Has your Estate Agent overpriced your property ?

Has your Estate Agent overpriced your property ?

Have you been tricked into paying higher rates of commission by being misled over your properties value?  Research by The Times and Which claim that homeowners who use estate agents that have overvalued their properties end up reducing their asking prices, but still pay higher fees than they would have with other agents.

The research also found that the largest agents were most likely to overvalue properties. In our experience the corporate world, with its higher overheads, tends to set targets for individual branches heavily in all areas of the business and new instructions always features highly. Managers bonuses and jobs depend on it.  So it is no surprise that in order to keep the hierarchy happy they will do whatever it takes to list your property.

The agent knows that potential sellers always want ‘the best price’.  Therefore by providing the highest valuation, the likelihood is that the agent will secure the deal without having to worry so much about credentials, credibility or even personality to otherwise gain the business.  Then in order to sell the property they just wait a few weeks and then suggest a price reduction. If you are tied into a sole agency agreement then you are stuck.

Why would you really want to stay with the agent that has overvalued your property in the first instance and then give them a chance to sell it at the correct price by reducing the value.  However, it is difficult not to be lured into choosing the agent who values your property at the highest figure because you do not want to sell yourself short.

Obviously not all agents work this way, and in some instances if discussed prior with the seller, trying a higher price in a buoyant market is suitable.

But obviously overvalued properties can also take longer to sell, as potential buyers can be put off by the asking price or might miss seeing the property altogether if they filter their online search by price. Also a property with a history of price reductions can also put off a potential purchaser.

So you will need to have your wits about you when deciding which agent to use as the agent with the highest valuation for your property, or one who offers the lowest fees may not necessarily be the best one for you.

If you are in a town with lots of choice of agents, it’s worth asking local family and friends if they can recommend anyone.

There are also estate agent comparison websites (such as www.GetAgent.co.uk) that can give you unbiased recommendations based on average selling times and percentage of asking price achieved.

We also suggest doing your own homework to give you confidence in the value of your home, check how much similar local properties are on the market for as these will be your competition and you can also check what they are actually selling for on the land registry website.  Most property portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla also have property value history.

Ensure you grill the agents you choose to value the property, they should know their own performance and be able to back it up with evidence.

So if you are thinking of selling in the Canterbury, Sandwich and Dover areas we would be more than happy to share our success stories and performance with you, whilst giving you an accurate professional valuation of your home.

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