwners Alliance, said: “Consumers are sensibly choosing an estate agent based on both gut feeling and the impact on their bank balance.
“Home owners says fees are the top issue, but two-thirds don’t read their contract and a quarter don’t negotiate fees.
“If they aren’t more savvy, they will put themselves at risk of high fees and rip-off contracts.”
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