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The big 2024 property debate: Independent vs Chain agent…who should you go for?

The big 2024 property debate: Independent vs Chain agent…who should you go for?

The choice between the ‘big guys’ and small local independents is actually a decision we regularly make throughout our day-to-day lives. Should you go for Costa coffee or the little family-run local on the corner? Should you grab your nephew’s birthday present from Amazon, or hit up that local toy and book shop on the corner? When it comes to Estate Agents though, is there a difference? We’re here to talk through what could be one of the biggest property debates of 2024…

Customer service

Let’s start with the big one. Customer service is your whole experience throughout selling your home. People define customer service in different ways, but that may be key here. Do you want to be contacted via ad hoc WhatsApps or weekly emails? Do you already have an idea of how you’d like your home to be presented? Are you particular in who you want to buy your home?

GREAT customer service will meet you where you are and take your needs and wants into account; something you’re much more likely to get with an independent agent (especially one who’s won awards in exactly this!).

Local knowledge

How has the property market changed over the years? Who’s buying the type of homes you’re selling? Is there key information, perhaps historic interest or a hidden detail about the home or nearby streets that could help it sell? These are questions that can only really be answered by someone who has lived and worked in the area for a significant amount of time.

When you look at local independent agents, they’re usually very anchored in their community, and have a history of selling homes in the area. This could make or break a better deal for your home.



The best way to go about selling a home is to use tried and tested processes throughout. Big chain estate agents DO have processes in place, but usually they’re the same all over the country, and may not be exactly suited to the area. It can be the case that much of the tools used by chain agents are ones from their HQ, bought because they save overheads and can be used in bulk.

Independent agents have the advantage of picking and choosing which tools they want to use and putting processes into place that can be tweaked or changed over time to ensure it’s still best for the area and the modern world. It’s always important to ask an agent what processes they have in place, and why.

Trust, reputation, and relationships

Trust in companies has significantly changed over time. It used to be the case that the best known ‘brand names’ were the most trusted, but since Gen X and Millennials have hit the scene, that’s no longer the case.

Customer trust now comes from relationships, and reputation. It’s all about how we connect with the business in question; can we have an honest conversation with them? Can they be completely trusted with all your details, your home, your potential buyers? Have they been recommended by family or friends, and how are their reviews online? Reputation and trust are keystones in a good experience for you and a better buyer for your home!

Local bylaws and specific regulations

While this is something of a less consideration, it can still be important. Things like parking restrictions, regulations on the property itself, or old bylaws which may still be in place. A local independent who has been trading in the area for a long time will know all this information that a chain simply can’t.

Final thoughts

While the debate is ongoing, we’re clear on what we can offer our customers ahead of the ‘big names’ in the area. A better customer experience, reputation, quicker responses, and tailored service, with clear historic data and local knowledge to back it up, how could you lose?

To see how we could help you with your home sale, take the first steps today. Just fill out our FREE valuation form, email or give us a call on 020 8858 0200.