38% of homeowners don’t trust estate agent referrals

New research has revealed that over a third of home movers don’t trust legal service referrals from estate agents.

According to a When You Move Survey which revealed the feelings of over 2,000 homeowners, as well as property minded consumers, 38% of movers were sceptical about referrals due to the element of bias. Whether the referrals were as a result of commission gains, geography or preferred relationships, those surveyed felt that the recommended legal service provider may not necessarily be best for their transaction.

The results of the study follow the launch of a study from the National Trading Standards Estate Agency Team earlier this week. Supported by the Property Ombudsman and the Property Redress Scheme, it sets out to assess the use of referral fees by estate agents and help the inform the Government on how transparency around them could be improved. The possibility of a ban is still being considered.

In addition to the views on referral fees, the When You Move study – entitled The Value of Reputation –  also revealed consumer views on the transaction process itself, with a spotlight on the legal aspect of this.

The results showed that from the point of the offer being accepted, around 29% of Brits felt the level of customer service around buying or selling a home decreased.

Where the legal processing of the transaction was concerned, 36% took the view that this was the most dissatisfying part of buying and selling a home. This dropped to 29% for 18-34-year-olds, but rose to 39% amongst 35-54-year-olds and 38% amongst those aged 55 and over.

In addition, 25% found that lawyers offered the lowest level of customer service that they encountered during life’s major transactions.

Commenting on the results of the survey was Simon Bath, CEO and founder of When You Move. He said, “With a clear mission to revolutionise the process of buying and selling property for agents, brokers and consumers, When You Move is the perfect example of disruptive tech creating a more, not less, humanised experience for consumers. With the results showing a clear deficit between the choice available and the trust people have in making the right decision, this report should serve as a call to action across the industry to bring about a more reliable delivery of customer service.”

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