Some 61% of sellers visit an estate agent’s website before instructing them to sell their property, new figures show.

The findings from a newly released survey of more than 2,300 buyers and sellers who had moved home during 2021 also found that while 20% of home movers changed from one agent to another during the sales process, most sellers stayed with the agent they initially selected.

The figures are meaningful because they are drawn from Property Academy’s latest Home Moving Trends survey, undertaken this year in conjunction with Fine & Country.

The findings show the importance of having a good website and a strong digital presence.

Nicky Stevenson, MD of Fine & Country UK, said: “According to respondents the most important features on an agent’s website are quality images, the property search function, and for the website to be easily viewed on a mobile.

“Other aspects mentioned included video tours, local housing market information and the ability to book viewings online.”

When it came to the most important aspects regarding the information about the properties, 72% of respondents said floorplans were essential, quality of images was again mentioned, as was the description of the property and map or street view.

Stevenson continued: “The pandemic both prompted and accelerated new ways of marketing a property digitally. Many respondents pointed out that they would like to see more virtual tours on agents’ websites, along with more virtual tours on the portals.

“Virtual tours and videos continue to grow in importance and are becoming a must-have in an agent’s marketing quiver. It opens up the property to a far wider audience and helps buyers to view a property from the comfort of their home.”

Stevenson pointed out that despite people wanting more digital elements when searching for a property or marketing their homes, when it comes to communication methods between themselves and their agent, sellers preferred feedback over the phone.

She added: “Interesting to note that Zoom or chat was the least preferred method. With many people working remotely and conducting much of their business over video calls, we are perhaps seeing signs of people feeling a certain fatigue when it comes to this type of communication.

“Sellers selected a phone call as their top choice when it comes to receiving feedback from their agent, followed by email.

“People are looking for trustworthy, knowledgeable agents who have the ability to successfully market their property, who are willing to provide regular feedback and expert advice over the phone.”


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