Availability and choice in the market and satisfaction with services

AuthorConsumers, Health, Agriculture and Food Executive Agency (European Commission), Deloitte consortium, IPSOS, London Economics
5. Availability and choice in the market and satisfaction with
This chapter discusses the consumer interaction with the real estate market per se. It
covers the ma rket concentration of its services, the consumer process in selecting a real
estate agent, as well as consumers confidence and satisfacti on in the market.
Box 3: Summary of findings Availability and choice in the market and satisfaction with services
The real estate market is generally competitive; real estate agencies and real
estate agents do not have an exclusive residential portfolio, and this is supposed to
foster the level of competition. Business oper ators tend to differentiate by offering
diverse typologies of dwelling and by privileging strong and personal connections with
Less than half of consumers compare agents ahead of making a choice. Instead,
rental consumers choose agents primarily on the basis of their reputation or personal
recommendations, although the magnitude of their fees is also considered to a lesser
extent. The same criteria apply to consumers in selling situations, and in this case
the valuation of the property is also taken into consideration.
Although consumers seemed to be rather confident in their own nati onal markets, a
majority were not confident in dealing with real estate transactions in other
EU countries. The unknown legislations, a different language, and the increased
complication of the transaction were among the reasons identified for this lack of
Consumer satisfaction also appears to face numerous hindrances. These
include the delivery of mandatory information (which lacks a personalised approach),
the overall guidance received (which is unclear and difficult to understand), the legal
guidance (which is insufficient and incomprehensible), and the cost and fees involved
(which affect consumer satisfaction).

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