A homes and property survey has revealed that the price is one of the least important factors for Devon residents looking for an estate agent.
The Tindle Property Survey asked more than 300 people across the UK and the Isle of Man their opinions on their communities, the housing market, and buying a new home.
As part of the survey, respondents were asked what they found most important when choosing which estate agent to buy from or sell with.
Nearly two thirds - 64.2 per cent - of respondents in Devon said that they were more likely to choose an estate agent that was based in the local community, with this being the most selected answer of any factor.
This is nearly 15 per cent higher than the average measured in the survey, with less than half (49.7 per cent) of those across the UK selecting the same factor.
The next most sought-after elements of Devon estate agents were reputation (54.9 per cent) and friendliness (45.3 per cent).
Other factors that buyers considered were responsiveness of the agent (35.9 per cent), recommendations from friends (28.3 per cent), previous experience with that agent (26.4 per cent), a wide selection of properties (26.4 per cent), effective advertising (18.9 per cent) and an easy-to-use website (15.1 per cent).
The least mentioned factors, at 11.3 per cent each, were being the cheapest estate agent in the area, and being a well-known name.
There are currently more than 100 estate agencies operating in the Devon area.
Julie Hill, of Devon-based agency The Coastal House, commented: “Selling your home is one of the biggest financial transactions you're ever likely to make, and it could be an emotional time for you.
“So you need to be sure that the agent you choose can not only get you the right buyer and the best price, but also understand your situation and be able to guide you confidently through the process.
“This survey shows that the most important factor that affects how people choose their agent is them being local.
“From in-depth knowledge of the local area and property market to personalised service and strong community ties, a local estate agent can offer a huge number of advantages over their national counterparts.
“They know the local schools, transport links, and amenities that are important to buyers, and can help you to market your property in the most effective way possible.
“Local independent estate agents tend to be smaller, and their reputation is more often linked directly to client satisfaction.
“This makes them more likely to be responsive, proactive, and dedicated as their success is directly correlated to your ongoing happiness.
“It is also important that the agent you choose sells similar homes, you might think having competition is a disadvantage, but actually it can be a good sign that the agent is used to marketing your type of home to the right kind of buyer.
“It's interesting to note that being the cheapest agent is very low down the list.
“Cheap fees can be very attractive but like with most things in life - you get what you pay for.
“Going with the cheapest agent can end up costing you a huge amount of money in the long run when your home struggles to sell.
“Paying a higher fee for a quality service and marketing will result in attracting more buyers to your home.
“Ultimately increasing the chances of selling your home in a shorter time frame for a higher price."