When estate agents don’t know what your house is worth.
I was present when three agents came out to give their opinion on a property near Wallingford Oxfordshire, not so long ago. Values given by the agents for my client on his extended four bed semi-detached house were £650,000, £700,000 and £750,000. A £100,000 difference! Difficult enough for the owner but the same month I was in Leicester with another selling client where three more agents declared as follows: – £525,000, £550,000 and £800,000! A difference of £275,000! The highest figure was delivered with impressive conviction but fortunately accompanied with faulty and irrelevant comparable evidence. It was lucky I was there to intercept the unexpected outlier and quickly arrange a 4th agents valuation which came out at £650,000. Still a wide gap!
Its vitally important that you form a sensible and realistic view of the least, as well as the most that your house might sell for, before you put it onto the market. Estate Agents ‘market appraisal’ visits too often focus on chasing up the maximum that might be achieved, which often leads to an unachievable goal being set. Subsequent visiting agents can often find themselves unwitting contributors. The key point here is that it is frequently impossible to recover from an initially over ambitious starting price.
In March 2017 Which magazine carried out a survey of over 370,331 properties calculating the difference between asking prices and sold prices. It concluded that one in five property owners had reduced by more than 5% and these properties took on average 64 days longer to sell as a result, suggesting they had been overvalued.
Which magazine concluded that if you inflate your house price and subsequently reduce it to sell you do not end up better off than a seller who gets their sale price right first time and sells more quickly as a result. It calculates that sellers lose £4.3bn every year to overvaluing.
My view here is that, if you have chosen the right agent, initially pricing realistically wil result in more viewing, increased interest and higher offers from more proceedable buyers. A good estate agent will handle buyer interest properly often achieving a higher than asking price.
If you want advice on who a good estate agent might be for your particular property you might ask me!